last updated 1 December 2015 (pics fixed)
Day 05 - 1 December 2015
  Milford Sound
On our way to Milford Sound.   The start of some extremely lovely scenery.

A fairly average highway opens out into these flat planes with the mountains seemingly just emerging directly from the ground below.  A great photo point for some panorama shots as well.

Pictured below a pretty stream.   Pictured above.  The view behind us from the stream

Also an inhabitant from nearby - The Kea (Parrot)  Friendly little thing.  Obviously look to us for food.  Do not feed the animals or birds. It can damage their health and their ultimate survival.

One of my panorama shots just before we entered the 1200 metre tunnel through the mountain.  To the right hand side the snow capped section of mountain has at least a dozen waterfalls cascading down.

Pictured below, a better shot of the cascading waterfalls.  (all those thin white lines are waterfalls)

Emerging from the tunnel more spectacular views.

Picture below is from the other side of the tunnel.  The scenery never fails to be awe inspiring.

The cruise we took around Milford Sound (Fjiord), as it really isn't a sound due to the fact it was carved out by glaciers millions of years ago, which is the distinguishing difference between a sound and a Fjord.

Pictured above our boat.   So the boat IS actually a boat and not a catamaran  - could be in for a bumpy ride.

No problems... the boat slices through the Sound effortlessly.  Views are amazing as you can see.

We got closer and closer to the waterfall in the distance and went around the bend and thennnnnnnnnnnnnnn.........

Seals..... how cute.  There were stacks of them.

Looking back from where we had been,

Then the boat was heading out to the mouth of the Sound and the swell picked up.  It got so rough I thought those of us who where viewing from the bow of the boat were going to be catapulted over the side. Up we went and down...... up we went again and CRASH...waves came over the bow and we all got saturated.   David was no where to be seen.  He was inside holding onto a pole for grim death and thought he was going to be violently ill.

I made a bee line to the cabin and got hit by another wash as the boat hit the water and another wave washed up and over the bow.   It was an awkward and yet funny moment.

The swell was a little severe so the captain turned the boat around and headed back into the Sound.  Pictured above is our view of the sound as the boat makes its way back in to more sheltered conditions.

When conditions are right the cruise usually goes out side the Sound and up along the coast a short way then it does a 360 degree turn back to the sound but not today.

Once back in the shelter of the sound this pictured above is what John Grono, the first European settler saw when he first entered the sound in 1912.

Pictured below - t
he last drenching as the boat angled closer to this waterfall.  This time David and I were wearing rain jackets provided by the tour.  The water spray took your breath away. It was so loud and so windy almost as if the water fall was creating its own weather system.  Only got drenched from the knees down this time!

Other things you can do at the Sound is canoeing and visit the underwater observatory.  There are also plane rides around the sound, we also saw some scuba divers out on the sound and I would gather there would be room for a bit of fishing further out.

David and I went to the underwater observatory.   We don't recommend it.  The historic display is excellent but the actual underwater observatory needs a lot more work.

By the time we left Milford Sound the weather had changed quite dramatically.  The clouds had come in over the mountains and it had started to rain.  Apparently it rains 260 days of the year at the Sound.  That is a lot of rain.   It doesn't just rain millimeters it rains in meters.  Ummmmm time to drive home back to the Hotel I think! By the time we drove up the mountain - altitude 1 mile, all the mountains started to resemble one huge string of waterfalls.   They were everywhere.  Back at the tunnel we had to wait (it is a one way tunnel) so each side gets a turn. It takes about 5 minutes per turn.  The mountains surrounded us on three sides about a kilometer high and all had water falls streaming from them.   It was indeed an amazing site.  It was an incredible day.

Next Page Day 06 Te Anau to Queenstown