Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Milford Sound? Milford Awesome

First off, since arriving in NZ, everyone has told us how quickly the weather can change, i.e. it can and probably will turn freezing cold and rain on you at any moment. We've been incredibly lucky so far with weather--almost no rain, sunny, and unseasonably warm so far. However, we ran out of luck on the haul from Dunedin to Te Anu across the southern part of the South Island. The intermittent downpours and unbelievable winds fortunately cleared up as soon as we pulled into the tiny tourist town of Te Anu, which would be our base for exploring Fiordland and the Milford Sound for a couple of days.

On our first night, we took a lovely walk around Lake Te Anu and decided to book a 'coach cruise coach' tour for Milford Sound the next day, partly to avoid driving the intimidatingly narrow and winding road without gas stations along the way. As many good things can be said about 'Delicious V,' fuel economy isn't one of them.

The tour experience had to be an entry in and of itself (see the next entry highlighting our bus driver, Max). Letting someone else do the driving was a nice change of pace and allowed us to view the scenery, like the mountains becoming more severe and beautiful as we approached the fiords. We took a two hour cruise through the Milford Sound, the skipper deftly navigating our small cruise ship close to the sides of the fiords for great views of the flora, the waterfalls, and sunbathing sea lions. We saw some bottle-nose dolphins swimming along with the boat as well. We even got a brief taste of the ocean waters past the sound, before carefully turning around in the choppy waters. The firodland area was the most unique landcape we've seen in NZ so far, and possibly our favorite.
--K & D

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