Tuesday, Jan 26 2016
Our plan was to drive to Milford Sound and then return to Te Anau before driving to Lincoln.
We were a bit tired from the Monday’s adventures, so we got a late start. We cooked the last of our eggs and toasted the last of the bread for breakfast. By the time we had cleaned up and packed everything away it was 10:30 am, before we left Te Anau. It is almost 120 km to Milford Sound but it takes about 2 hours or more to drive there, depending on how many times you want to stop to take pictures. The drive to Milford Sound is very picturesque and well worth the time it takes to get there.
As we left the Te Anau, the weather was cool, but it warmed up as the day progressed. We have learned to “ layer “ our clothing because the temperatures can change very quickly, especially when your elevation changes significantly, which happens regularly in the mountains.
The landscape changed from wide flat plains of farmland between the mountains
and then to rain forests.
There were many places to stop and take pictures.
Milford Sound is a rainforest area, similar to Doubtful Sound, very wet with lush landscapes. The town is quite small, with only a few buildings. Only busses are allowed to drive to the dock area where the cruises start. Cars are not allowed to drive to the dock are but it is only a short walk from the town through some spectacular rainforest to get to the entrance building for all of the cruises.
The town can be seen from this picture taken at the end of the dock area.
The are numerous docks for all of the cruise ships.
Milford Sound has a popular cruise to see the fiords, very similar to the one that goes to Doubtful Sound. I was asked why we chose to go on the Doubtful Sound cruise and not the one to Milford Sound. There were several reasons we chose to cruise Doubtful Sound cruise. It was recommended to us by a few people, the Doubtful Sound cruise is almost twice as long, the Doubtful Sound cruise is not as crowded ( Milford Sound is designed more for large groups ) and we had the time to take the Doubtful Sound cruise and then drive to Milford Sound. From what I have heard, both cruises are very nice and allow the passengers to see many waterfalls (weather permitting), mountains and sea lions. The drive to Milford Sound is a must. If you only have 1 day available, I recommend that you drive to Milford Sound and take the cruise from there.
The ferns in the rainforest are huge and can grow up to 10 feet in height.
We left Milford Sound in the early afternoon, after a quick lunch and a hike of the area. On our way back to Te Anau we continued to get some spectacular views.
When we reached Te Anau we stopped for dinner downtown where I had an excellent greek-style salad with slivers of lamb and a vinaigrette dressing, followed by chocolate lasagna.
After dinner, we continued back towards Queenstown, until we stopped at Kingston for the night. We set up our campsite and worked on our journals in the rustic lounge area before we shivered our way back to the campsite in the cool, damp evening air.
FYI – I just realized that I hadn’t published Day 7. It is now published.