Outside our hostel at 6:25am, we met a few others & set off on our excursion to a place called Milford Sound.
Milford sound is actually not a ‘sound’ at all in geological terms. It’s a fjord. Which is a steep sided inlet (from the Tasman sea in this case) created by glaciers. This incredible area is only 70km from Queenstown as the crow flies but we had to cover 600km of tarmac to get there & back!
Thankfully this stretch of road was slightly more interesting than most (yes even the grimey bypass) and allowed us to see & stop off at some cool places including waterfalls & mirror lake:
At the end of the epic coach journey we were dropped off at the dock to board our touring ship that would take us all the way down the fjord in to the Tasman sea and back. This return cruise took 2 hours and provided some unreal views…
It was back the same way on the coach but with less stops and more sleep! Bob, our coach driver put a film on which I slept through but Jen enjoyed, called The fastest Indian. Anthony Hopkins plays a New Zealander who makes his way to the USA to break the land speed record on a crappy old bike. True story apparently.
Back in queenstown we had to walk to our next hotel – Heritage Queenstown. This was a 25 minute walk out of the centre and up hill! Not what we needed after our 13 hour day so far but it was worth the walk!
In the morning we made our way to our next Queenstown abode. It was really busy here at this time of year so this was the 4th night and the 4th different hotel/hostel.
With no trips or adrenaline fueled activity booked we made the most of the sunshine and had a relaxing day by the lake before completing our FergBurger hat trick!
We parted company with Queenstown and headed back up north on the western coast to glacier country – Franz Joseph.
That afternoon we had a walk up to the glacier. On the way up there are plenty of information boards and pictures showing the history of the place and just how much the glacier has receded (yes Matt like my hair) over the last few years.
It had also left behind “peters pool” nearby which gave an impressive reflected image of the glacier.
The morning after we followed the coast further north still, all the way up to Nelson. Stopping off at a few interesting places, one of which was pancake rocks (punakaiki). Caused by 30 million years of erosion to the layers of limestone.
From Nelson we would be crossing back over to the north island. Next update at the weekend.