Travels – South and further South we go

Please don’t get used to getting a new post every day from now – it’s just that I am kinda on a roll and my computer is working overtime saving a second copy of all my raw files on to another external hard drive – so it’s basically working over time – just like me:-)

Anyway – back to travel reflections:

Leaving Queenstown behind – the road to the small town of Te Anau is rather unremarkable – maybe that is why they called the mountain range that one first has to follow along the – wait for it – The Remarkables – funny that.

Anyway – so off to Te Anau the gateway to Fiordland National Park  – New Zealand’s largest National Park and part of Te Wahipounamu – World Heritage Site.

Mitre Peak
Mitre Peak

Most people will know Fiordland for two things – Milford Sound and the Hiking Track with the same name. However – there is more to this National Park than just those two great places/activities.

For starters the scenery is unrealistically beautiful – from rugged mountains to rainforests and countless waterfalls (especially after one of the 200 days of rain here) to the animals that still thrive here and find refuge in those steep cliff faces or remote Fiords. Never mind that those Fiords are called “Sounds” – which is geologically incorrect.

So – Fiordland has more to offer than just great tourism escapes to Milford Sound – did you know that I counted 42 bus parking bays – that is parking for full size 45 seater buses  – at the Visitor and Boat terminal in Milford Sound? Talking about mass tourism NZ style – that’s where it is..

Kea on the Milford Road
Kea on the Milford Road

Anyway – so of course we went to Milford Sound – how could we not have since my parents both have seen photos of Mitre Peak and where very much looking forward to seeing that rock for themselves. I can only suggest to everybody to stay in Te Anau a few nights – and on the best looking day (watch the weather forecast) to leave very early – let’s say 6am or so for Milford Sound – just to beat the masses – in summer that is.

Milford Road
Milford Road

We did manage to leave reasonably early and got to see some great early morning clouds and fog and I even managed to lose my quick release plate of my tripod down a lovely waterfall along the Hollyford Road – which is well worth going along also to escape the masses.

There are many other stops along the road that are worth while taking your camera out of its case and try some manual settings – auto just won’t do!

So having done the Milford Sound we very much looked forward to the overnight experience on a small boat in Doubtful Sound with Fiordland Expeditions – a trip I highly recommend to anybody! As mentioned before – it does rain a lot in Fiordland National Park – so most of the first day it rained, and rained, and rained – I did try to take some photos but the best photo software can’t help with blown out photos of white clouds and rain..

Doubtful Sound morning
Doubtful Sound morning

So we just enjoyed the other passengers company and the great food that the skipper and us managed to catch.

Dinner sorted
Dinner sorted

Great day – lovely night and glorious morning – we even spotted a Fiordland Crested Penguin on our way back to shore.

From here – it got even more wild – and south – see you next time when I show you New Zealand’s third Island.

Fiordland Crested Penguin
Fiordland Crested Penguin
Advertisements

Leave a Reply