Friday, December 11, 2009

Milford Sound

They say that the most stunning part of New Zealand is the fiordland at the very southwest tip. Milford Sound is the most accessible fiord being a two hour drive from Te Anau. Or, you can do what our B&B hosts here call the scenic sleep and get a 6am four and a bit hours ecah way bus from Queenstown. Or, you can walk for days on end through wet forest sleeping in huts with bunks and cold water. My parents did that and I am still trying to figure out why.

We planned to do it the wimps way and have been staying in a fantastic boutique B&B in Te Anau called Dun Luce - highly recommended if you are ever out this way. But, of course you cannot preplan the weather and yesterday when we went out to the sound it was variable. That is, it varied from straightdown rain to blow in your face rain to straightdown rain again. Solidly all day. The cloud was lower than the road in some cases and when we arrived for our cruise you could not really see the otherside of the fiord.

But, the huge advantage of weather like this is that the fiord sides run with hundreds of temporary waterfalls which dry up within two hours of the rain stopping. Our boat being the small one (holds 200 but only 54 on board) we got to sail close to the fiord walls and so could see the close up detail although we never really got the sense of being in a canyon so misty was it. It was also hard to photograph without getting the camera wet!
I did get a little bit inspired by the distortions caused if you took photos from inside through the water running down the window - can you see elongated hexagon patchwork shapes in the second picture here? Do I need to get a life?
We thought about going back the next day to do the cruise with a different perspective but guess what - it rained! It is a consistent pattern here - if we are in cities the weather is glorious, the moment we step into the great outdoors, it tips it down. Ah well, at least I have a spa bath to warm up in and not a cold water communal sink in a hut!


Diana said...

How beautiful, even in the rain. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. And yes, I can see all sorts of patchwork possibilities in your pictures!

tangoandcha said...

You're bringing back memories - we did a Coach-Cruise-Fly from Queenstown. We met keas on the coach trip and saw some seals and penguins on the cruise..
Thank you for reminding me of how wonderful it all was!

Karen said...

This is so cool, even if it did rain. Lat time we went to the Grand Canyon, it snowed so much you couldn't see more than 2 feet into the canyon, but we had a great time sitting in the lodge drinking!

Linda said...

Ah! I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit New Zealand, and Milford Sound, with my family in April of this year. It was a gloriously beautiful trip. Rain (it rains there an average of 182 days a year) or no, the waterfalls are spectacular. We saw more than one rainbow. I'll never forget it. Linda in Iowa, USA

Shasta said...

It's beautiful even in the rain.