Friday 9 November 2018
I was picked up at 7.30am today, that’s the earliest I’ve had to be up for a few days (normally on holiday, I’m up so early). But it’s been nice being lazy!
Shame about the rain. Again.
But we were driving out of queenstown – around in a massive 300km loop – to the Fiordland National Park.
We passed down the side of Lake Wakitipu (the lake queenstown sits on) for a while. Around the winding roads.
Through lots of farm land – all sheep and deer here.
Then after 2 hours, arrived into the small town of Te Anau. This is the last town of supermarkets and phone signal before heading into the national park!
We stopped at a cafe, which had an alpaca farm next door.
The road from Te Anau to Milford sound is 119km long.
We drove alongside lake Te Anau for a while – the second largest lake in New Zealand (after lake Taupo, on the north island, which I won’t be going to)
Then off into the national park.
The farms ended (no farming allowed in the park). And the mountains begun.
It was really pretty. Lots of lakes. Mountains. And trees. We stopped a few times for photos.
We stopped for lunch at Gunn’s campsite. Next to the river. Some small trails leading off each way.
They had bought me a few salads which was nice of them! As the lunch they were serving was not at all vegan friendly.
The rest of the drive was through the mountains, towering snowy peaks on either side.
We had to drive through the mountain – a 1.2km long tunnel, which has no supporting walls – just the mountain rock. It’s only lane only, so there is quite a queue forming (of like 4 cars..!) on each side as they only open it for about 10 minutes in each direction.
At one of the view point stops (the side of the road), there were some Kia birds – a native bird that has become quite clever. They steal everything. They were circling around people trying to grab things – one of them got some tobacco.
We got to Milford Sound at 2.30pm. Ready for a boat leaving at 2.45pm, for a sail around the fjord.
Right infront of us was the famous Milford sound peak – Mitre Peak, at 1,692m tall.
The boat was relatively quiet – which was good! We sailed for nearly 2 hours, in a loop around the water.
We stopped off to look at some animals – fur seals lazing on some rocks, and a couple of small penguins waddling amongst some bushes.
And drove into a few waterfalls!
We were lucky that the weather has cleared up – and was almost a sunny day now!
When the boat finished, about 4.30pm, it was time for the long 4 hour drive back to queenstown!
As we were driving back into the town, there was an amazing bright orange sunset through the low cloud between the mountains. But after i had been dropped off – and ran to the lake – it had almost disappeared.
It was now 9pm. I got some late dinner from a Malay street food cafe – a roti filled with spicy chickpeas and salad. Not very Malay. But was good.