© 2012 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_new_zealand_milford_sound07

New Zealand – Milford Sound – Fiordland – 16th-17th Dec

We left Gunns Camp after a good little exploration of their museum and grounds, it is full of quirks this place and we most definitely recommend staying here in terms of value for money and facilities. So onwards to Milford Sound it was, which was a pretty epic journey. We stopped as we passed by huge waterfalls bursting out of the rock and close to the road-side before gradually reaching the famous Homer Tunnel. Up until this point we were faced with low cloud, rain and a very grey landscape but as soon as passed through the tunnel we could see the cloud lifting on the other side. The Homer Tunnel is a good little adventure in itself, it’s narrow, dark and very much feels like it’s just been dug out of the rock. It’s one way traffic and you may have to wait a little while at either end for the red light to turn green.

On the other side we kept stopping to take more and more photos aswell as stopping at a few more landmarks along the way. We spotted a few Kea’s getting very close to people’s cars and vans in search of food as bus loads of tourists started to be shipped in. We guess this is the main downside of visiting such a place as Milford Sound…the tourists!! But if you can cope with crowds it’s beauty does manage to distract! Waterfalls come down the walls of the mountains like sheets of ice, it’s difficult to tell at firs that all the white bits on the rock are waterfalls pouring down.

We were surprised that the cloud lifted from this point on and we were faced with sunshine. We later learned that it hadn’t rained for the past 10 days which is very unusual for this area which boasts to receive around 220 days of rainfall per year! We took advantage of the good weather though and photographed from the Milford Sound pier and village. You can only go further than this point by boat.

Unfortunately for us we’d booked to stay at the Milford Sound Lodge as we were heading out at 6am the next morning for our kayak tour. The reason is was unfortunate was the cost of staying in a carpark at $36, and pay for wifi…nothing is free nowadays! Anyway it did the job and we found time to work on the blog. Later on we revisited the path leading out from the road to a reserve on the water-front, as the tide was low we were able to go quite far and did a few long exposures during sunset.

So up early the next day we were picked up by Skirts (our tour guide) from Rosco’s Kayaks, you can see why we chose that company? He was a good guy with plenty of banter and good instruction with it. Our group was made up of 8 including Skrits and it was 2 to a kayak which suited us just fine. So all donned in our thermals, water-proof gear, gloves and hats from the lost property box we were good to go. Dave steered from the back whilst Helen mumbled instructions to Dave which wasn’t heard over the waves and wind, but we managed to get out facing the current into the open water.

As it was so windy we had to raft together a few times with the most laughable part being when a cruise liner came into the Sound, passed us and came back past us again as it did a u-turn. This was a little embarrassing for us; 4 kayaks rafted together in a huge basin with a massive ship going past, but the spectators loved it.

We got as far as Sterling Falls and had to raft up again. We couldn’t go any further which was disappointing but necessary as Skrits didn’t want to risk taking us into 40-50 knot winds. He managed to entertain us as we bobbed up and down with Kiwiana tales and poems lovingly recited with some hot orange. This managed to do the trick for a while but we had around a 45 minute wait for our pick up which didn’t help as it was pretty cold out of the sun.

Eventually though we got the pick up and were taken back to where we started. This is part of the Morning Glory tour but the pick up would usually be at the end of the Milford Sound upon meeting the Tasman Sea. So we didn’t get that far but we did learn that we are pretty good kayakers together which is always nice to know. We do feel that the tour was pricey for what we got out of it at $185 each, it promised so much but just didn’t quite deliver. Still we were at the base of the mountains as they jutt over 1000 meters out of sea. That’s not bad at all. We didn’t take any photos during the kayak as we were worried about the Leica and the waves and stupidly we didn’t take our waterproof camera with us! Doh!

Afterwards we managed to get back into the hostel without having to pay a further $5 each to use the facilities and went back down the wonderful Milford Road past Te Anau and onwards to a free DOC campground at Monowai Lake. We were ready for sleep that night.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

Related posts that may be of interest to you:

  1. New Zealand – Milford Road – Fiordland – 15th Dec We drove back into Te Anau to get a weather update for the area, which was looking better as the days passed. From Te Anau...
  2. New Zealand – Coromandel Peninsula – 16th/17th November We drove from west to east but the distances are never too far in this country. Although when you’re driving Po it does take a...
  3. China – Beijing – Hutong vs Sanlitun – 16th/17th November As we are staying in a Hutong it makes sense document the way of life here. On the surface many of these alleyways look pre-historic...
  4. Thailand – Bangkok – 16th March A relaxing day in Bangkok exploring the streets and canals on foot, we picked up a few essential items for the wet weather which seemed...

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>