We spent three days at Te Anau in the heart of Fiordland and did two trips out into the fiords. A two hour trip on Milford Sound and an all day adventure on Doubtful Sound. Actually both of the trips were all day adventures as we drove the 120 km from Te Anau to Milford to get the boat into Milford Sound.
The road from Te Anau to Milford Sound, while a relatively short one, takes almost three hours each way, allowing for a couple of stops. It is a windy narrow road with lots of one lane bridges. Anyway, in spite of the advice of friends to take a bus, we drove. It was marvelous...we stopped several times and eventually arrived at Milford with about an hour and a half to wait for our boat ride. We selected a "small boat tour" as we have found that they are usually a better value and a better experience. Much nicer to be on a boat with twenty or so folks than it is with three hundred and fifty!
Anyway, here are some pictures from the drive and from the boat tour...
It's hard to understand the scale of the place from a photo...but that boat in the picture above is one of those 350 passenger jobs that cruise the sound.
For the trip to Doubtful Sound, we only had to drive 20 km to Manapouri. From there we took a half hour boat ride across the lake, and then a bus ride across Wilmont Pass to get to the head of Doubtful Sound. Again we choose a "small boat" and had a great time.
We were greeted by a nice Kea while changing from the lake trip to the bus.
And we saw some Fiordland Crested Penguins while on the sound. While not as rare as the Yellow-eyed guys from last week, Fiordland is the only place in the world for this particular species.
By the time some of you read this, we will be flying back to the USA from Auckland...we leave Auckland at 6:00PM on Sunday, March 29, and arrive in Los Angeles at 10:00 AM on Sunday!
It's been a great trip and I will cover some more of it in the coming weeks as we are in Florida preparing for our trip to Polson, Montana, where our adventure continues...
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