We headed to Milford Sound today on a bus trip. As we boarded in Queenstown our driver commented that it rains two days out of three in Milford Sound. At this point the weather in Queenstown was beautiful, nudging 8C, but it was only 7.15AM and just a few light clouds.
The bus trip over was good. We stopped a few times to collect more passengers then headed for our halfway stop at Te Anau. Te Anau is a small town on the shore of Lake Te Anau, it marks the end point for several hiking trails in the area. We grabbed a coffee and then continued our journey.
As we traveled to Milford Sound we stopped several times for photo opportunities. As we reached Mirror Lakes the rain started to fall, not heavy just enough to disturb the lakes surface. Funnily enough it was around this point on way back that the rain stopped.
By the time we reached the Homer Tunnel it had set in and the cliffs were alive with waterfalls, they are amazing to watch as they cascade down the cliff face.
Arriving in to Milford we boarded the SS Mariner for our cruise of the Sound. It’s the quick or the unlucky at this point to get table and seat by the windows. Those who know make a beeline for the jetty, not knowing we didn’t. With the rain falling being outside was not really a good option and for a few minutes it looked we be on a bench in the middle. Luckily some fellow bus passengers knew the drill and had spare seats at their window table. An older trio, they made for great company as we all discussed our travels around the globe. Between us we’d visited all continents including Antarctica.
We’d preordered lunch, a picnic box and a bento box, both were great with lots of food in them and well priced too.
The cruise is great and the views are sensational, even through the rain and mist. We spotted the New Zealand fur seals lazing on the rocks but missed the dolphins and penguins that inhabit the area. The waterfalls just don’t stop, they seem to appear around every bend or cliff along the sound. Some are permanent but many we saw today are a result of the rain and will quickly vanish as the rain stops.
The drive back was uneventful, just a short stop for restrooms and a coffee in Te Anau and then onto to Queenstown.
All up a long day, but a good one.