"Sometimes the road less Travelled is less Travelled for a reason..." - Jerry Seinfield
|(Our footsteps will lead us to the road less Travelled)|
Day 4: Monday, 10 November 2014
Route: Invercargill – Milford Sound – Te Anau
We checked-out of Invercargill camp site around 09:00 and drove direct to Milford Sound. It was cool and cloudy in the morning. It rained intermittently on the way. We passed Wilderness Scientific Reserve and bypassed the town of Te Anau and started to drive up the winding steep road to Milford Sound taking Route 94.
|(Cloudy dark sky and intermittent rain)|
|(Heading to the snow peaked mountain)|
|((Narrow and winding road through the National Parks)|
|(Cool misty drive across the mountain range)|
Although it was only 120 km from Te Anau, we need to allow driving time of more than 2 hours to reach Milford Sound as the road is winding steep, passing through Fiordland National Park, waterfalls, streams, lakes and chasms and through a one-way tunnel cut deep into the mountain, the Milford Pass.
|(Passing through a single lane Milford Pass)|
|(No passing through, ample parking area for caravans)|
We reached Milford Sound at 13:00 in the heavy rain. Luckily we brought our raincoats to prevent us from soaking wet in this chilly weather. We were in time for the 13:30 Mitre Peak Boat Cruise. The fare for the 2-hour cruise was NZ$80 each. We joined a small group of 25 people on the boat cruise and there was a free-flow of hot coffee on board. Milford Sound is the most accessible and the best known of the glacier-cut fiord jutting into the rough Tasman Sea.
|(Many cruise operators to choose from)|
|(Comfortable seats at the lower deck)|
|(Going upper deck for a better view)|
The cruise took us along beautiful sceneries, from cloudy misty cliffs and snow-capped mountains to rainforest and endless number of ever-changing waterfalls. The boat stopped under waterfalls and we sighted and photographed seals, blue penguins and possibly a dolphin or two during the cruise.
|(Misty weather at the start of the cruise)|
|(Meandering fiords into the Tasman Sea)|
|(Seals and Penguins on the rugged rocks)|
|(You may sight some dolphins too)|
|(A tired cowboy sleeping on board)|
|(The end of the cruise)|
It was still raining on the way back to Te Anau so we drove slowly and carefully. There’s no doubt that taking a cruise through Milford Sound was an unforgettable journey, yet travelling in a caravan on the Milford Road on the staggering scenic Alpines stretches was quite challenging and a true adventure of twists and turns and passed through breath-taking dazzling scenery of waterfalls, rivers, valleys and lakes.
On the way, we stopped at the Mirror Lakes to watch the clear reflections of surrounding sceneries in the water.
|(Guided walking tour in the national park)|
|(The mist is slowly lifting, revealing the fiords contour)|
|(A nice view from the jetty)|
|(A wet, cold walk in the wood)|
|(A calm lake, reflecting the surroundings)|
|(Mirror Lake perfect reflections)|
In Te Anau we had a very late lunch of tuna sandwich at Subway. After refuelling, we went to Fresh Choice Supermarket to buy bread, eggs, muesli bars and eye drops for our sore eyes.
The town of Te Anau lies beside Lake Te Anau, the largest lake in South Island and the 2nd biggest lake in New Zealand after Lake Taupo. It is one of the country’s most scenic locations among spectacular mountains and lush virgin forest.
|(A beautiful rainbow after afternoon showers)|
We spent the night at Te Anau Kiwi Holiday Park which cost us NZ$45/night for a powered site. As we were still full, we skipped dinner and went to bed early.