Visting Milford Sound in Fjordland National Park is one of the things we’d been most looking forward to. We’d pre-booked a day trip on the “BBQ Bus” and were picked up at 7:35am across the street from our place as planned.
The drive takes about 4.5 hours each way. Our trip took a bit longer than that — lots of stops en route for pictures, toilets and to admire flora and fauna. Our guide, Nigel, kept up a running commentary the whole time, pointing out sights and keeping us amused with his anecdotes.
We travelled through every kind of weather imaginable. Milford Sound is the second wettest place on the planet, receiving about 10 metres of rain per year. So I guess the wet trip through the rainforest shouldn’t have surprised us. At least it caused dozens of massive waterfalls to appear that we were told had not been there the day before.
We stopped along the way for lunch — Nigel brought us to a campsite with a gazebo for shelter and we joined other campers making food. He pulled out a BBQ and cooked up kebabs (chicken and lamb) and sausages, along with a couple of salads and cold drinks — perfect.
Our boat ride at the fjord was foggier than we’d hoped, so we couldn’t see the tops of many mountains or any long-range views. And no dolphins. We did see fur seals though — and more waterfalls. We appreciated the outdoor covered area on the boat. Some of the rock faces and waterfalls were almost 1 km high!
Watched a DVD on the way back about New Zealand wildlife — some odd creatures here, including a high proportion of flightless birds.
Back by 9pm — a bit queasy from 9 hours of windy roads, but glad we went.