In case anyone heard about the cyclone that hit New Zealand, we were far away --- the storm cause some problems at the north end of the South Island while we were at the south end of the South Island.

Today was another "vast quantity of photographs" day. I've tried to keep the number of photos down but we saw so much that was so beautiful and then there's some with stories attached.

For a lot of people Milford Sound is the reason to go to New Zealand. After reading guide books and reviews, Doubtful Sound seems to be pulling ahead due to it's remoteness. We decided to go to both --- well because why not?

Ed's reaction to Milford Sound is that it is very busy and very commercialized. The boat terminal had the feeling of being in a large transportaion hub with "gates". The bus parking lot is huge. When we arrived for our morning boat tour it only had 2 vehicles in it. After our tour it was overflowing with at least 75 tour buses. Imagine all the people....

Now our story,

On the drive to Milford Sound you go through the 1.2 km Homer Tunnel with a 1:10 gradient down to the western portal. As I haven't experienced very many tunnels with slopes, it felt a little weird.

A view from the shore line with the tide out.

A slight different angle than the previous photo but now the tide is in.

20180221-20180220__72_5412.JPG 20180221-20180220__72_5447.JPG
I think the 1st one is a Pied Shag (I'll have to spend more time researching), the 2nd one is a White Herron (or as we know them an Egret).

Milford Sound is a shorter and narrower fiord than Doubtful Sound, which makes the experience very different. I loved both cruises and was very happy that we had decided to do both.

Both sounds have a lot of waterfalls depending on the rainfall. At Milford Sound there a few more permanent waterfalls due to glaciers. In fact one of the waterfalls provides all of the drinking water used at the terminal and on the ships as well as generates the electricity required to run the terminal building. Milford Sound receives around 9 metres of rainfall annually. The fresh water sits on top of the salt water making a unique aquatitic environment.

A few photos of Milford Sound


20180221-20180220__5D_1745.JPG 20180221-20180220__7D_6049.JPG


We reached the Tasman Sea. If we kept going the first land we would reach would be South America.

20180221-20180220__72_5616.JPG 20180221-20180220__72_5623.JPG
We didn't see a lot of wildlife but we did manage to see some New Zealand Fur Seals, some dolphins too far behind the ship to go back to see them and an Albatross at the Tasman Sea.

I think this is Mt Tutoko glacier.

Bowen Falls framed with the boom. Our cruise was on a ship that is also used for overnight sailings that has a motor and a sail.

Back on the road to Te Anau there are more great views.



20180221-20180220__7D_6356_7_8.jpg 20180221-20180220__7D_6373_4_5.jpg
On a nature trail we saw trees just covered in moss, I've never seen live trees covered so totally. I guess this is also the result of the 9 metres of rain in a year.