A Travellerspoint blog

New Zealand – Milford Sound

Listening to the sound of silence

rain 17 °C

After the slight letdown of the Glacier Country a few days back, I was thinking that maybe this might turn out the same. After all, we have already visited the Norwegian Fjords that lend their name to these southern waterways. Setting off from Queenstown, we spent the night at a free campsite in Te Anau before heading up the only sealed road into the Fjords. The rain that welcomed us in the morning also made us think twice about our intention of walking a few hours of the Milford Track.

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The last views of Queenstown

After clearing the farmlands on the way from Te Anau which were covered in New Zealand’s 4 legged best friends that go Baahhhh, we got into the forest covered mountains of Fjordland. As we crossed ‘The Divide’ we dropped down into the valleys and realised that our apprehensions were completely blown away. Somehow this was different, a bit more rugged and jagged peaks than Norway. And the heavy torrential rain that was falling had turned every bare bit of mountain face into cascading waterfalls!

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After climbing back up to the Homer Tunnel, we passed through solid mountain and popped back out on the other side to a massive valley teeming with water. There were more waterfalls here than a certain TLC song from the 90’s!

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We stopped in at ´The Chasm’ for a quick look at an impressive waterfall which shows the power that a little water and rock can do!

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We finally pulled into Milford Sound which was equally shrouded in thick cloud that was spewing out plenty of rain. Although we think it was just as spectacular in these conditions as a blue sky day. The towering Mitre Peak and Mount Phillips with their skirts of cloud looked like imposing, rugged, timeless mounds of solid earth hiding all their secrets just out of sight of us puny human beings. Even though the carpark was full, there weren’t any people on the waterside by us and the sound of complete silence except for the patter of rain on the calm water topped off the whole scene!

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Our initial plan was to do a few hours of the Milford track just to get a taste of the walk and be amongst the serene landscape, however there is only so long that walking in rain that hard is fun for before you get over it. Plan B was to hop on one of the boats that cruises along the fjord, but after checking out the prices and comparing that to what we would be able to see on a day like today, we thought that we were awestruck enough by the beauty of this place from what we had already seen.

Instead we got into our home on wheels, cracked out all the condiments that our fridge had to offer, opened the books and spent a few hours snacking, reading and looking out at the silence of Milford Sound.

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What Milford Sound looks like on a clear day thanks to Google pictures

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Dubbed ‘The Cracker Completo’ by myself combining everything on offer from the fridge!

We headed out of the national park back through all the cascading waterfalls aiming to get as close to the south coast as we could for the night pulling into a campervan park in the small town of Tuatapere.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Daniel – Had the weather been forecast a lot better we could have spent a few days walking the track and enjoying this place even more, but the little taster we got has been enough to make us try and time some fine weather next time we come back when ever that is.

Tanya – There aren’t many people who get to see Milford Sound on a sunny day, but our chances would have been far better if we´d opted for the 4 day trek. With the little time we had, one day was still enough to appreciate the beauty of this place. Driving through the mountains and surrounded by waterfalls we were simply dwarfed by the greatness of this place!

Posted by dbgomes 01:52 Archived in New Zealand Tagged new_zealand round_the_world

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