11 December 2017

NZ Travel Diary: A Trip to Milford Sound

I think this 5-6 hour drive to Milford Sound was probably my favourite bus ride of the entire adventure. We drove out of Queenstown just before 9am and the journey was so rich with natural beauty, I couldn't bring myself to take my gaze away from the window for even a second. Mountains, valleys, lakes, a Lord of the Rings filming location- there was plenty to admire before we even reached the famous fjord.

We stopped at several natural wonders, including the peaceful Mirror Lakes and the vast Eglinton Valley which was used in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

If you are visiting one of New Zealand's top natural wonders, you will most likely meet a Kia or two. The alpine-parrot has the intelligence of an 8 year old and can be seen wondering around the carparks, often begging for an easy meal. They are known to be smart but also mischievous, they can do quite a bit of damage to your car! It was great to be able to get so close to them and watch their behaviour. I'll never forget how they waddle about!

This river runs straight from a glacier and it is the purest, untouched water you will ever drink.

We shot the picture below just before we passed through the man-made tunnel which leads to the Valley of a Thousand Waterfalls.

Once you exit the tunnel, you will find yourself in this spectacular valley known as the Valley of a Thousand Waterfalls. It is such an other-wordly sight. The mountains surrounding you are steep and act as nature's entrance hall to the Milford Sounds. It's such a wonderful feeling standing in such a vast, wild area. All you can hear it the sound of the many waterfalls.

The winding road which descends further down into the valley takes you to a another incredible sight. We just couldn't get a clear shot of the strange rock formations below. To imagine the vast size of it consider how big the tree trunk lodged in the hole is!

Once you arrive at the end of the road you can board a ferry which will lead you out onto the water. You will have the opportunity to see sea lions, dolphins, maybe even a whale or two!
It's hard to capture the vast beauty of this place, I hope you can see it shine through our pictures.

We had such a wonderful quiet drive back. We admired the landscape through sun, rain, and the orange glow of the sunset. We were even lucky enough to pass beneath a double rainbow which stretched from mountain to mountain.

I'd like to thank our Kiwi Experience Driver Helly for such an incredible day. I'll never forget that drive back towards Queenstown at dusk.

Holly x

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