We have had such a good day today and it was all thanks to the torrential rain…theres a sentence a never thought I would say (or write)!
Milford Sound is famous for its waterfalls, it is actually not a sound, it is a fiord and the only one in New Zealand that is accessible by road. It is surrounded by steep cliffs, dense rainforest and just stunning views. Milford Sound also gets up to double the amount of rain than the amazon annually…it has at least 200 rainy days each year, so we weren’t too disheartened when we woke up to one of those days.
We went on the encounter nature cruise first thing in the morning which was amazing and so much fun! On the cruise we were told that the more rain there is the better the tour will be as the waterfalls will be out in full bloom…and oh my goodness they really were! We saw over 1000 waterfalls all around us, they were magnificent and we couldn’t keep our eyes off them. There are only two permanent waterfalls there, and the rest of them disappear as soon as the sun comes out, so we actually saw Milford Sound in all its glory!
On the cruise we saw a few Albatross, over 20 baby seals (pups) and were dunked under the two biggest and most incredible waterfalls…have to say, despite being rather cold after getting drenched by them, it was definitely worth it for the video!
To carry on with our slight madness of doing summer activities in the winter (to prove it can be done) we then went kayaking. I have never kayaked before, but I loved it and it was incredible to be kayaking right next to around 400 waterfalls. Unfortunately the rest of the group weren’t as enthusiastic as Elliot and I about getting cold and wet and having the possibility of falling in…but we just powered on in front of them having a great time!
We were then given a tour of the underwater observatory…it is the only floating observatory in New Zealand which means it does not disturb any of the marine life, and visitors can walk down 64 steps to get 10 metres below the sea in order to see completely natural sea life (bit of a tongue twister!). So in other words, it is like you are in the tank and the fish can come and go as they please just like humans in an aquarium! We saw some amazing fish and also some beautiful black coral (which looks pure white).
After an amazing cruise, kayak and tour, we were then given a private boat ride back to the shore whilst eating our pack lunches, and taking in the view of the waterfalls one last time.
We got back to Joey and headed out of Milford Sound (another stunning drive) and settled down in Te Anau for the night where we finished the last ‘Lord of the Rings’ which was epic, and then went to bed as we have a good 3 hour drive tomorrow.
It really was a brilliant day and once again we just embraced the weather and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
Bye for now