After arriving in Te Anau and spending the night there we decided to take a drive out to Milford so that we could do the cruise on the Milford Sound. We opted for the Encounter Cruise, which although it was 15 bucks more it was also 3/4hr longer and had no set route and got you closer to everything. Turns out this was a great decision.
We booked the latest possible boat, in hope that there would be less noise from other boats and also hoping that all the Japs would have already gone home on their Japanese only coach tours. Just to point out that i have nothing against them at all, its just that it is nearly impossible to get a good view or picture of anything if there is a family near by. First they get a pic of the kids, then its mum with the kids, then dad with the kids, then dad on his own, mum on her own… then its… “You take my picture?” they then have a few serious ones and the obligitory ‘peace sign’ one. By which point the opportunity to see something or get a great shot has gone. Anyway enough of my moaning, i’m sure you get the picture… the Japs certainly do
Where was I??… Ah yeah. After a rather leisurely drive through some rather spectacular countryside we arrived at milford. There was nothing here other than a visitor centre an airstrip and a dock. We headed for the dock and got on our boat and headed out onto the sound. Considering that it is a rainforest and that if it doesn’t rain for 9 days they call it a drought, we were blessed with great weather and although it was windy it was warm.
We cruised about for a bit and the captain pointed out some tree slide and avalanche scars on the rocks and also pointed out various glacier ledges which was all pretty interesting. We then went to a water fall and positioned the bow of the boat directly underneath it…. where i was stood. The crew then brought out glasses and put them on the bow so that they would fill up with water for us to drink. Although it looked pretty dirty and revolting it was so cold it was nice and refreshing… or at least i thought so. After a bit more cruising and going right out to the Tasman sea we swithched off the engines, everyone was quiet and we just listened. Nothing…. silence, it was really strange. Spotting another waterfall the skipper did the same thing and pulled right up underneath it and demanded that everyone who was sat inside should get outside and get wet like the rest of us… wet was an understatement… soaking would be a more suitable word, kate especially. Luckily i had remembered my coat. (cheers Dad for even making me take a coat on this trip).
After arriving back at the dock we started the 2hr drive home again, finally arriving back in Te Anau about 8pm.