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Milford sounds amazing

Lakes, fiords and awe

Next on our to do list was Milford Sounds, suggested by some to be the most beautiful place on earth. From Dunedin though it was a bit of a mission (in NZ terms at least) so we left a day for driving across here. It was by no means a boring day and we spent most of it with our noses pressed up against the windscreen in awe of the landscape around us. Unfortunately there is absolutely no freedom camping in the Te Anau/Milford Sounds region so we forked out for a campsite and arrived there about four. As we had time to spare we wandered to the lake right on our doorstep and were surprisingly astounded by the beauty of it. It was a gorgeously blue lake surrounded on most sides by blue mountains, almost straight out of a painting. We spent some time on the pier enjoying the view before Alex decided the lake was too beautiful to remain untouched so he stripped down to his bathers and dived in. However after Alex’s girly shriek after entering the freezing water, Rach decided she was happier taking photos and as the below shows she doesn’t make a bad photographer.


The following day we travelled the windy, hilly rollercoaster that Kiwis call State Highway 94 to Milford Sound. The views seen, between moments of stomach churning bends, were jawdropping. Even the one place where there were no views, the single lane 2km tunnel, was incredible. It was bored straight through a mountain and still had rough hewn edges, almost like a lengthened cave and was as dark as one as, even with full beam on, it was still pitch-black. As we emerged blinking into the sunlight and weaved amidst the snow, ice and boulders, Alex in particular geeked out a bit at some of the glaciated landscape, a theme that was only to continue as the day unfolded.


We boarded our Jucy Cruize (2 for 1 as we’re travelling with Jucy) and steamed our way out of the harbour into a stunning world with view after view. There were cascading waterfalls, peaks (including Mitre Peak the worlds tallest mountain rising straight from the sea floor), glaciated valleys, hanging valleys and, near the mouth, chopping waves. We had a brilliant time seeing it all and listening to the excellent commentary from the Cap’n. Rach was even more blessed because not only did she have this commentary but also Alex’s who expanded on every fact and gave an extremely long and not entirely interesting geography lesson. We even managed to get soaked twice, once from waves spraying over us and once from a waterfall that we were driven practically underneath, as you can see below.


All-in-all we had a brilliant day made even greater by the drive back where the views had lost none of their magic and still had us gawping through the windows with the only brief distraction being when we joined a Jucy convoy, tagging on behind two other Condos’s. Obviously shaken by Rach’s superior driving skills (not an amazing viewpoint) they soon pulled over leaving our way free for a quick petrol stop in Te Anau then on towards Queenstown.

Rex’s Rules of the Road

  • If you travel Jucy look out for special offers like the 2 for 1 in Milford.
  • There’s no petrol stations between Te Anau and Milford Sounds so stock up if you’re driving.
  • There’s no freedom camping in the area, book into a campsite or for the more adventurous there’s plenty of DOC ones en route.

Posted by rexontheroad 23:26 Archived in New Zealand

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