Moist Milford

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
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132
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Trip End May 30, 2013


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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Saturday, March 23, 2013

Begrudgingly, we left the warm sunshine, 2nd coffees and isolated beach to head for one of the top destinations in New Zealand:  Milford Sound.

If we had walked the entirety of the Routeburn Track, it would have only been around 25 km to get to the road into Milford. As it was, we needed to drive around the mountain range clocking up over 300km to go to the same place! Oh well, that's what keeps it isolated and special.

It's not surprising. I mean, what could I really expect? Go to the  wettest place in a country...one that gets almost 7 meters average  rainfall in a year. Even with the recent drought it was a bit of a  stretch...

Rising super early, I was excited to photography the early morning light on the mountains reflected in mirror lake, but alas, the cloud prevented this. Still we drove onto Milford.

This road goes through some immense mountains, through divides, over saddles, and through a 1 km tunnel which opens to a quick drop to sea level. The breaks on the car were working hard today! During the drive, I saw the forests start to change. No longer were we in silver beech forest. Now the trees had a gnarled appearance and were covered in various mosses and lichens.

At Milford, the mountains rose majestically out of the water.  Unfortunately, the QEII (same one that blocked up Sydney Harbour) was parked right in the middle and messing up my pictures! We had just enough time to have a quick walk around before the rain started. It steadily grew harder and harder and I watched the scenery start to disappear before my very eyes. We were certainly glad that we hadn't paid for a cruise today.

So we set off again and chased a patch of blue sky across the landscape to our next camp. But we never really reached it as the clouds and rain were moving almost as fast as we were. Looks like the next few days will be rather 'moist' as well.


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