Trip Start Jul 30, 2006
60Trip End Ongoing
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Completing the pretty drive to Te Anau, the last habitable town before Milford Sound, our first priority was to find a pub showing the start of the second Ashes test match, followed by the search for a bed for the night. Both missions were successfully accomplished fairly quick time as there wasn't exactly a lot of choice in the tiny town.
Settled in to The Ranch pub for the afternoon and evening to first watch Freddie win the toss, decide to bat and then England grind out some much-needed runs and restore some pride on a good batting wicket.
Early start the next day to drive the remaining 2 hours to Milford Sound. There were so many interesting sights to stop off to see on the way down through the Eglington and Hollyford Valleys that it actually took us closer to 3 hours but we saw mirrored lakes, beautiful glacial valleys and waterfalls.
Once we arrived at Milford port we boarded the Milford Mariner for our two and a half hour cruise around the fiordland landscape. The scenery was so dramatic with huge vertical rocky cliffs jutting steeply out of the sea and waterfalls cascading off the sides, all in massive scale. The Skipper of our ship managed to skillfully steer the nose of the boat under the bottom of Fairy Falls, a waterfall that is twice as high as Niagara Falls for an incomparable view of the thundering water. Once again we saw another pod of dolphins, frolicking around in the cold water.
As usual in New Zealand though, the weather changed for the worse and pretty soon, those of us brave/foolish enough to stay out on the deck were forced to retreat inside for the journey back to port.