Tuesday 10 January 2012

Day 5 - Milford

Next morning, we set out for the 2.5 hour drive to Milford Sound, where we were booked to go on a 1 hr 45 min cruise. This was on Xmas day and we knew all shops and most restaurants would be closed for Xmas and Boxing day (the 26th). Earlier on the 24th, we'd taken the precaution of stocking up on essentials - bread, butter, jam, snacks and fruit, and I packed a lunch-to-go for all of us on the 25th. The drive to Milford was, obviously, breathtaking. I think it's a measure of how used we were getting to Kiwi beauty after just 4-5 days that I had stopped taking out my camera at every turn. You see, we were confident that even if we missed this lovely shot, there would be another one coming along after just a couple of minutes :)
We had a map highlighting all the scenic stops on the way to Milford. Some of them would be time and effort-intensive. For example, a 1.5 hr round trip hike to see a lake where the views were supposed to be amazing. We skipped such stops; where it involved short easy hikes which the children could manage, we made it a point to halt. As always, there were innumerable potty halts, in addition to photo-op stops and general panic halts because someone had dropped a toy under the seat and had to retrieve it this instant or else! 
This pic clicked soon after we took off post-breakfast, through the windscreen.

Mirror-lakes, a group of tarns (small mountain lakes). The water was so still!

A bubbling brook :)

This bird took a fancy to our radio aerial :)

A short hike into the rainforest.

And so we arrive.

We arrived with time to spare for a leisurely picnic lunch of sandwiches, soaking in the stillness and beauty around us. Talking of sandwiches, I must mention how absolutely yummy NZ butter was! Rich, absolutely melt-in-the-mouth, like no butter I've ever tasted. The cows must be really healthy and happy because the milk (poured by me straight down my throat, cold and fresh) was thick, creamy and almost sinful :)
The cruise (called a 'scenic' cruise - big surprise!) took us through the fiord (Milford Sound is actually a fiord and I had no idea of the difference between the two until I went to NZ), upto the head of the fiord and into the open Tasman Sea. A friend told me that the Norwegian fiords are far more impressive than Milford. I don't know about that because I was plenty impressed with this one! Trivia: The fiord is one of the windiest places on the planet and we got to experience this firsthand. I left the kids and S down in the warmth of the catamaran's lower deck and went up to the viewing deck and the wind was absolutely whipping out there!!! But the views were so much better so we got the children up after enfolding them in additional woolly layers. They hadn't ever experienced such windy conditions and they were thrilled, squealing in delight as they were pulled this way and that by the wind! We had to keep a tight hold on our resident featherweight because  she might have quite easily been swept away!

Baby seals sunning themselves.

The drive back home, around 4 pm.

Before we left for NZ, I had thought that visiting and seeing Milford would be the #1 highlight for me. What I hadn't realized that every place in NZ is so stunning that Milford became just another one of those stunning places, panoramic vistas and all. So - Milford was great. It just had to jostle for space at spot#1 along with other places :)


  1. Gosh! Seems like heaven...
    I have run out of superlatives to describe your NZ marathon and am tired of repeating how jealous I am. So I'll just keep mum...

  2. Still catching my breath after seeing those pics... ! Sooo lovely... wow.. you have really kindled my enthusiasm to make this trip sooner than later ;). Next Christmas holiday maybe since the weather looks so lovely at that time!! Will catch you offline for further details.

    And also, what camera do you use? Want to know if I can hope to capture anything so beautiful with my point-and-shoot or if I should just upgrade before this vacation ;).

  3. @Uma: :))
    @aparna: go go go!!! and if u guys are adventure enthusiasts, all the better:) many of our friends are DISGUSTED with us that we didn't go bungee-jumping :)
    Don't worry abt the camera. I have a 10MP point and shoot casio. I just told one of my friends who is an awesome photographer that NZ is the only country where i can click as good pics as him :)

  4. Wow again!
    Each pic is exquisite. Can't wait to see these places in person. Seriously. Well, someday...

  5. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging
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