Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Sunday started out cloudy and we were concerned that our much awaited trip to Fjiordland would be wet and miserable.  Fortunately, the closer we got, the finer it became.  In fact, by the return home we were quite hot, mainly because we dressed for the cool of Queenstown.  We took the bus there, thinking at least we'd both get to see everything on the way which was the case but didn't stop to think if we'd driven to Te Anau and caught a bus from there, we'd have been able to stop at our leisure, at least on the way home, to take any shots we wanted rather than be at the mercy of the most boring bus driver in the world.  Ah well, such is life and who knows? We may have been better off.  We would dearly have loved to have photographed several of the wild flowers we saw from the bus along the way or find out what the white fluffy stuff caught in various bushes was.  Spider webs? Tufts of wool?  Mould?
First photo stop was Mirror Lakes.

This moss looks like a barrister's wig. Or maybe some mystical creature...

Ducks enjoying Mirror Lakes.

 You can see where the Lakes get their name.

Next stop, somewhere near Mt Crosscut and Mt Christina. Those are hanging glaciers up high.

Even shots from the bus are picturesque.  Babbling brooks abound, although the driver assured me this was a river; the Hollyford River.

Homer Tunnel, read about it here.  It's avalanche country around here.

This is the remains of an avalanche which fell last winter right near the tunnel entrance and has lasted through summer.

Just near the marina as we set sail is Bowen Falls, one of the 2 permanent falls in the Sound.

A bit of whimsy: doesn't this shadow look like Sherlock Holmes just left stage right?

First sighting of promised wildlife.  Fat New Zealand fur seals. A shame they aren't more colourful or chose lighter coloured rocks.

These are juvenile male fur seals who get kicked off the first rock to make their own way in the world.

 Gulls diving for a feed.  Look at the colour of the water!

 More gulls, near the entrance to Milford Sound.

Turn left and next stop is South Pole!  Well, perhaps an exaggeration....

 More sparkling water.  Perfect, if only a dolphin had come to visit. Just after this they said 2 penguins were swimming around but we couldn't spot them.  

 Captain Cook missed the entrance to the Sound and travelled much further south before finding safe harbour.

 Stirling Falls, the bigger of the 2 permanent falls. 

 The boats go right up to the wall and you get wet if you're on the top deck. There's a legend that females who get wet in the mist wake next morning looking younger.  I have to report that didn't happen....  
to us anyway.

 Loved the look of the mist on the water though.  Next stop Queenstown and Australia next morning, much packing to do.

Our last sunset in Queenstown.  In fact, the first we saw as we were usually inside eating when the sun set around 8.15pm.

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