Thursday, 17 March 2016

New Zealand – Fjordland National Park& Milford Sound

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The view from one of our stops in Fjordland National Park
After spending one night in Queenstown, we set out early the next morning for Fjordland National Park, where Milford Sound is located.

My collection of air sickness bags.  Loving the Air New Zealand one in the middle.  
I was dreading this leg of the tour because the bus ride was at least four hours long each way.  I packed a ziplock bag of lemon wedges, some air sickness bags, donned my trust Seabands, popped some Sea Legs and Hylands motion sickness pills and braced myself for the bus ride of my life.

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The stream in Fjordland National Park
The weather was cold and the skies overcast and gloomy.  The trip through the national park was a bit of a blur for me.  We stopped to view the Mirrors Lakes and a stream that we were told we could drink from and look eternally youthful (when did this become a tourism plug?!).  The stream waters were cold and I didn’t dare to drink any.  We also stopped at Eglington Valley, which was shrouded in mist, and some other spots before the bus followed the winding and treacherous road down to Milford Sound. 
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Aboard the Milford Sound cruise
When we arrived at Milford Sound, the first thing I did was to find out the cost of taking a plane back to Queenstown.  It was way above my budget so I had to suck it up for another four to five hour bus ride.  At the pier, we took some photos and waited for our cruise boat to arrive while shivering.  It was so very cold!  We had lunch on board.  The food was alright, albeit a little like canteen food. 
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Fat seals!
After being cooped up in a stuffy bus for most of the day, I was happy to enjoy the fresh sea breeze out on the deck of the boat.  The view of the Tasman sea was fantastic and we saw some seals sunning themselves on rocks.  The top deck was where all the action was as people were busy taking in the sights/taking selfies/photographs/videos. 
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Waterfall cascading down the mountain
During the cruise, we passed a waterfall.  Everyone on the top deck was scrambling to avoid being sprayed by the waterfall.  Our tour guide had told us that it was considered lucky to be drenched by the waterfall.  Again, when did promises of wealth become part of tourism?
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Beautiful snow capped mountains
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Close-up of the snow caps
The highlight of the cruise was seeing the snow capped mountains.  It was memorable and majestic.  I felt as if we were so close to the mountains.  All too soon, we headed back to the pier and the torturous journey back to Queenstown commenced.  Everyone was nauseous by the time we arrived in Queenstown for dinner.  

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