Milford Sound

Got up early as we had a 10 o'clock boat tour and we were still a fair way away from Milford. It was further than we thought, the road was pretty windy and you actually park a few minutes walk away from the jetty. In the end, after frantically trying to pay with various credit cards, we made it onto the boat with just seconds to spare. How I love these last minute rushes. But it was worth getting the early tour, before all the coachloads of people from Queesntown arrive.

Milford Sound isn't actually a sound. Apparently that would mean it was formed by a river. As it was formed by a glacier it is actually a fjord. Whatever it it is, it's stunningly beautiful. We had chosen one of the smaller boats as we had read you can get closer to the animals and waterfalls that way. In the end we were unlucky with the animals - we just saw a couple of colonies of juvenile male seals which are always there, and the odd albatross. No dolphins or penguins, but you have to be pretty lucky to catch those.

No matter, the views are stunning and the weather was clear (it rains 200 days of the year out here). The tour takes you up and down the fjord all the way to the open sea in about 2 hours. The sea is normally quite rough but today it was pretty flat. The kids got bored pretty quickly but they had fun sitting next to the captain, and enjoyed the seals. The rest was spent mostly colouring in a drawing of a fish (a present for the Easter Bunny).

On the way back we could go slower and stop on the way. We skipped the Gunns's Camp detour as there was quite a lot of cloud but stopped at The Chasm for a short walk up to... a chasm. Down below is a turquoise glacial river and all around the usual fairytale green forest. Set up camp at a proper campsite in Te Anau. It's great to have proper electricity again. And long hot showers, and a nice warm common room. Bumped into a nice German family that we had met in Queenstown. Their kids are more or less the same age as Lucas and Aisha and they had hit it off well before and were delighted to see them again.

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