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Friday, March 11 – Milford Sound Cruise

We caught the “Barbeque Bus” for Milford Sound mid-morning. It was a rainy day, but we stopped for some short walks along the 100 km road to Milford Sound to see some beautiful woods and waterfalls.

Rich hiking on the way to Milford Sound


This photo is looking down on a tall tree fern far below us on one of these walks.

Tree fern

The bus stopped for a BBQ lunch at Dave’s Camp, a quirky cabins-for-rent spot with signs like “This way. That way. Wong way.” They have a museum of junk from the time the tunnel was built – some tunnel equipment but also “bottles from along the road as the tunnel was built” and “Saddle Dave fell off when he drowned.” As I said, quirky! The BBQ lunch was a lamb kabob, a sausage (the NZ folk need to learn about good sausage – like all the other sausages we've had here, this was like a Vienna sausage in texture and interest), potato salad, cole slaw, and sand flies! (Bug spray works well to keep the sand flies away, and most places we didn't even use spray).

Fact for the day ... Milford Sound is misnamed. A sound is a flooded river valley. A fiord is a flooded glacier valley. (The only place left in the world that spells fjord with an “i” is New Zealand.)

2 hour boat ride on Milford Sound. Due to the rain, the waterfalls on Milford Sound were great – lots more than there are on dry days. Then we got lucky. The rain stopped shortly after the boat left the dock and we had some sun as well as the wonderful mists and waterfalls. It was glorious!!

Milford Sound

Waterfalls on Milford Sound

Waterfall on Milford Sound

We saw 4 bottlenose dolphins – these are not the same as the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins we see in Florida. The water is so clear in NZ that you could seem them even when they were below the surface. We also saw 5 fur seals sunning on a rock.

Fur seals on Milford Sound

I got lots of spray on my face from a waterfall considered holy by the Maori, so tomorrow morning I should look 10 years younger!

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