Day 124. Te Anau. 0km. Total 2772km. Off-trail.
Spending a very relaxing day in Te Anau, reading, watching a DVD, washing, walking around to a bird sanctuary and along Lake Anau and of course: eating!
Day 125. Te Anau – Milford Sound -Te Anau. 0km on trail.
Today we will be driven around, in a bus and by boat. We wanted to see Milford Sound and Te Anau is the closest place to get there. We booked a tour already in Wanaka with Go Orange and a YHA discount ( 101$). I really look forward to this trip, but my morning is difficult, I have a sore throat and feel quite bad, a cold is coming. At 9.30am the bus leaves for the 120km to Milford Sound. Our chatty driver makes the worst jokes but is knowledgeable and I learn a bit about the history and nature. First stop is at Eglinton for a viewpoint of the mountains. With a 84% chance of rain in Fjordland we of course get rain and clouds hiding the view. It doesn’t matter though, Milford Sound is supposed to be impressive no matter what kind of weather.
The Milford road is impressive, the mountains are so steep and the clouds actually create a very mysterious atmosphere. (hard to show in my smartphone pics).
Then we arrive at Homer Tunnel, incredible under what circumstances this tunnel has been built hundreds of years ago. At the other side it’s even more impressive, this huge wall where such a small tunnel comes out, going down a windy road down to Milford Sound.
We reach the boat and the trip starts in the rain, but already a first waterfall is waiting for us. The next two hours will be filled walking in and out, getting wet, drying again, admiring the view, eating fish’n’chips, being stunned by the view, getting soaked by a waterfall under which the boat stops and it ends: in sunshine! Incredible, we actually got sunshine in the end!
The bus takes us back to Te Anau after a short stop at Mirror Lakes. We arrive later than scheduled, at 5pm, pick up our stuff and try hitchhiking to the trailhead, just 25km away, for some 6km to the first hut. But we aren’t lucky. At 6.30pm we decide it’s too late and set up our tents in the expensive holiday Park (everything else booked out). It was still an incredible day!