Te Anau and stunning Milford Sound. Off-trail.

​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! 

Kids seem to be tough here in NZ. Everyone going for a swim!

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. 

Quite happy to not be part of a big group tour very often…
I guess bad jokes are just what makes Go Orange special….

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. 

On the lower left side you can see the tunnel exit

Even the early settlers had a hard time with the sandflies!

Great weather ahead 😉

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!

Reaching Tasman Sea we turn around

Some seals

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!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Man you are doing some hard yards Bettina, but as always inspiring to me, as I am going to start to thruwalk north to south this October. I will be calling on many friends for comfortable beds in towns like Arrowtown & Wanaka. I do tour guiding a one of my jobs & getting to see Milford Sound in the rain with the waterfalls is almost better than in clear sunny weather. It truly is place where the weather is almost irrelevant to the experience. So cool that you are now so close to ‘knocking the bastard off’. That’s what Edmund Hillary said when he & sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first to climb Mt Everest. You rock!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seems I am getting a bit out of breath on the last kilometers, but I have decided this morning to enjoy the last days no matter what 😉 all the best for your through hike this year!


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