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Wow! What a fantastic 24 hours that was. I’ll pick up from where we left off yesterday when we ran out of wifi and phone networks after passing through Te Anau.

Our journey from Dunedin met with a variety of weather including heavy rain at the start but picked up for most of the way – until we left Te Anau for Milford Sound. We could see the mountains ahead were swathed in cloud, but we weren’t too bothered as this had been forecasted. Although we didn’t realise it at the time, this was to lead to a fantastic experience as we saw the Milford area at it’s absolute best – in a range of weather. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll describe much of the rest of the trip with them, using captions…

dg317643. waterfalls. milford sound highway. south island. new zealand. 23.1.19crop

On the Milford highway en-route to Milford Sound. The torrential rain had produced waterfalls from nowhere.

dg317653. milford sound highway. south island. new zealand. 23.1.19crop

This was the view of the road to Milford Sound once we’d passed through the 1930s-50s built tunnel. The weather made it look more Mordor than anything else.

dg317667. milford sound. south island. new zealand. 23.1.19crop

The passenger terminal at Milford Sound’s been rebuilt since I was last here. The new building and facilities were opened in 2012.

dg317693. milford sound. south island. new zealand. 23.1.19crop

We were very lucky to see these waterfalls. They would only last a few hours and be gone by the next morning. The non-porous rock in Milford Sound and lack of soil and vegetation means that in many places the rain runs straight off the tops of the mountains and creates effects like this.

dg317742. milford sound. south island. new zealand. 23.1.19

How’s this for a sense of scale?

dg317795. milford sound. south island. new zealand. 23.1.19crop

dg317831. milford sound. south island. new zealand. 23.1.19crop

dg317843. milford sound. south island. new zealand. 23.1.19crop

dg317868crop

dg317890. ovation of the seas. . milford sound. south island. new zealand. 24.1.19crop

dg317927. dolphins. milford sound. south island. new zealand. 24.1.19crop

dg318010. ovation of the seas. milford sound. south island. new zealand. 24.1.19crop

dg318046. milford sound. south island. new zealand. 24.1.19crop

This evening we’re taking it easy in Te Anau, which is a small town on a pretty lake. We’re only here one night so we’re staying in the Lake View backpackers where we have a chalet room out in the rear with a new shared toilet and shower block we share with the people camping in the small grounds. The chalets are new and very comfortable for what they are. The place itself is very well organised and maintained, with plenty of communal and kitchen space. It’s popular with people of all ages and nationalities, especially outdoor types who’re here to walk the various trails in the area or visit one of the Sounds.

Tomorrow we move on to Queenstown, our last port of call on the South Island. From there we fly back to Auckland for our final few days before returning to the UK…

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