Te Anau to Milford Sound and back again

Today started off sunny and got even better. This is the best trip to Milford Sound I’ve ever had! Having to drive there and back was not so much fun, but at least I got to stop wherever I felt like to take some photos. And I’m falling back into my evil ways of taking too many…

Anyway, we had booked our cruise with Go Orange for 3.30pm, so we had a leisurely breakfast, made our lunch and then went to fill up the car. The petrol price was $2.22 here, not so much more than the $2.17 we’ve been paying most other places.

The clouds were hanging low over the lake this morning, so I had to take a couple of pictures.

Lake Te Anau in the morning

Then we were off in direction of Milford Sound. I’d marked about half a dozen places to stop for photos, but that went by the wayside. I’d stopped four times before we got to the first place I’d marked…First up was Te Anau Downs with its jetty.

Te Anau Downs

I had to pull over to the side of the road and photograph a time or two.

Between Te Anau Downs and Lower Hollyford Road

Between Te Anau Downs and Lower Hollyford Road

And then we arrived at Mirror Lakes. This is nothing like I remember it. Progress has done a good thing here.

Mirror Lakes

Mirror Lakes

Mirror Lakes

Lake Gunn should be a mirror lake as well. It’s a beautiful little camping ground and view.

Lake Gunn

Lake Gunn

Lake Gunn

We stopped at another couple of places for photos.

Between Te Anau Downs and Lower Hollyford Road

And then we drove onto a sideroad for a couple of kilometers to get to Lake Marian Falls. That was very beautiful. The rainforest track leading to the falls, too. My sister loved the colour of the water and would’ve loved to go for a dip….if the water wasn’t icy and it wasn’t so cold.

Lake Marian Falls Walk

Lake Marian Falls Walk

Lake Marian Falls Walk

Lake Marian Falls Walk

Lake Marian Falls Walk

Lake Marian Falls Walk

Lake Marian Falls Walk

We had another couple of stops alongside the road before the Homer tunnel.

Between Te Anau Downs and Lower Hollyford Road

Between Te Anau Downs and Lower Hollyford Road

Between Te Anau Downs and Lower Hollyford Road

Between Te Anau Downs and Lower Hollyford Road

There was no snow near the Homer Tunnel, unlike my last trip here. Very sad. We didn’t see any Keas around here either.

Next stop was The Chasm. There were about 10 full size buses here, as well as little tour buses and lots of campervans. I couldn’t believe how many people were here! The water is still flowing through holes in the rocks. Pretty amazing!

The Chasm

The Chasm

The Chasm

The Chasm

The Chasm

That was our final stop before Milford Sound. We’d decided to have our lunch here, since we’d seen nowhere to have it before this. There were no tables and chairs here either, but we had our little cushions and we just planted ourselves on the lawn to have it. We had time for a little walk to a the Milford Sound Lookout, which could do with a bit of pruning.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound Lookout

We walked down to the terminal and I took a couple of pictures of the Sound and our boat, before getting on.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound - our boat

Milford Sound Cruise

The cruise was quite nice. We had such luck with the beautiful weather. It was very cold in the wind on the top deck, and I kept getting blown around and quite a few of my photos were out of focus because I’d get pushed around by the wind. There were only about 10 people on the whole boat, which was nice. Our cruise included fish and chips – a tiny portion, but yummy.

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Helicopters and planes buzzed past a few times.

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

The cruise took us out to sea and then back again. We even saw some Fur Seals sunning themselves on a rock.

Milford Sound Cruise - Fur Seals

And on past more waterfalls etc, back to the terminal.

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise

On the way back to Te Anau after the cruise, I stopped a couple of times at places I’d have liked to stop in the morning but couldn’t for whatever reason. The first was at a bridge, and the second at Hollyford Valley Lookout.

Between Mildord Sound and Homer Tunnel

Between Mildord Sound and Homer Tunnel

Between Mildord Sound and Homer Tunnel

Between Mildord Sound and Homer Tunnel

Hollyford Valley Lookout

Hollyford Valley Lookout

Hollyford Valley Lookout

Then it was back to Te Anau, trying not to speed. We got back into town around 7.30pm and went straight to The Moose for dinner. Tonight we had the fish and rice dish (delicious!) and the chicken and camembert dish. We finished up just as the sun was painting the skies beautiful colours.

Te Anau at dusk

Reworked and larger sized pictures from this day are here. Click on the first picture and then move through them at full screen size.

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