Monday, February 14, 2011

New Zealand - Milford Sound

Monday, February 14, 2011

For our full-day tour, we took a 4-hour bus ride to Milford Sound.  One of our stops along the way was a place called Mirror Lake, where the water is so clear, it's literally like glass that reflects its surroundings perfectly:

I've run out of superlatives and hyperboles to describe the views here.  Needless to say, New Zealand is a beautiful country with many awe-inspiring views.  The best way I can describe in seeing it all is "humbling".  As in you feel pretty small and humble when you look at the mountains, hills, peaks, valleys, and lakes.  And especially Milford Sound.  They told us Milford Sound gets 200 rainy days a year.  We happened to be there on one of the 165 days it doesn't rain and the cruise around the Sound was just gorgeous.  We cruised out of the Sound just to the border of the Tasman Sea and back.  Along the way were some waterfalls.  Apparently, it's also good to see Milford Sound when it is raining because then you see more waterfalls.  The ones we saw were pretty good already though and I even captured a shot of a rainbow in the water.

And if that wasn't enough, after the cruise, most of the tour group went back to Queenstown via another 4-hour bus ride but I opted to go with several other folks for a flight back in a tiny little airplane to see New Zealand from the air.  The plane was even smaller than the puddle jumper I flew in in Belize last year and I experienced what "wing and a prayer" meant as we took off (really, can something that small launch itself into the air??) but the views were worth it.  Not to mention the 40-minute flight was way better than a 4-hour bus ride.

This is some of what you don't see from the ground.  That small of red-roofed buildings in the bottom picture is the Walter Peak Station as we flew over it, nearing Queenstown.

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