20th- 24th July 2016
Once again we were up stupidly early at the crack of dawn ready for the long drive into Milford Sound, the 8th natural wonder of the world.
The drive was actually a lot longer than I thought, but being the most scenic highway in the world certainly meant that it was a breathtaking one and it didn’t disappoint. We took every opportunity that we could to stop and snap some photos, but there is no way that the pictures can do it justice (although it didn’t stop me from trying!).
Our first stop of the day was a coffee stop at a little town called Te Anau then it was straight into the Fiordland National Park heading towards Milford. We had a number of stops before heading through the Home Tunnel into Milford Sound – the first was Mirror Lakes, then we stopped at a little stream and filled up our water bottles with fresh water where we saw some Kea; a species of parrot found in the forested and alpine regions of the South Island.
The next hour and a half was spent on the boat cruising past the towering peaks and crashing waterfalls. Unfortunately the weather was bad so we couldn’t actually see the top of the peaks but because of the rain it meant that there was over 100 waterfalls to see whereas normally there are only 2. We also saw a group of dolphins playing in the surf behind the boat which I managed to get on film so that was incredible to see. After the cruise we got back on the bus and made the long journey back into Queenstown. Just outside Queenstown we had a quick toilet stop at a little place called Garston which was funny as that’s where I live back in England.
After a few crazy days in Queenstown we spent most of Thursday relaxing at the hostel round the fire. In the evening the last of our group went out for dinner at a pizza place on Searle Lane – they do $4 pizzas everyday until 8 or 9pm! After dinner we headed out on another bar crawl including a stop at the ice bar!
Friday we headed out to explore a bit more of Queenstown down by the lake as it was such a beautiful day. Afterwards we met Kim and went to play some frisbee golf which I was shockingly bad at (no suprise there) but it was a lot of fun and definitely worth doing if your in Queenstown – it’s free!
Saturday was our last day in Queenstown and we didn’t really get up to much. Out of our original group of 30 somthing there was only me, Daniel, Ali and Jelle left! We decided to go and see Finding Dory at the cinema in the morning and then spent the rest of the day chilling at the hostel playing card games before going to Fergburger one last time and then out for drinks with some australian guys we met.
24th – 25th July 2016
After the worst nights sleep of my life (nothing to do with alcohol) we woke up feeling like death and made our way down to the coach. So many people had got ill in Queenstown and now it was our turn. We spent the day driving towards Lake Tekapo and the scenery was unreal especially along the Lindis Pass but all I could think about was getting into bed and going to sleep. We stopped at Lake Pukaki around lunchtime which was absolutely stunning, I have never seen water so blue in my life! We arrived in to Lake Tekapo around 3ish and the plan was to have a lay down then head to the hot pools for the afternoon and then in the evening go out star gazing – at Lake Tekapo light pollution is practically non existent making it one of the best places in the world to see the stars. I would love to tell you all about the hot pools and how amazing the stars were but I can’t… Our plan to have a ‘lay down’ turned into a 17 hour sleep and neither me, Daniel or Ali woke up until 8am the next morning STILL feeling awful.