‘Sweet guyyyyyys’ – Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park

30th August

Title courtesy of Michael and his ‘sweet as’ attempt of Tutu’s favourite phrase

Today we left Queenstown for the Deep South part of our tour. Milford Sound was the first stop en route to our hostel. After being vehemently promised ‘awesome’ weather by Tutu we were all super excited to see what Rudyard Kipling described as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ in glorious sunshine. The moral of the story here is don’t promise what you can’t control. Fog, low cloud, and rain but still Milford Sound is an amazing place.

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We hopped on a ferry to cruise us around the Sound (although technically a fjord). We saw dolphins and seals although still no penguins. With waterfalls and and cliffs rising vertically out of the water at every turn it really is quite magical, looking more like a film set than real life. Definitely worth braving the lashing rain for.

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So what should have looked like this… (Definitely not our photo)
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…Actually looked like this

Being ever the optimists we actually think the mist added a some mystery.

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Gerhard, John, Kepa, Sam, Kathy, Us, Anita

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Our next stop after Milford Sound was a trip into Fiordland National Park were we would be staying that night. Here we found the alpine parrots, curious birds with a habit of tearing rubber sealant off cars.

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Kepa and his new friends

After a bit more of a drive through ridiculously beautiful snow capped mountains and indigenous rainforest we arrived at Gunns Camp, our (very) remote hostel for the night.

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Gunns camp had been a workers camp for men working on the Hollyford-Okuru road in 1938. Very little has changed since then, with the exception of an updated kitchen. Electricity is run by a generator which is turned on at 7am and off at 10pm and water is heated by a fire in the bathroom.

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Gunns Camp

A few intense games of chess, battleships and a group jigsaw puzzle by the fire. Bliss.

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4 men, one chessboard, plenty of concentration

After a lovely group meal, once again cooked by John, it was time for a few drinks and dares. Drinking concoctions, swapping clothes, spoonfuls of powdered milk, swimming in glacier water, and Michael’s stunning performance in a game of space masks.
10.20. Lights off. Electricity time was over. Obviously, Kepa thought this was a good time for scary stories. Consequentially, we all went to the bathroom in gangs that night.

Bedtime. Tucked in. Eyes closed.

Scream.

WHAT was that?!

Turns out Flo had sprayed about half a can of insect repellent in her eye. Nice one Flo! Anita performed some quick first aid, which included lying on the patio and pouring water into her, then we could all sleep.

Tori x

 

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