Monday, March 13, 2017

Te Anau and Milford Sound

We spent 3 nights in Te Anau so that one of the days we could take the trip to Milford Sound.  In Te Anau there's a small bird sanctuary where we saw Takahe which are a very rare, flightless bird that was thought to be extinct in the late 1800s until some were found in the mountains near Te Anau in 1948.  They look a lot like the Pukeko but are a lot heavier and cannot fly.


Antipodes Parakeet - also very rare and the largest of its species.

On Wednesday morning we got of really early to head to Milford Sound for a cruise of the fiord.  We were excited to meet the Kea - the only alpine parrot in the world.

Waiting for the Homer Tunnel.  1.2 kms straight though the mountain.

Milford Sound (which is actually a fiord if you want to be technical).  Metre peak rises almost 1700 meters above the sea!

One of the permanent waterfalls in the Sound.  It would be neat to go on a rainy day despite how cold that would be because we were told that 100s of waterfalls run off the cliffs in the rain and stop just an hour or two after the rain ends.  It would look totally different.

The mountains are sheer rock so all the plants growing start with moss and then small plants growing on the moss and then bigger ones on those. There will be tree avalanches where one falls and a whole strip comes down the side.

At the mouth of the Sound looking out to the Tasman Sea.

It's so hard to grasp the immensity and height of the mountains.  This waterfall was 500 or so feet high but compared to the other peaks looked small.

The rippling of the water was so neat!

After cruise we took our time going back to Te Anau.  First we stopped at The Chasm.

We could see the water through a hole in the rocks and trees - looked neat in real life but hard to see what your looking at on a picture.

Really neat rock formations from the swirling water.  Really round holes and soft edges.  Also hard to tell on a picture but the gorge was super deep.

While we waited for the tunnel we were visited by the Kea again.  This time one was trying to eat our van - haha!

Mirror Lakes - a little underwhelming but the pictures seem to show the mirror better than we could see it in real!

And then when we got back to our house we read, played wii and relaxed before eating a "real meal" of chili I'd made the day before.  Yum!

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