We had a 7:15 am call at the hotel in Queenstown for the 4.5-hour drive south along the length of Lake Wakatipu and back up again toward Milford. You'll recall this lake from Carly's skydive pix, and below you can see the road we took snaking along the east side of NZ's longest lake, right up against The Remarkables mountains.
Early call calls for java (that's our spiffy transport bus)
Holly shot a beautiful vid from the bus, the sun just coming up (trouble viewing click here)...
Art and I visited Milford Sound about a month go (though it seems like forever ago) and posted about it here. We enjoyed it immensely, but we saved the boat ride for our family excursion. This week Christian our bus driver offered running commentary along the way, and stopped several times so we could disembark and take short walks or simply make pictures. Because...
This photo is from Mirror Lake.
And this one gives a tiny sense of the scale of the landscape on the west side of Lake Wakatipu, hugging Fiordland National Park (Lisa, head thrown back, looks like she's posing but I think she was just having a moment).
Cody might be too
Back on the road, you travel through the Homer Tunnel, three quarters of a mile through pure granite, completed in 1954. Interesting history here.
Brother Chris trying not to get blown off the back of the boat. It was windy depending on which direction the boat took. And variably rainy or not. When you go to Milford Sound, you bring all your rain gear.
Nashville Houghs in a clear moment.
Looks like Trev got a glacial facial
You can barely take in such beauty.
Happily, there's a warm indoor area where you can view, sip, and nibble out of the elements.
The captain brings the foredeck right up to rocks that sweep skyward out of the sound (especially if there's a waterfall to get drenched under).
You can track the boat's progress on this inside monitor.
Never let it be said we fear a little rain.
Fur seals lounging
The scale and power of these waterfalls is just not possible to capture.
Art with the ship's captain.
Milford Sound is a magical place that makes a home in your soul.
The captain took us all the way to the opening of the sound, to the edge of theTasman Sea. 100 knots and 100 hours, he said, and we'd just about make Sydney, Australia.