We were excited to go through the Homer Tunnel. Around eight years ago, we read a book titled Below the Mountains, about digging this tunnel, and have wanted to see it ever since. It is about 1.2 km long, and was blasted out of solid rock. It goes down at a 1 in 10 gradient. It is only one lane wide, so there are lights at each end. At times, people have to wait up to 20 minutes to go through. We only had to wait about a minute and a half—just long enough to get out, stretch, say hello to the kea who was keeping an eye on the traffic, and jump back in.
The mountains surrounding the south side of the tunnel are incredible! As far as we could see through the mist and rain, there was roughly a horseshoe of cliffs going straight up, with waterfalls coming down here and there.
This kea was hopping around beside the road, looking for handouts—we didn’t give him anything!
On the north end, toward Milford Sound, the road goes down sharply in a series of switchbacks. The tunnel is at around 900 meters above sea level, and it takes only 15 minutes to get to the sound! That is a fast descent.
The sheer cliffs are incredible.A duck on top of a campervan.
Some of the cruise ships tied up at the dock.
Sometimes we got to see Mitre Peak, the famous mountain out in the fjord.
That large white splash in the center is a huge waterfall.
Gayle and James figuring out where to go next.
We walked out on a strip of land that goes a ways out into the sound.
We got a good view of the spectacular waterfall from out there.
Elijah, Mr. Sweetie, Simon, Mr. Diligence.
Me with Miss Joy, Gayle, Mr. Imagination, Little Miss
The mist about half way up the right side of the picture is from the waterfall.
Mr. Imagination found this crab.
We climbed to an overlook above the township, and were rewarded with this view.
I was fascinated with the plants growing out of the cliff.
The next post will show what we experienced on our way back to Te Anau. So much spectacular scenery! It about overloaded me.
Debra Johnson says