After we walked everywhere we could around Milford Sound, we gathered at the back of the vans to eat our sandwiches. It was raining, so some of us stood under the open back door; others got inside and sat in the seats. Wherever we were, the sandflies were BAD! They came in clouds, attacking every inch of exposed skin. We didn’t waste any time eating, and got on the road again quickly to escape the hungry hordes.
This is what we saw as we got on the road again. The mountains were absolutely spectacular, even through the rain.
Here we were heading up to the Homer Tunnel again, from the seaward side. Again, there were sheer rock cliffs going straight up. It’s nearly impossible to get a feel for it from a photo. I was absolutely awestruck by these mountains.
There’s the tunnel! I was quite disappointed that the light had just turned green. I was hoping we would have several minutes to sit there waiting, and soak in the grandeur of the scene.
Have you noticed the water streaming down the rocks all around?
We stopped at a pulloff beside a waterfall. Miss Joy was asleep, so I stayed in the van with her while the others went to the viewing platform. This kea was on top of a motorhome; it rode for a little ways, and then flew back to our vans.
Miss Joy didn’t sleep long, so I got out of the van and went to see the waterfall, too.
When we moved on, the red van went ahead. Maybe I needed to feed Miss Joy? I can’t remember for sure. That left Esther and the two little girls and I together when we stopped at another overlook where we could see this spectacular valley. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was an amazing sight.
Our next stop was the Cascade Creek Nature Walk at Lake Gunn. Miss Joy needed some time to play, so I stayed in the gray van with the two little girls while everyone else went on the walk. These are Esther’s pictures.We also stopped at Mirror Lakes. A nice boardwalk led along the edge of a beautiful pond.
We were trying to get a picture of all the children, and another tourist offered to take our family picture, so we quickly organized for this.
Then, we went back to work on the children’s picture.
Miss Joy didn’t want to be separated from Mommy.
Finally, Daddy had to help keep her in place while I took the picture.
When we got back to Te Anau, we still had a few hours of daylight, so we stopped at the bird sanctuary. This is a takahe, a very rare bird. They have a couple of pairs there.
These are blue ducks, also very rare.
Paradise ducks aren’t exactly rare, but we enjoyed watching them. The mother (the one closest to the camera) was very worried that we would hurt her babies, and kept trying to get us through the fence.
This is a relative of the kea, some sort of a parrot, but I don’t remember what it’s called.
A table and chairs just her size!
This is the view from our friends’ house. I would love to see it on a sunny day!Here is a video put together from several clips that various family members. The first clip was taken in the Eglinton Valley, on the way to Milford, by Mr. Imagination. Next is Esther’s clip of going through the Homer Tunnel, and then of going down the mountain from the tunnel. After that is a clip from sea level at Milford Sound, followed by one of the waterfall where we saw the kea. Then, there is one of Lake Gunn and a few from the nature walk.