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Freitag, 17. März 2017

New Zealand - Queenstown and Milford Sound

New Zealand - A beauty in the far south

Queenstown - at 45 degrees latitude - is the most southern stop of my world trip and not to forget an incredible beautiful city. I will never have enough of the picturesque blue water of the Wakatipu lake or the rhythmic sound of breaking waves. Our first little walk in Queenstown made me realize how indescribably beautiful our world can be. I know, I write it way to often, but it just took my breath away.
A panorama of the lovely lake

One gondola ride and a near death experience later

The picturesque view from Queenstown Hill down.
On our second day, we took the gondola up to the Queenstown Hill - just to see and wonder. We didn't have much time, because we booked a bus tour to Glenorchy. With this ride my near death experience started: No matter how many potholes, how steep the road, the foot of the bus driver was glued to the gas pedal. Always. At the same time the wheel was going from one side to another, spinnend full of lust as if there is not a more joyful thing to do - back and forth, quick and slow, from one side of the road to the other. Shaking, dizzy and really sick, we arrived in Glenorchy - happy to have survived the crazy bus driver. And again we were amazed with the breathtaking view on the lake. I have this feeling, I keep writing the same thing over and over, but most of this journey is the fulfillment of my dreams and yes, most of it - to me - is marvelous, wonderful, magnificent, stunning, amazing, beautiful, lovely, fantastic, picturesque, breathtaking, incredible,...

10 hours in a bus and 2 on a boat

A must do on each New Zealand journey! The experience of the south island! Just breathtaking! - That's how many people are describing Milford Sound - a fjord, no not A fjord, THE most known fjord in New Zealand. That's why we booked the tour.
One of the stops of our tour - right before we passed over the New Zealand alps

One of the many lovely waterfalls
And yes, it is a "Fjord" not a "Sound" - a sound is getting its fresh water from a river, a fjord from a glacier. The name confusion started because the first English adventures didn't know the difference and had anyways no word for a fjord - so they called it Milford Sound.
The tour started in Queenstown and was an experience itself. While the sun was rising over the hills of New Zealand, we were sitting in the bus, enjoying the colours. At this point it seemed to become a sunny day - nothing foreshadowed the weather forecast of rain. Only a few clouds were in the sky. But we knew at Milford Sound, there should be rain - and it happened sooner than we thought. Right when we passed the New Zeland alps, the weather changed immensely! This is actually not a surprise. While the east coast gets around 600 mm of rain each year, the west coast gets 6.000 mm! If we trust our bus driver, then Milford Sound gets even more with 8.000 mm a year.
One of the many stunning river views
According to climate, the vegetation changed as well: The dried meadows became cloud forests. The mountain tops were covered in fog, the trees in moss. And from the glaciers, little steams and creeks and rivers were falling down in waterfalls over rocks and dabble over stones in river beds through fairy tale like forests. On our many (way too short) stops, we got to discover a bit of those beautiful natural pools and mystical woods.

Behind the waterfall

Can you spot the seals?
While it was raining as hell, we got on the "Cruise Milford" - the cruise ship, that would take us around the Milford Sound. Although the weather was this bad, the costly tickets were worth every cent. From the rocky walls the waterfalls were dabbling down, seals were relaxing on stones. A once in a lifetime experience was the boot going straight into a waterfall. Although I got wet all over, it was worth it! So worth it!
Summing up, Milford Sound was an impressive experience but I have to say: It was not the best of New Zealand!

And finally: Milford Sound!

Please, forgive me for all my spelling, grammar and vocabulary mistakes!! My mother tongue is German.

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