Queenstown is set around lake Wakatipu making it very scenic - it is again a ski town and has lots of lovely restaurants and bars to choose from and designer shops which makes it very lively and makes you want to stay here for a long time! We had a week here and was really nice to stop in one place for more than a few days. After we had sorted ourselves out we decided to hire two cars and go on a road trip to Milford Sound. 8 of us went from the Kiwi bus and we decided to be hard core and camp to save some money - plus D and R had never been camping before.
The road to Milford passes through some truly spectacular scenery and is described by some as the most scenic drive in the world! It was truly amazing - it took your breathe away! We stopped at lots of look out points taking advantage of every photo opportunity possible.
We managed to find a campsite just outside milford called Gunns and it really did feel like we were in the wilderness - the ppl who ran it were a crazy irish man and his wife - possibly the nicest ppl we have ever met. They told us they had one rule and that was there are no rules ;) The couple were proud of the fact that the site had not been updated since the 1930's - no electrictity, phones, and the hot water was heated by an old fashioned wood burner. The first night we had a bbq and fire which was well needed to warm us up FREEZING! D managed to lock the keys inside the car - PROBLEM! Most of us were quite drunk at this point so decided to sort it out in the morning - B and D went to enquire about a phone to ring the break down ppl as mobile phone signal was zilch - only to be told by the crazy lady that we dont have phones here but you dont need a ohone anyway you need Bill and Ben! Bill and ben were the men that work at the camp adn saved the day by breaking into the car using a peice of wire and a crowbar - they were actually amazed that none of us knew how to break into a car ha ha! Apparently every Kiwi does! This has now been added to our life skills as we watched very carefully :)
Our first taste of Milford sound was going on a boat trip around the Fjords this gave us a taste of the sheer size of the place and allowed us to see where the mountains meet the Tasman sea, we also saw the Mitre peak, the highest of them all. We visited an underwater observatory to viwe the coral that grows in the sound - its a unique place as the mountains are so high it makes the water very dark allowing black coral to grow - it is also a place where sea water and fresh water meet creating two layers in the water.
In the evening we went to look at a huge tree that our hoasts had told us about - it was so big that the trunk of the tree had all eight of us around it joining hands!
The next day we were up bright and early to go sea kayaking around the sound. Possibly the geekiest outfits so far - we dont even get embarrassed about it anymore! Infact i think we enjoy it ha ha! Stripy thermals all the way - we loved watching the cool blokes we were camping with try to pull it off ha ha! The trip was amazing, got to really see the enormity of the mountains around us and also allowed us to get up close to the wildlife - saw very cute seals but unfortunately no penguins! We were very tired out trying to row from one side of the sound to the other as it was a mile long and it helped you apreciate the size of the sound.
The next most random tea break of our travels was spent sitting on a rock over looking an impressive water fall - three times the size of Niagra falls. As the mountains around it were so huge it was actually difficult to believe that the waterfall was bigger than niagra as your eyes suffer from a dwarfing effect at Milford. After kayaking we headed back to Queenstownw where round and D booked their places on the highest bungee in the world! argggggghhhhh!!!!!!!