Milford SOunds, somewhere everyone should go if they have the chance, wild and rugged-the perfect place to get away. We drove up from Te Anau in the evening, just avoiding the mist as it started to descend into the valley-not a nice experience when you are trying to navigate your car around windy cliff roads with sheer drop offs, or going through the Hommer Tunnel, the longest rock tunnel in the world (I think), were the only thing holding it up is the cliff face itself....but we managed to make it, and got to Milford village before dusk, and settled into the lodge for the night.
After a good nights sleep (despite the kea's best efforts to keep us up all night with thier cries) we joined up with Alex and Christian, the face of the dive company that were going to take us out for the day. We had a cruise around the sounds (which should actually be called fjords, as they were formed from glaciers, not water) and saw penguins, seals and dolphins. The two dives were quite similar to England in terms of the underground topography, and it was surpirsingly a lot warmer than I expected it to be.....14 degrees! I saw black coral (actually white-so called becuase when it was seen it was always dead, but they just thought it was black), kina the size of your head, wrasse, paua and rock lobster-pretty good all in all. At the end of the day they took us to our own private waterfall and pool to have a chill out in and watch the world go by, we then headed back to the pub-how every dive should end I think!
After the 4 hour stop (due to us having to wait to go back over the 1000m pass) we drove to a little campsite called Hollyford for the night; by a river, sun shining, bees buzzing... I can still see it now.