Hey everyone! OK, so after our long 10hour bus ride from Christchurch down to Te Anau, we arrived at the gateway to some of New Zealands most spectacular mountains and views. Te Anau is the starting point of the milford trek, which we were up until Melbourne, going to be doing. Instead we changed our plans and decided to do a Kayaking Safari instead, and used the left over pennies to do the whale watching. And looking back on it now, we definatly made the right choicee, it was one of the best things we have done since we have been away!
So we arrived in Te Anau, which itself is a really nice little town, with a huge lake (New Zealands 2nd largest i think) at the base of the town, and everything built up behind it. So we were greeted with some amazing views, and a couple of snow capped mountains in there too! We headed off to our accomadtion for the 1st night, which was a place called Lake side backpackers, which was quite nice, we had our own private room and a shared kitchen and bathroom between 2 other double rooms, so it was nice and quiet and a good place to get some rest after the long trip. The next day, we headed out to the YHA as everywhere was booked up, and then decided to book our kayaking trip. We went down the the I-Site, which is just a information centre, and booked our trip, but the staff informed us that the weather is not good for tomorrow, so it could well be canceled and put on a cruise instead, which we really didnt want to do. So after a long discussion we decided to book the trip anyways, as we only had that day to do it before we headed up to quneenstown.
So 5:30am, we were up and getting ready, so we could be picked up at 6:45. It was very misty, and a little bit rainy, but nothing too horrendous. Once everyone had been introduced and the day outlined to us by the guide from Rosco's (The kayak company) we headed down the Te Anau - Milford road, which was amazing. Surrounded by huge mountains, and waterfalls everywhere due to the rain, and i mean everywhere!
Once we arrived about 2 hours after leaving, we got kitted up and started tackling the sand flies which were feeding on everyone, and quickly went through the briefing and out on the kayaks. The whole experience was brilliant. We were able to get close up to some of the waterfalls, and also had a seal jumping around and swimming around our boats for some of the way before the weather turned and started to hammer us with rain and wind.
So after a few hours we had to head back as the waves were getting very high now, and was actually pretty scary! After battling the waves we made it back onto the land and admired the photos and views that were now hidden by a thick layer of mist. Even though the weather was awful, i wouldn't have changed it, as we got to see what the milford sound looks like at its best, surrounded by 1000's of waterfalls. Increadable!