Driving from Fox Glacier to Milford Sound meant that we were driving the same rounte in places as to where we had been with Katie and Justin, we wanted to vary this as much as possible so we decided to take the Cadrona Valley road which is the road we had been on to the ski field by a 4 wheel drive bus with snow chains on. It looked completely different this time as all the snow had melted and the scenery was so green. In the snow it was a scarey experience with all the steep bends, but in the sun it was a really nice drive. We then went past the Remarkables which we though looked awesome the first time we saw them completely covered in snow, this time although they still had some snow on, again they looked different and not as good in my view. The drive to Te Anau was pretty straight forward and the sunw as still shining, we were just hoping that it would last so we could drive the Milford road.
The next morning we headed to the information centre in Te Anau to ask the weather and the condiditons of the road, we were told the weather would be fine for the next few days and the road had been re opened after an Avalanche a few days before. The Milford road was a stunning alpine drive with places to stop most of the way to take photo's, unfortunately we were warned not to stop at these points due to the possibility of an Avalance, therefore we drove the road as quickly as possible (but with caution). This also meant we didn't do any walking as we didn't want to get stuck in Milford. We went through the Homer tunnel that was dug by hand through a mountain and took almost 20 years to complete. This tunnel has to be the grimmest, darkest tunnel ever. We could hardly see even with full beam on and due to the snow melting it was really wet. Certainly an experience,and i can see why the road gets closed so much in winter! Other than that the drive was uneventful with the sun shining until we reached the sound, then the clouds opened! It does rain 300 days a year here so no suprise really.
Although the weather had changed we headed out on a boat cruise through the sound. Mitre peak was really picturesque and the sound itself was awe inspiring. The sheer size of the peaks was amazing, it reminded us both of Halong bay, but on a much larger scale. There were some really cool waterfalls that the boat almost drove into (i think to see how many people he could wet) and we gotr to see some more seals. The rain did stop but the clouds remained, which i thought gave it a dramatic feel. This is apparently New Zealands number 1 tourist attration and we could see why, although we did wish we had had the sun on our side. On the way out of Milford we stayed at a small Doc site at the other side of the tunnel so we knew we would be able to drive away the next day.