The third section of our trip around the bottom the country, was up towards Te Anau. It was a pretty lazy drive up through the countryside with a stop at one museum and information centre that employs the dumbest staff ever. Once in Te Anau, it was time for a group meal and we managed to cook enough Lasagne to last us until we leave New Zealand!!
Today's section of the trip was the highlight, as we went to Milford Sounds, which is a huge area that has been carved out by glaciers that is now a national park. The drive there was fairly spectacular as we went through a tunnel that was just over a mile long, cut straight through the middle of a mountain, and when we came out the other side the scenery completely changed. We were surrounded on all sides by sheer rock faces and waterfalls while the road wound its way down to the ferry terminal.
Once there we had a three hour cruise around the sounds, including a stop at an underwater observatory to see black coral (that is actually white) and the sea life around there. Due to the lack of light, salt and movement (think that's what we were told) it is an ideal place for black coral to grow, and although only nine metres down, we saw things that normally only grow several hundreds of metres down. For the rest of the cruise the weather turned on us and it rained for most of the trip, but despite this, the scenery was still amazing, and the mist added a slightly eerie quality to it.
Once the cruise was over we were ushered back onto a bus and were soon on our way back to Queenstown, before heading off to Christchurch tomorrow.