After a few weeks in Queenstown i decided to venture off to Milford Sounds, supposedly the 8th natural wonder of the world. Unfortunately being spring the weather wasn't great and was a bit foggy but one of the guys from the bus, Will and i decided to brave the weather anyways and head out for the 7am pick up. We had yet another great driver who let anyone from the bus come and pick music for the journey, so there were some great tunes, but also some shocking ones! There were a lot of stops on the way to break up the journey including the incredible wall of waterfalls. The weather was in our favour for this one because as it had rained a bit recently the water falls were flowing strong. It was basically a valley and each of the black rock walls were littered with tiny waterfalls, all of them coming out of springs in the wall. It was amazing, it didn't look real and looked like something out of a film instead.
We entered Fiord Land National Park which has just one road going in and out; the only road to Milford Sound. The weather can be so treacherous in winter due to landslides and avalanches that sections are controlled so only one vehicle can pass through at a time. The road is also often closed and is open about 80% of the year. Luckily for us there were no landslides so we were able to get through unscathed. We stopped at**** Flat, basically an enormous field surrounded by cliffs, unfortunately the fog hid the magnificent tops of the cliffs so it wasn't massively interesting. Finally we were at Milford Sound after travelling down many steep and very windy roads, the scenery got more and more impressive the closer we got to the sounds so the journey was pretty interesting, luckily the weather was clearing as well so there was a lot more to see.
At the entrance to the sound we got on our boat and were given a complimentary lunch which reminded me of lunches in America when they came in a brown paper bag and had a juice box in! The cruise around Milford Sound was stunning, the sides of the cliffs are covered in green foliage with little trees sticking out and waterfalls cascading down. The boat went right up to the side of the cliffs so close that the waterfalls were falling on the boat which made rainbows through the spray of the waterfall. The sun started to shine and the deep blue colour of the water became more apparent.
After our boat tour we got back on the long bus to Queenstown. Overall it was a really long day, arriving back at about 8 watching the sunset over Wakatipu Lake safely back in Queenstown. It was definitely worth the travel though, Milford Sound resembled something out of Avatar where the mountains float as the steep edges to the mountains made it look like they were Icebergs floating instead of grounded mountain edges. I'd say it was a pretty good candidate for an 8th wonder of the world :)