Early start, drove to TeAnau. Beautiful trip through fiordland NP, with snow capped mountains. Arrived in Te Anau, parked van, jumped onto coach for trip to Milford Sound. Spectacular views, trip through 2.1 m tunnel (just higher than coach!) with traffic lights every 15 mins! Onto boat for 2hr cruise on Milford sound. Weather improved on the return journey, so scenery beautiful. Next day, was a laxy day. had a walk around Te Anau lake and did the glow worm tour in the evening.
Up early again, drove to Lake Manapouri for trip to Doubtful sound. We can't get enough waterfalls!! Jumped into a tiny 20 seater boat to cross the lake, onto small coach to the sound via a 2km trip into the mountain to see the power station. This was like something out of a Bond movie! Then changed to a small catamaran and even though it was raining, the misty mountains and waterfalls were spectacular. We were taken right under the waterfalls as our boat was small. Later that night , we were all sounded out , so drove down the southern scenic route, the catlin forest NP. As we have been blowing the budget , we had to have a night on the road by a noisy bull! The next day, we continued on ...........
Back after 2 (many) glasses wine and bacon and egg, so hopefully the words will flow better now! Continued on the southern scenic route and were very lucky to see the very rare yellow eyed penguins and dolphins in curio bay. Did lots of small walks and climbs, despite the rain. Decided to move on to search for nice weather, the beauty of our little home on our backs as we can change our route at a moment's notice! Drove up to Dunedin and the Otago peninsular , the approach to which was amazing as it was 28km of winding road hugging the bay. We visited the only mainland albatross colony in the world and lots of soaring birds and chicks in the nests. They seem they are from ancient mariner times with their 3 metre wing span. Another night under the stars to save money for our expensive trips!! In the am , we went to the portobello market and then continued along the coast to Omaru, the only victorian NZ town. Another free night under the stars - getting very smelly now!!
On our way to Omerama and Wanaka on a beautiful am, so suddenly decided to head west through the Haast pass to the glaciers and make the most of the good weather. it was a beautiful drive up over the mountains and we arrived at Fox late afternoon. Pam went in to book our heli hike for tomorrow but within 15 mins we blew our money again and were up in a helicopter for scenic flight over Franz Josef , Fox and Mount Cook. It was the most amazing trip we have ever done, landing at the top in the snow, overlooking Mount Cook. We could almost touch the mountain tops and it was hot sun and clear blue skies above the cloud. Can't wait for tomorrow now.
Love to all. Will try to put some photos on now. Don't hold your breath. You know how good we were last trip1!