Day 20 (5.2.2013): Doubtful Sound to Milford Sound *** continued ***
before hitting the road to Milford Sound I watched a recommended 30 mins movie about the fiordland region – awesome pictures.
Later that afternoon I hit the road thinking I had heaps of time to drive up to Milford Sound. It’s a 2.5hr drive for about 130km, very scenic, lots of little (or bigger) walks to do along the way.
As you never know when you next get some gas it’s better to fill up before leaving “civilization”. At the gas stop I heard for the first time that the road to Milford is closing from 7pm to 7am at Homer Tunnel. Agghhh! it’s 4.30pm already! 😦 so, I better drive up without a lot of stopping – hoping for the weather to be as beautiful on they back the next day … one stop for a little stroll to Mirror Lakes.
I passed the tunnel at 6pm … Luckily the tunnel was not the last bit of the road – there was still around 1hr to go after passing Homer Tunnel.
At Homer Tunnel the problem are rock fallings which they monitor during the day but not at night time. Hence, the tunnel is closed at night. However, as soon as they finish building kind of little houses in front of the tunnel which will protect people and vehicles entering, the tunnel will be opened again also at night.
The drive was rather easy until the tunnel, after it got way more alpine. still beautiful scenery all around! Now that I passed the tunnel i was more relaxed and made a stop at the Chasm.
Something went wrong with the booking of my room for this night. They had me booked in for a wrong date – luckily they still had a bed available as Milford Sound Lodge is the only place to stay at Milford Sound.
Day 20 (6.2.2013): Milford Sound to Te Anau
Early morning start shortly past 6am to go for the “Morning Glory” kayak along Milford Sound. We got dressed up in proper kayaking gear, from the thermal undies, fleece sweater, waterproof outer layer, spray skirt, … then we were off to kayak from Milford to the Tasman Sea. wow, that was cool – 4hrs kayaking, optional dip in the sea at a short break at a little beach around half way, paddling under Stirling Falls, then being picked up by the boat to drive us back to the start 🙂 this is not the standard cruise, this is experiencing Milford Sound. Distances at Milford Sound – which is actually not a sound but a fiord – are very difficult to guess. everything looks rather small or close by because the mountains which are ca 1500m high reach directly into the fiord. Stirling looks also small but is 3x as high as Niagara Falls.
for the afternoon I originally planned to a 3hr return hike up to Key Summit which is the first summit of the Routeburn Track. however, after an early morning start and 4hrs kayaking I felt a bit tired so I changed plan and stopped some times along the way for some smaller walks. The track towards Lake Marian was really nice through some temperate rainforest once again. However, from the cascades onwards it was really rocky and rather difficult to walk. I continued on a bit further into the track but recognized only then how tired I really was …