is absolutely insane
02/01/2012 - 02/05/2012 67 °F
We weren't sure what to expect on the road from Te Anau to Milford Sound but all our expectations were blown away. Yosemite is an amazing place but so far it has been completely eclipsed by what we've seen here - it seems impossible to capture the beauty of the mountains, water, and sky here with word or photos (don't worry, we will be posting photos at some point ). We're spending the night at the Milford Lodge, with bed and shower, to pamper ourselves a bit before 3 days of hiking and camping. Last night we camped near Cascade Creek, a beautiful, if bug-ridden, DOC maintained site about 70K south of the sound. We plan to spend the day doing laundry, cleaning up, getting our gear in order, and, of course, taking a cruise on the sound.
The logistics of hiking this place are actually quite complicated. The Routeburn track essentially crosses between The Divide and Glenorchy and so while you can walk the 25K or so in 3 days (1 or 2 if you didn't want to take your time), its actually about 4 hours of driving all the way down to Te Anau and back north again. To avoid the hassles of taking buses, we hired a car relocation service - when we arrive at the end of the trail our car should just be waiting for us! Surprisingly this is about the same price as busing in and out and we get the convenience of having our car on both ends.
Since we last posted we've driven the bulk of the South Island and seen quite a few amazing things. A few highlights: In the Catlins we saw 2 male sea lions fighting 20 feet away from us on the beach in Surat Bay and visited Nugget Point, the windiest place either one of us had ever been and the loneliest place ever for a lighthouse. Whiskey tasting in Oamaru was very cool - the restaurant is called Loan and Merc and is housed in a 19th century grain storage facility where you can see and smell the history of the place (we'll post photos of this later). We took jumping pictures on the Moeraki Boulders, an apparent must see attraction And finally, we visited Speight's Brewery in Dunedin, which had some really tasty beer (maybe the best Pilsner I'd ever tasted and an amazing porter called Old Dark)
By the next post we will have covered the Routeburn track and will be resting comfortably in Queenstown.
Jeremy and Annie