Sunday, 9 September 2012

Milford Sound & Invercargill

Milford Sound
After three rowdy nights in Queenstown our blood was a mix of alcohol, caffeine and adrenaline we needed to escape before we required liver/brain transplants. The next leg of the tour was South through Milford Sound and all the way to the Southern most tip of the country Bluff’s point near Invercargill. We had travelled NZ in it’s entirety from tip to tip. We left Queenstown at the ungodly time of 06:30am so that we could make the afternoon Milford Sound ferry. It was pissing rain and the mood on the bus was catatonic. By the time we made it to the ferry we were alive enough to shuffle on and attack the free tea and coffee. Once we had a couple doses of coffee we were able to enjoy the ferry tour as we made our way past waterfalls swollen from the recent rain. It was impressive but not the highlight of our journey. The ferry commentary toggled between English and Chinese making it hard to enjoy the scenery. You could see that if the weather cooperated this tour would be more picturesque but for us it was just wet.
Gunns Camp
After Milford we travelled to the edge of the National park to our accommodation for the night a rustic ex-government work camp. On the way we encountered one of NZ’s coolest creatures, the Kea. The Kea is a crafty little mountain parrot that was preening for us as we snapped a couple photos while it Snowed!!! We didn’t even get off the bus and kept our heads down until it was raining again. Gunn’s camp was a pretty cool place where the hut we were staying in was heated by wood and coal and we actually had fun between the boiling heat and frigid cold that seemed to be the two temperature settings we could produce. Our friends even took pity on me and tried to teach me how to play chess. I think I’ll stick to my career as an unemployed gypsy because I suck at chess.
 Some great lake stops along the way
From there we travelled to the mullet and ginger infested town of Invercargill. The rain stayed with us and we were forced to amuse ourselves by touring the local brewery and having an impromptu pancake breakfast complete with streaky bacon, maple syrup and hash browns.   
AUS pancakes vs. the Canadian's at our hostel in Invercargill.
We skipped Stewart Island due to the weather conditions. This was taken from Bluff - the southern most point of the South Island.
 Altogether we are happy that we travelled south and saved ourselves from a couple mental nights in Queenstown.

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