NEW ZEALAND SOUTH ISLAND JOURNEY – PART 3
Is it really a Sound or a Fjord? What’s the difference? Simply said, a Sound is created by a river or ocean water, a Fjord by glaciers. So Milford Sound is actually a Fjord, created by huge glaciers, rushing through the rocks and carving out the marvellous giant rock formations with steep, almost vertical sides that extend deep under water as it is today. But I guess Milford Fjord is a mouthful, so that’s probably why they maintained the name. 😉
It was raining on this cold winter day as we journeyed into the Fjordlands, but we were told that it was actually our lucky day! As only after long hours of continuous rains will we get to see thousands of waterfalls (literally thousands of them!) all along the way once we entered the Fjordland and more in the fjord itself.
It was a long drive but not too boring as it has many stops for viewing spots as well as short bush walks along the way after Te Anau. If you opt for a glass-top bus, you can appreciate more of the journey especially once entered the Fjordlands.
L-R : Bush walk in The Chasm; Mirror Lakes – cyrstal clear reflections on a clear day; Te Anau rest stop; Feeding cute alpacas; A wild Kea bird – native to NZ South Island’s alpine regions, and the only truly alpine parrot in the world
The strong winds of the fjord blowing the raging waters of the waterfall, creating a somewhat dancing waterfall.
Wild dolphins skipping along playfully next to our cruise. It was certainly a sight you don’t get to see everyday. 😀
A giant rainbow over the various waterfalls – what a stunning sight!
The nose of the cruise plunged into the bottom of a great big waterfall – a very cold and wet but awesome experience! 😀
CARDRONA ALPINE RESORT, WANAKA
About 1-2 hours from Queenstown, up a very long and winding road into the mountains. This is not the nearest but it is the best place for beginner skiers compared to the other 3 ski fields accessible from Queenstown, as it has a long and wide green pis, very suitable for new learners and rusty beginner-intermediates. 🙂
AORAKI MT COOK
Aoraki / Mount Cook – highest mountain in NZ (3,724m / 12,218 ft), located in the Southern Alps in the centre of South Island.
Church of the Good Shepperd, Lake Tekapo
19th century goldrush and coal mining town, the biggest town on the west coast of South Island. The heavy rains didn’t stop us from taking a long walk to explore the town. Walked all the way from the town centre to the beach holding a wet map, and then back to search for our motel somewhere along the main road. Wet like ducks from head to toe, we came back to a warm welcoming home cooked dinner back at our studio motel. 😀 Hard time drying up all our clothes though! 🙁
TRANZALPINE SCENIC RAIL
Scenic 6-hour train ride from Greymouth to Christchurch via Lake Brunner and the rugged alpine landscape of Arthur’s Pass National Park. Comfortable and cozy coach with tables and food serving facilities, but I think I spent 80% of the time standing at the open viewing deck. Marvellous photo opportunities and very very Ccooold winds! Bbbrrrrrrr……!! My fingers felt like icicles after every 10 minutes of photo shooting… 😉