4.26.2015

kayaking milford sound and the drive out!

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we spent the night in a bunk room at the milford sound lodge, and awoke early to get back on the water on kayaks! we were worried that the weather forecast said lots of rain, but we quickly learned that rain on the sound is not a bad thing. the mist hanging over the cliffs and the waterfalls gushing all around made for spectacular sights and an incredible experience.

we coordinated our kayak adventure with rosco’s milford kayaks, and everything about it was awesome. after we got outfitted in gear that kept us perfectly warm and quite dry while paddling, rosco himself met us at the dock to speed us out to the end of the sound in a boat. he and our guide, jack, were so very kind and helpful and full of energy, information, and love for the sound and its wonders. we can’t recommend rosco’s highly enough!

i strapped our gopro to my head and took some photos and videos while we were paddling. i didn’t think about wiping off the lens cover from time to time and got a lot of pictures of water droplets – oops! but we did get some good ones that do an okay job capturing the magic of this experience (and i’ll share some video later!). we were both seriously in awe pretty much the whole time, looking around and trying to soak it all in…cascading waterfalls, dense vegetation, sheer cliffs, dark teal water, hanging clouds…it was truly spectacular.

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^^ we paddled right up to the end of this waterfall! ^^
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^^  i dunked the gopro underwater to snap a picture of these starfish hanging on the side of the cliff! ^^
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after kayaking, we dried off and drove back to queenstown. the drive was outrageous. once again, the pictures don’t do it justice. there were soooo many waterfalls!

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^^ ian really couldn’t believe it. hands to head and sky in wonder! ^^
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^^ we stopped at “mirror lakes” for a little walk and then got some goody goody gumdrops ice cream at a shop in te anau. we were totally obsessed with that stuff during our time in new zealand. soooo good. ^^
we also stopped by a few lakes on our way back. wow!:
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4.22.2015

discovering milford sound

we were originally going to only visit the north island of new zealand on this trip, but once we saw photographs of fiordland national park and milford sound, we both decided we simply had to go to the south island as well.

even if we had to come back right after the flight down there, it would have been worth it! most spectacular views i’ve ever had on a commercial flight – these pictures don’t do it justice at all.

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we landed in queenstown and were immediately so glad we headed south. we were amazed at the scenery from the very beginning. we hopped right in our rental car and headed for milford sound.

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^^ loved seeing autumn leaves in march! we passed through lots of charming little towns ^^
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^^ soooooo many sheep ^^
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^^ more beautiful autumn foliage! ^^
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the drive kept changing and we kept being amazed. soon we were seeing lots of waterfalls and some glaciers. we went through a looooong tunnel that spit us out on a windy road down towards fiordland.

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when we got to milford sound, we decided to go on a boat out on the water. we were kayaking the next day, but the weather looked bad, so we jumped on a chance to see the sound not under non-raining skies. we were blown away by our little cruise, past waterfalls and seals and cliffs and glaciers, cutting through the gorgeous deep dark teal water.

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after our ride, we hiked up to a little lookout point, met some really rad fellow travelers, at dinner at the only cafe in milford sound, and settled into our bunk room at the milford inn lodge. what an amazing spot on earth!

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