Next up on our tour of New Zealand was Milford Sound, Queenstown and Mt Cook. All were wonderful, but I would say that Milford Sound was a major highlight of our whole trip.
The above two photos were taken by husband in Bruce Bay. It reminded me so much of the West Coast of BC, where I'm from.
Milford Sound! Like I said, Milford Sound was absolute magic. When we first got there, after a very long drive, I was a bit nonplussed. It was beautiful, but so was most of the country. We got settled and went to bed super early and rose before the sun the next morning.
By 7 am we were on the water for a kayak tour with Rosco's Milford Kayaks, along with two other couples and our hilarious guide, Ollie. We were lucky in so many ways that day. For one thing, it was sunny and clear, a rarity for a part of the world that gets as much rain as my hometown. Starting so early also meant that there was hardly anyone else in the sound (which is, incidentally, not a sound at all but a fjord), just us and our kayaks.
The other people doing the kayak tour were awesome, we even ended up driving one of the couples all the way back to Queenstown later on. Our guide was wickedly funny while also being super knowledgeable. At one point I asked, "Are there dolphins?"
His answer: "You mean, do dolphins exist? Yes they do. But we probably won't see any."
On the topic of capsizing he explained without cracking a smile: "If one of you capsizes, the rest of us will raft up [line our kayaks up side by side] so that we have a more stable base... from which to laugh at you."
Luckily for us, no one capsized. Even more luckily for us, we saw dolphins! I was pretty delighted at the dozens of seals we saw. Friendly little guys who would dart under your boat and then come up to get a look at you. But when we noticed a pod of dolphins I gasped and started clapping my hands and jumping up and down, as best as one can jump in a kayak.
I thought that was as good as it could get, and then a few minutes later a second pod passed right by our boats. I don't think I'll ever forget it.
Highways in New Zealand are dotted with these beautiful lupins.
Mt Cook! To be perfectly honest, Mt Cook wasn't my favorite part of the trip. It was the first time we had bad weather, and we allotted a bit too much time to this part of the trip. We did do one great hike though that took us up past tarns and spectacular views of Mt Cook, ending at Mueller Hut.
Me in my Canadian tuxedo, as husband calls it. Denim on denim, oh yeah.
A much deserved hot chocolate after our 6 hour hike!
Thanks again for having a look at our New Zealand photos! Only one more post to go, Christchurch...