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Fiordland National Park, New Zealand (Center on Interactive Map)

Map of Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Map of Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Milford Sound Gertrude Valley
Kea (Nestor notabilis) - In Love Kea (Nestor notabilis) Rifleman (Acanthisitta chloris) Tomtit (Petroica macrocephala) - Female South Island Kea (Nestor notabilis)

Rainforest covered mountains next to the ocean.


New Zealand

1/9/2012: After wasting a couple of days in Queenstown and Te Anau, we made the drive over to Milford Sound. We had heard all of the superlatives about the area, and in reality it had some top-notch scenery. It reminded me a lot of the panhandle region of Alaska. We would have liked to hike into the area on one of the Great Tracks, but since we could not plan our trip years in advance, we had to settle for the numerous day-hikes that the Milford Road had to offer. The hikes were interesting, and a couple of them will take you to the areas above the tree line. We spent a lot of time looking for the blue ducks and rock wrens with nothing to show for it other than kea induced damage to our rental car.

We had heard all of the reports about blackflies (locally called sandflies) in Milford Sound, and we were not disappointed as we were swarmed by them from the moment we stepped out of the car. We spent the night in the "lodge" where we had a small comfortable bed in a small shipping container.

After fighting blackflies early the following morning, I sought reprieve by doing a scuba dive in the sound. After all, the flies aren't going to bite underwater. The world underwater is supposed to be unique in the area due to the low light conditions. The water was very cold with not a huge amount of visibility, but I did see a bunch of fish, nudibranches, black coral, lobsters, and even a fur seal.

Back above the water, we tried a trivia contest in the pub at the sound. We finished somewhere around third place, not so great.

After two nights in the sound, we were ready to move along to our next location. Leaving the sound, we got our first dose of rainfall for the trip.

Previous Visit (Te Anau: 1/8/2012)
Next Visit (Manapouri: 1/11/2012)




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