Located in the southwestern corner of the South Island of New Zealand, Fiordland is a rather remote but spectacular area of tall mountains, deep lakes, green forests, and gushing waterfalls. We drove down to Te Anau for a few days a couple of weeks ago.
Milford Sound is one of the key attractions in Fiordland, about a 2-hour drive from Te Anau.
1. Just the drive up from Te Anau on the Milford Highway is worthwhile. The soaring cliffs and waterfalls crashing down from them are awe-inspiring.
2. Arguably the best driving road in the world?IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qPmEs3 Cleddau Valley by FuzzSummit, on Flickr
3. While I'm not a big fan of organized tours, a cruise on the Milford Sound was awesome. We did the cruise right after a rainy day, and so got to see a lot of waterfalls (which normally don't "run" when it's dry).
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qz5c8G Milford Sound by FuzzSummit, on Flickr
4. Milford Sound at twilight. Make sure to pack a lot of insect repellent, because the sand flies are unbelievably irritating.IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/pVv7Dz Milford Sound twilight by FuzzSummit, on Flickr
5. Tons of alpine lupins were in bloom.
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qzcA62 Cascade Creek by FuzzSummit, on Flickr
6. We hiked the Key Summit Track. The low clouds on the way up were quite unreal -- looked almost fake, as if someone had turned down the blinds.
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qzcJPz Who turned down the blinds? by FuzzSummit, on Flickr
7. But as the clouds burned off, the views over Hollyford Valley were magical.
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qRDYHV Key Summit views by FuzzSummit, on Flickr
8. The walk on the Kepler Track was fantastic, complete with swinging bridges through dense beech and fern forests.IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qShdUP Hiking Kepler Track by FuzzSummit, on Flickr