Te Anau, Glow Worms & Milford Sounds

After leaving behind Dunedin we arrived in Te Anau. This was one of those times that you randomly pic something not thinking it will have much effect on your life and then discover you have found something wonderful. This was Te Anau!

The pictures in my flickr site after the Otago Museum are of us swimming in this amazing clear, land locked, beautiful, cold lake that lies at the foot of some stunning mountains. We couldn’t believe we had been so lucky as to get accommodation (so cheaply) in such an amazing location (next time we have to pic cabin 169 – it has the best view and location).

That night we went on a tour of the Glow Worm caves. It is cold, wet, and a little small (if Dr Krystal could do it, so could I!) This was a really lovely experience. I had expected the glow worms to be much much bigger, but they are the tinniest little things, the ceilings of the caves looked liked someone had just installed tiny blue LEDs at different brightnesses (the brighter the glow worm the hungrier it is). It was a very pretty and romantic trip and only a little bit scary. Now, because this is my journal thing I get to write whatever I like, so here I shall share with you one of my favorite poems:

I’d love to be a glow worm
A glow worm is never glum
It’s hard to be downhearted
When the sun shines out your bum

We were not allowed to take any photos inside the glow worm caves as it disrupts things for them so I’m afraid I can’t share any wonderful pics but you can visit the Real Journey’s site (the people we took our tour with) and have a look there.

There are a series of pics we took the morning after we arrived, I’m pretty impressed with these pics (and even Craig finally decided to have a play with my camera for the first time ever so he could also capture some of this stunning morning). I had walked out of our cute triangle cabin to go down to the showers, as I reached the showers I stoped dead in my tracks, if the view of the lake the evening before was stunning, this was simply magical. I had Craig race back up to our room to get my camera and tripod and rushed down the the lake side to capture this spectacular image. I took a panaramic shot of the mountains and at some point I will connect all the pics together and print them out.

It was about this point that I also fell in love with ducks, so in the future you will see a quit a few duck pics (sorry about that but they were just too cute). Now I must also mention the last photo in Te Anau is of the Olive Grove, they serve a fantastic dinner and breakfast, very worth the visit.

After my morning photo session, we packed our bags and headed off to Milford Sounds. There is a great photo that we almost didn’t get as the camera battery was basically dead and so the camera really didn’t want to respond, but we did get it “great pic”. For those who don’t get it, there is a picture of a brown tourist sign pointing to “The Divide” and directly below that sign is a blue sign with an arrow pointing in the same direction with a picture of “woman|man” (we thought it was funny).

The passage into Milford sounds is along a windy road (where we got to see part of a car commercial being filmed by a low flying, sideways flying helicopter) and that white stuff in the pics – snow – actually snow in summer. There is a tunnel that you have to wait at to get through to the final pass into Milford and if I had have wanted to (which I did but everyone else didn’t want to miss the 15min window when the lights change to let us through the pass), I could have gotten out of the car and gone on a short wonder off the road to touch and play with the snow (remember this is the middle of summer, and you have to excuse my excitment about such things as I had only touched snow once before in my life when I was about 11). Finally the lights changed and we were able to continue on to our destination.

Now, at this point my camera had no battery power (remember The Divide), so I was a little sad that I might not be able to take any photos of the Sounds, however, the nice people at the cafe allowed me to plug in my charger and we had enough to snap away happily, which is lucky for us as there are more photo’s of Milford Sound then of anything else in our entire holiday I believe. This is partly because it was really amazing scenery and partly because Craig had adopted my camera and so we were both having fun taking photos for the entire trip.

Aside from giant mountains, waterfalls and seals, we also had a short stop over at the Underwater Observitory, unfortunatly the wonderful sunny weather we had been praising thus far also results in the algi blooms growing so the water was a little cloudy so we couldn’t see very far out into the water, oh and the guy in the wetsuit outside – he really is the window washer!

We had a lovely, windy, lazy and wet (at least Bill who got soaked when the boat put its front end into a waterfall) splendid day. Ohh, that pump you see Craig hand pumping, he is actually, really and trully pumping petrol into our car. Only New Zealanders can get petrol in Milford Sound, the rest of us have to try our luck several ks down and off the main road and a very quant camping place compleate with H-bomb.

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