Well our day in Milford Sound was unexpected to say the least! We were up early to get on the road before the tour buses from Queenstown arrived. Luckily we stopped at the nearest petrol station to fill the car, as the service station attendant told us that the road to Milford Sound was closed at Hollyford due to snowfall and there wasn’t an expected update until 10:30am. Definitely not what we were expecting 3 days out from the beginning of Summer! So we had over 3 hours to kill before another update came through so I took the time to photograph the old rickety pier in Te Anau.
We had booked the 10:30am boat cruise through Milford Sound, and given it takes over 2 hours to drive there from Te Anau, we knew there was no way we would make the cruise!
We ended up changing to a later cruise and a connecting coach from Queenstown to pick us up on the way through so that we didn’t have to worry about driving through snow. The road re-opened at 11am and we made it to our cruise on time. The snow on either side of the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km long one-way tunnel through the Darran ranges, was spectacular! There were some older Aussies on our coach who had clearly never seen so much snow before. They were acting like big kids, jumping around in the snow and making snow angels! We had a few snow fights before getting back on the coach for Milford Sound.
It rained for the entire boat cruise, but it just added to the experience through one of the eight wonders of the world. After all, it receives over 6,800mm of rainfall a year (more than 5 times the annual rainfall of the Gold Coast), and without all of that rain there wouldn’t be so many beautiful waterfalls in the fjord. We saw Bottle-nose Dolphins and New Zealand Fur Seals and too many waterfalls to count!
Next section of our road trip we head east to The Catlins….