March 3 - Milford Sound
For a real treat and something different, we took a tour bus from Q-town to Milford Sound, where we took a boat tour out on the Sound, and returned by coach to the front door of our campground. In that fashion, neither of us had to drive, and we could both enjoy the scenery, which approached sensory overload with each turn of the road! The coach tour was with Milford Sound Select, and our driver, Lester, was an amateur naturalist as well as an all around nice guy. He pointed out many things we would have had no way of knowing about, and made many stops we would, no doubt, have driven right by. The bus itself was deluxe, and we had the front seats on both sides of the aisle - talk about being spoiled! The scenery was stunning as well as varied, from mountains to pastures and from tropical forest to small towns, and we were both very busy taking pictures. Once at the Sound, we were ticketed to the Real Journeys Line, and enjoyed a roomy, multi-decked vessel that was purposefully built for tourists. We circled Milford Sound in about two hours, and had a running commentary by the Captain of the ship about the area. The weather was fantastic; blue skies, little wind, and warm sun...it just couldn't have been better...and then we were chauffeured back home! The entire day was about 13 hours, pick-up to drop-off, and was tremendous value for the money. What a fantastic way to see the dramatic scenery of Fjordland.
The picture is from our tour boat; we are just taking off and need to thread the channel you see. Mitre Peak is 1,692 metres high (just over a mile), named after the mitre headwear of Christian bishops. It was named by a survey crew from the HMS Acheron.