A Friend from San Diego has been doing a 2 week trip around the Islands of New Zealand. She contacted me and we figured out how to meet up. She drove the length of the South Island and arrived in Queenstown. For the first time in almost 5 months, I saw a familiar face.
I met Becky through some old colleges at Reef. She is one of those people that is just fun to be around. I was supper excited that I was going to get to hang out with her and I wanted to try and get a few days of road trippin’ in as well. Becky wasn’t alone, her friend Christine is also on the trip. They are friends from Uni and both grew up in Florida. We had a good little crew.
The night they got in, we had a big night out in QT. I took them to a variety of bars, pubs, lounges and a club. I was really hoping to get them hit on by a bunch of 18-20 year old English / Euro guys with spiky hair. Instead they just ended up singing in a drunken boys choir in one of the more notorious young QT bars. Its hard to describe, but it is ridiculous and funny as hell.
The next day was a pretty down day, as we were all hung over. The girls went on a jet boat ride in the early afternoon, and then came back to my place, picked me up and we drove up the Remarkable road to the ski field for sunset. The road was incredibly muddy and slippery. The camper van that the girls had rented did fine, and I’m glad they got to experience the stupidity of the drive up and down.
We got back to my place around dinner time, and I made the girls my favorite meal that I have developed here. Lamb marinara sauce and pasta. We had planned on heading out for another night, but all felt groggy after the meal, and from the night before. Plus we decided to head to Milford Sound early in the morning.
We left about 8:30 am and headed south, then west, then north for the sound. Its only about 40 klm away from QT , but having to drive around mountain ranges, then on an extremely crazy pass road makes the trip about 3 hours.
I don’t think pictures really does this place justice. The cliffs are so big, the terrain so steep and massive. Milford Sound is one of those instances that truly mystifies the brain, kinda like thinking about geologic time. One cannot comprehend 40 million years. This is simply a place that you need to visit to understand. With that said, here are some pictures that miss the magic.
There where massive avalanches that forced the road to Milford Sound to close 4 days before we traveled it. I cannot fathom what these avalanches could have looked like falling from the upper mountains, but they are surreal looking laying at the valley floor. They would have fallen from the peaks above and fallen 4000 vertical feet to a lush green rain forest valley below. Nothing in the mind can comprehend 3 story mounds of snow laying in a green forest, all I my mind could reason was that the snow was trucked in.
Welcome To Milford Sound. Rated one of the top most beautiful places on the planet, and one of the most visited places on the planet.
Milford Sound is technically a fjord. It was carved by a glacier during the last ice age. A classic feature of a fjord is U shaped valleys.
Today was a pretty hard day to shoot pictures. It was actually too sunny, the light was harsh, and the mountains created very dark shadows.
At this waterfall the boat pulled the bow right up to the cliff edge and gave everyone a cup to catch some pure NZ snow pack run off. I’m glad I stayed back to snap pictures, that has got to be cold!
The ferry took about 30 min to reach the mouth of the sound, we then turned around and started heading back into the land.
We got back late to my place this night and basically just crashed out.
The next morning the girls headed up to Wanaka (about an hour north) to visit one of Becky’s friends that is over here from San Diego running a ski race camp. They all took the day and headed up to Treble Cone another NZ ski field. I had to stay back and do a little design work, but ended up meeting them at the ski camp lodge for a night of hanging out in Wanaka.
I met Megan, Becky’s friend and several other American ski coaches. We had a mellow night out and I we had a good night sleep at the lodge. The next morning the girls went skydiving and had there amazing experience with that. You can follow them along there trip through NZ and Australia here.