Te Anau and the Milford Sound

We have just spent a great weekend staying in Te Anau with Raewyn and Wayne at the home of Margaret and Brian, whom we met when we were living in Turkey. At the time, both Margaret and Brian had been injured in a very bad bus accident while travelling in the south of Turkey, but we were delighted to discover that they have fully recovered from their ordeal.

The photo shows, from the left, David, me, Margaret and Raewyn (Brian was out playing bowls for his club). We arrived on Friday evening and dined at La Toscana, the restaurant in Te Anau that is owned by our hosts. We were greeted, Italian style, by a glass of Prosecco and pizza bread. This was followed by the most delicious pastas and we were very pleased that we had decided not to take the car to the restaurant as we really needed that walk home!

The following day, David and I went to Milford Sound. This is situated in the Fiordland National Park and has been awarded 'World Heritage' status. The scenery on the drive to Milford sound was breathtakingly beautiful with indigenous forests and towering mountains capped in ice and snow.

We passed Lake Te Anau and Knobs Flat to cross The Divide before descending into the Homer Tunnel and past the Chasm to arrive at the harbour which is the launching site for boat cruises along the Milford sound. We had picked a gloriously sunny day and the boat trip was utter delight.

The sheer rock walls of the fiord soared 300 metres above us with temperate rainforest clinging to its sides. We sailed the whole length of the fiord and out into the Tasman Sea. Although we only saw some fur seals basking on the rocks and one lonely penguin (at least they said it was a penguin, it could easily have been an old boot floating on the surface of the water as it was quite far away) the cruise was very satisfying. We even sailed close to a waterfall of ancient glacial water coming from a melting glacier high above us.

Folklore has it that this is the fountain of youth as the water is thousands of years old and very pure, so, just in case, we turned our faces to the spray - one never knows about these old wives' tales!

On Sunday morning, David and Wayne ran the last 10 km of the Kepler Challenge before we all tucked in to a mammoth brunch, I really do have to keep up the walking!

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