It was my second day in the beautiful town and the day was supposed to start quite early. As early as leaving at almost six in the morning. A four-hour drive one way to board the cruise which will take me to one of the most beautiful journeys.
Since our group's coach was supposed to bring us to the place we had everything settled. However, if you are traveling solo; you can contact any of the local travel operators and they can reserve you a seat on the bus and on the cruise for Milford Sound. If you are staying at Queenstown consider your whole day to be given for this attraction. And if you are staying at Te Anau town; the journey is cut in half.
It was a two-hour drive to the first stop at Lake Te Anau. But the journey of two hours was a gorgeous journey with Wakatipu Lake accompanying us for the first hour. When we left in the morning; the sky was clear and the weather was just perfect for the day. But as we went ahead sky started taking out its blanket of clouds and weather was changing in a matter of minutes. I was still praying for the best weather once I am on board for the Milford Sound.
After two hours we reached Lake Te Anau. Our first stop. The lake covers an area of almost 344 square meters being the second largest lake in New Zealand. Several rivers come and meet the lake; Eglinton river being the most important one. After the stopover of 30 minutes, we started our further journey of another two hours.
The lake is situated in the area called as Fiordland National Park which is the largest of the 14 parks in New Zealand. The Te Anau Milford highway is the route which takes you to the Milford Sound.
Te Anau Lake. The Best Day While in Queenstown. Image Source - Strikingly
In the surroundings of this area, you also get to see many Manuka trees. It grows mostly on the north side of the town of Te Anau. The trees are around 15 feet high and have small leaves and very dark branches. The tree is considered to have medicinal properties and said to be used for making Manuka Honey.
But when you have such long journeys in New Zealand, you are never going to be bored of it. And this leg of the journey had multiple pit stops at some wonderful locations. And the first one on the list is Eglinton Valley.
As the vehicle keeps moving ahead on the road; you get to see beautiful combinations of mountains and blue sky together with an open road ahead of you. On the drive of 30 minutes from Te Anau, this valley gives you some amazing views of the mountains and open sky. The huge land area keeps you busy and you cannot stop admiring the nature. The valley also houses a variety of flora and fauna.
Myself posing at Englington Valley. The Best Day While in Queenstown. Image Source :- Mitali's Travel Diary
But as we had to keep ourselves on time for the cruise we moved ahead for our next stop which was Mirror Lake.
As the name says, a lake that reflects the surroundings in the water. Vehicle stops at a side of the main road and you need to walk for five minutes inside to see the beauty of the lake. You get to see the best views on the clear and calm mornings. The place is so amazing that you can hold your camera at any angle, and the best photo is all you get.
Mirror Lake. The Best Day While in Queenstown. Image Source :- Mitali's Travel Diary
After getting clicked in all directions I was supposed to take next stop at Monkey Creek. Nahhhh!!! I did not really get to see monkeys here. The place got its name from William Holmer's dog whose name was 'Monkey'. It is a beautiful spot with some pristine views leaving you in awe of its beauty.
Monkey Creek.The Best Day While in Queenstown. Image Source :- Mitali's Travel Diary
The place is located in the Hollyford Valley. The Monkey Creek is a glacier feeding spring; water is so pure that all tourists who stop here, refill their bottles to get a taste of the icy cold water. Along with all of this you sometimes also get to see the alpine parrot of New Zealand, kea.
The next and last stop before we reach our final stop was the Chasm Waterfalls. The vehicle takes you to the car park for the Chasm falls. You need to take a walk of almost five to seven minutes to reach the bridge which takes you in the middle of the Chasm falls. Thousands of years of flowing water have created gaps and shapes in the rock.
Chasm Waterfalls. The Best Day While in Queenstown. Image Source :- Mitali's Travel Diary
Another 15 minutes drive and we arrived at the pier to board our cruise to Milford Sound. The cruise was quite a big cruise with a capacity of almost 200 tourists along with buffet lunch setting on the lower deck.
Milford Sound Cruise. The Best Day While in Queenstown. Image Source :- Mitali's Travel Diary
Milford Sound is a fjord in Southwest of New Zealand's south island. Fjord meaning the long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs. It is home to fur seal colonies, penguins and if you are really lucky enough, you get to see dolphins as well. Milford sound towers miter peak as well as multiple rainforests and waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen.
I was not really interested in having my meal; I was dying to go up and stand on the open deck to get some great clicks and enjoy the nature as much as possible. As the cruise went ahead we could see a mighty waterfall on the side. It was mesmerizing to see the lush green rainforests, sky covered with clouds and open water in front of us. Further ahead we got to see seals and penguins in their natural habitat. But probably it was not that lucky day for me to spot the dolphins.
Fjords View From the Cruise. The Best Day While in Queenstown. Image Source :- Mitali's Travel Diary
It was not raining anymore but the weather was too windy making it more and more difficult for everyone to stay outdoor. But the surrounding was worth all the cold wind. We went out to the Tasman sea and returned the same way. Further down the cruise stopped at the wonderful Bowen falls. And I went crazy clicking photographs. The beauty of the waterfall could not stop me from being so. The cruise ride took almost two hours from the starting point to come back to the same point.
Waterfalls En-route The Fjord Journey. The Best Day While in Queenstown. Image Source :- Mitali's Travel Diary
The two hours taught me why is it such a wonderful and one of the greatest attractions in the world. No wonder!!! Rudyard Kipling once called it as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World'.
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