Well we really struck it lucky with our trip to Milford Sound as the weather was great, the sun shone and there was no rain, which is a bit of a miracle in these parts! Fjordland National Park is one of the wettest places in the world with Milford Sound averaging more than 6m a year. The bus left Queenstown at 8am and luckily I met Orla again, who'd been on the Magic bus to Franz Josef so she was great company. Our driver was another very friendly chatty Kiwi guy and he kept us entertained the whole trip. We did the usual round of toilet, tea and photo stops along the 4hr trip, including Lake Te Anau, Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, Monkey Creek (& Mt Talbert ?), Knobs Flat (hee, hee), the Homer Tunnel (where we saw several cheeky Kea parrots), and The Chasm. The journey through Fjordland was stunning and there was no shortage of rugged, snowtopped peaks to get everyone snapping away madly. At Milford itself we boarded the Milford Monarch which took us on a 90 minute cruise up the Sound, out to the Tasman Sea. The highlights being Mitre Peak and the scores of waterfalls including the magnificent Stirling Falls. We also saw several fur seals basking on rocks -unfortunately there weren't any dolphins or penguins about today.
Geography fact of the day: Milford Sound is actually a fjord rather than a sound. A fjord is an ice-carved valley that has been flooded by the sea afer the glacier's retreat, whereas a sound is a river valley flooded by the sea following a rise in sea levels or depression of the land. However, Milford Fjord doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
On the way back to Queenstown the driver put on a DVD of 'The World's Fastest Indian', a film about New Zealander Burt Munro's quest to break the land-speed record on his Indian Scout motorcycle. Anthony Hopkins plays Burt and it's definitely worth watching if you get a chance, and you don't have to be mad about bikes either to enjoy it.