1. Queenstown to Milford Sound
2. Milford Sound Cruise
Finally, after a series of a very long preparation, long hours, long rides and many kinds of transport vehicles, we are now cruising at Milford Sound. I can already say that this is a dream come true. Imagine, a plane ride from Auckland to Queenstown plus another 5-hour bus ride from there to this jetty. But in my case, i will include all my rides that includes all those from Manila to Sydney, to Brisbane, Auckland and then here. If that is not long enough then i rest my case!
Milford Sound Cruise is very famous at the internet, and to people in nearby countries. It really sounds awesome and unusual especially for us from the tropical setting. I observed the groups nationalities in our bus and in the boat and it is a mix of so many nationalities. Many are Caucasians plus a few Asians mostly Japanese. I am sure only my sister and I are from my country, didn't see any from our neighbors in Southeast Asia. I also heared a few conversations speaking either Spanish or Portuguese, and many Europeans.
The cruise had a very wonderful prelude of those sceneries and natural landscapes we saw in the tour bus. So these are the culmination of that story.
We are just about a few minutes from the pier in this shot. The onward view seems not straight as the islands curve and not in a straight configuration.
How awesome it is to have 360 degree angle of view, and we seem to have difficulty which side to take the pictures.
We started inside the airconditioned boat, but after the free coffee and light snack almost everybody went up to the roof deck for a more open
continuous view of the landscape. We are maybe the first
persons to come here, we actually hurried our coffee and sandwiches. Eventually, this space is so full of people.
Mountains seem to have very unique characteristics not repeated among all the mountains. Look at the left which has more solid rocks that hinders more profuse tree growth, versus that at the right which is
more biodiversity friendly.
Even in a range like the above, vegetation and shapes are so
different among themselves.
Inclusion of that hand is intentional, thanks to whoever owns it. The index finger seems to be pointing at the bald mountain whose snowcaps already melted.
The boat goes back when it already reached the end of the sound and about to enter the open sea, already called the Tasman Strait. I can imagine it goes direct to Tasmania in Australia.
That mountain range at the background still has the glaciers
characteristics of this areas.
This mountain seems more friendly to vegetation,
it is lower so don't have a snowline.
I often take photos of my sister to show people at home. We didn't lack tourist shots, the term we call photos with us in there.
There are zeals sunning themselves on some rocks.
Now that mountain has a snow line, but lost also its snowcaps. Look at that waterfalls at the left side, that is tall and big, but we are still away.
Stirling Falls is the most magnificent waterfalls at Milford Sound. It is a plunge type with 151 meters. It can be seen at the right side 15-20 minutes after the boat starts from the jetty. Above photo is taken at the start of the cruise, we were much nearer here on the way back.
Left: Palisade Falls is a ribbon type falls consisting of two parts. The 1st is at 55m high and the lower at 25 meters. It is seen on the way back after the Stirling Falls. It is more porminent after the rain, but sometimes the volume of water is less prominent.
Right: I failed to locate the name of this not permanent falls.
Stirling Falls is one of the permanent waterfalls in the area. On the way back our boat come mear it so we can sample the water spray and take more photos. The guide, in jest, said it is the Niagara Falls of Milford Sound.
another view of the jetty with the mountain spike at the background
a last peek at the pier and boats of Milford Sound
The descriptions of the individual points in the map are in the link below.