Driving, driving, driving, and more driving. To fully experience New Zealand, you are obligated to take a serious road trip. At least, it gave us plenty of time to practice driving on the left side. We started to actually turn on the blinker instead of the windshield wipers!
After another stint on the highway, we arrived in our Fiordland hub- Te Anou. It was the off-season, and we had the entire Cosy Kiwi “bed ‘n’ breakfast” to ourselves. We did everything there was to do in town: We saw the scenic short film of Fiordland, Ata Whenua - Shadowlands; We had coffee and another pumpkin pastry in the town’s sole cafe; And, we checked the conditions of Milford Road- the only driving path to Milford Sound.
Luckily, we had exceptional weather for the season and the drive proved to be another highlight. We found numerous forms of terra, fauna, and flora along our way.
Milford Sound is actually incorrectly named, as it is not a sound at all. I will allow you to look up that definition on your own, if you’re curious. Milford Sound is a genuine fjord, formed by glaciers tearing through the earth.
To sum up our experience, Milford Sound was spectacular. We saw dolphins, seals, waterfalls (and rainbows exposed through their mist) amongst the awesomely carved passageways to the Tasman Sea. Words pale in comparison to the physical visions of the fjord.
Afterwards, we had a light trapse through a moss-covered fairy forest. A serendipitous finding that easily sat amidst my most enjoyed New Zealand moments.
To maximise our time, we took a flight up from Queenstown to Christchurch. It was our first zero-security flight experience to our memory. Neither our carry-on luggage, or ourselves were screened or inspected. Unbelievable and honestly confusing.
Upon arrival in Christchurch, we got back in a rental car and drove north to Kaikoura. We anticipated spending two night in the coastal town… Yet, we had no idea of the looming kerfuffle in our very near future.