The bus picked me up for my daytrip to Milford Sounds first thing this morning. The driver was an old man with a cynical, dry sense of humour. He urged everyone on the tour to ask him any questions that came to mind and added “now I don’t know everything, if I did I wouldn’t be driving this bloody thing”.
The drive to Milford was gorgeous and we stopped a bunch of times to take some pics at photo worthy spots. Largely the drive is through a number of different mountain ranges–feels kinda like driving in BC. We also stopped to get some fresh water at a stream, see a kea (alpine parrot), and check out the mirror lakes.
An added bonus was that our driver happens to be on the “a-team” for the Hobbit production team. That means that when they need transportation for the film he among 23 other guys are the first ones to be called. So he was able to point out lots of lesser known filming locations. Sounded like a pretty good gig too–five star accommodation at the location, celeb sightings, and beautiful driving. He did say that logistically it was pretty crazy as the largest production team was 1,000 people–requiring a convoy of 170 vehicles for transport.
We arrived at Milford Sound in the late afternoon and enjoyed a nice long boat ride. The area are a result of a gigantic glacier from the ice age melting years and years ago. As a result Milford Sound is home to some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking the whole cruise. The cruise took us down the narrow straights all the way to where it meets the Tasman Sea and back.