Chris Tham's Travel Diary - 11-22 April 2004

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20 April 2004

Day 9 (Tue 20 April) Te Anau to Milford Sound & back

Today is a LOTR-free day, as we visited Milford Sound.

On the way to Milford Sound

We headed off in the morning on SH 8 (Milford Road) which will take us all the way to Milford Sound.

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This is the beautiful Eglington Valley, enclosed by mountain ranges on either side. The day looks very cloudy but so far no rain.

We stopped by Mirror Lakes, which are famous for their near perfect reflections of the mountain scenery during still days.

The waters weren't completely still on the day, so the "mirror" effect is not there, although you can still make out the outlines of the mountain range.

This is Hollyford valley, enshrouded by mist.

The entrance to Homer Tunnel, which is 1219m long with a gradient of 1:10. Construction of the tunnel began in 1935 but it was not finished till 1953.

There are sheer mountain ranges on either side of the entrance to Homer Tunnel. These snow deposits are present all year round.

The rain has formed mini-fountains running down the rocks.

Inside the Homer Tunnel.

Densely populated and moss-covered beech forest at The Chasm, a popular tourist stopping point.

The Chasm is a very deep and narrow gorge cut through space between rocks.

The Cleddau River plunges into the chasm.

Milford Sound

At Milford Sound, we are greeted by an impressive view of Mitre Peak (Rahotu) which rises 1672m above the sea.

Our cruise boat, operated by Real Journeys, arrives to pick us up.

Milford Sound looks mysterious and magical under a layer of clouds.

The boat looks like this (actually, this is a shot of a sister boat, not the one we boarded).

Milford Sound is a popular tourist destinations. This boat allows visitors to stay overnight in the Sound.

This is a picture of Bowen Falls, 160m, named after Lady Bowen who visited Milford Sound in 1871.

Some New Zealand fur seals lying on rocks. They tend to feed on squid, octopus and barracuda at night.

This mighty Stirling Falls, 155m, named after Captain Stirling of HMS Clio.

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