Spring Break: Fiordland

Day 9
This day started with another scenic drive over to Fiordland National Park. I actually did a project on this area back in high school so it was really cool to actually be there. This is the area that includes Milford Sound. We didn't actually go to the sound that day but we had to follow the road until we were almost there. About 45 minutes before we would have reached the sound we pulled into a parking lot for a hike. We hiked part of the Routeburn Track which is one of the great walks. The great walks are a set of walks in New Zealand that are really well maintained and take multiple days to complete. We would only be doing a day of it since we still had a lot to see. It started off a little cool but warmed up quickly as the day went on. We stopped for lunch at one of the huts and had a little picnic. The area was right on a lake and had some awesome views. There were tons on sandflies though so we didn't hang around long. After lunch we continued to our destination which was a huge waterfall. We came to a waterfall before it and got a little upset because we thought that was it but luckily we continued on and found the real Earland Falls. It was really big and there was a rainbow at the bottom. After stopping at the bottom for pictures we turned around and went back to the parking lot. The whole hike took about six hours which made it the longest hike on the trip. We really lucked out with the weather and it only rained on us a little even though the forecast predicted much more. We then drove back out of the park to Te Anau which is the closest town. After dinner we pretty much called it a night.

The path through the rainforest.
Day 10
We didn't really have much planned for this day which provided us with some relaxation later in the day. But first we had a cruise around Milford Sound. The ride there had some more amazing views and some scary moments. The weakest driver in the group was in charge that day and we were running a little late which caused us to take some turns a bit quickly. We survived though and got there just in time to literally run onto the boat. It was raining a little bit outside which would normally be a bad thing but it's best to se Milford Sound in the rain so we were happy. There are always two waterfalls that you can see but in heavy rain thousands of waterfalls appear and they only remain for an hour or so after the rain stops. There wasn't heavy rain so we didn't see tons but there were still quite a bit. We also saw some dolphins on the cruise which only happens 1/4 of the time. It was a great cruise but to be honest I think we were all a little underwhelmed. Milford Sound is supposed to be the top tourist attraction in all of New Zealand but in my opinion it wasn't as good as it was made to seem. I think the fox glacier was a little bit cooler but Milford Sound is still a must do if you have the time. After the cruise I took a nice nap on our ride back to the hostel. Once we got back we watched European Vacation which had some  similarities to our road trip. I was the only one who had ever seen it before but the others enjoyed it, even if it did take a little convincing to get them to watch it in the first place.
The best picture I managed to get of the dolphins.
One of the extra waterfalls due to the rain.


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