A visit to New Zealand must include a trip to the southern island and Fiordland. Auckland is an ordinary enough city with a great harbour and plenty of yachting activities, but you can get that in any one of a number of cities around the globe.
The best way to see New Zealand is by driving. Yes, the steering wheel is on the left but outside the larger cities and towns, you can drive forever without encountering more than a half dozen vehicle's you could possibly hit. Sheep on the other hand, are a different problem, although in most areas, there is so much land for herds of sheep to graze on, they seldom need to cross a road.
Today, Arrowtown remains as New Zealand's only living Historic gold Mining Town.
One of around six boats set up to take tourists out to the Sound.
We arrived and settled into a small motel in Te Anau the day before our planned trip out to Mildford Sound. However, everything was on hold due to some environmental "hazard" at the Sound. Apparently, someone had siphoned some fuel out of a tank of one of the boats, into the water, as a planned protest against the ongoing plans to perhaps expand the tours on the Sound. There's got to be a better way to get your point of "protecting the environment" through than by harming the environment.
We were awakened and informed at 5 am the next morning that the whole mess had been cleaned up so we did make our two and a half hour scenic drive out to Milford Sound.
The trip out the Sound was enjoyable and we could see the point of trying to stop any further expansions in the fleet. It is a beautiful place with dramatic landscapes but not unlike many other areas on the southern island.
The town of Te Anau is not much more than a couple of streets with restaurants, shops, and motels. Plenty of places to get your Fiordland souvenirs, if you are so inclined, or kayaking, camping, or hiking(tramping) gear. Strangely enough there's also a sizable Korean supermarket. Or maybe not so strange. There are growing pockets of Asians relocating to New Zealand, especially from Korea. Other than all this, the town itself doesn't have much else to offer. What remains the highlight of Te Anau are it's natural surroundings.
Out on Milford Sound
Hiking, or "tramping" as they call it in New Zealand.
The southern island of New Zealand is truly a naturally scenic place. You can see why so many people spend so much time on outdoor activities.
I once believed that New Zealand was "a long way to travel" to get to "not much there", and although it's true that our first few visits were a "stop along the way", we enjoyed every minute of our time there. So if you're into bold scenic landscapes and are on your way to Australia, or some destination in the South Pacific, you may want to swing by Fiordland.
Te Anau, New Zealand time
**Memories: Dramatic landscapes, deer farms, and "the worst spaghetti I've had in my entire life"