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This morning we groggily woke up at 8am to catch our 8:30am Kiwi Experience Bus for our daytrip to Milford Sound. Luckily our bus picked us up from our (Nomad’s) hostel’s front door so we didn’t have to rush too hard despite sleeping in way too late last night.

The 4-5 hour drive to Milford Sound from Queenstown is rated by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful drives in the world. That’s one more bold claim on my travels, especially after what I seen on my drives from Srinagar to Lehfrom Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, or last year’s drive from Lhasa to Shigatse. But who’s comparing?

The drive kicks off with our feeding some Alpacas at Alpine Lodge:



And then the views that would make this drive one of the most famous:




At one point right before Milford Sound we drive through 1.2km long Homer Tunnel, which only allows single lane traffic that switches every 20-30 minutes and runs at a steep decline causing brake fires in the past. 

There’s also a handful of 5-20min hikes along the way, including one over a chasm and waterfalls:



We arrived promptly at Milford Sound at 2;45pm, boarding our ferry at 3pm.



And for an hour and a half we were treated to this on the upper deck:



We went as far out as the very edge of the fjord before turning back around:



Our boat also went under the mist of Stirling Falls, famous for being the waterfalls that a naked Hugh Jackman jumps off from in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and where the ship lands in Alien: Covenant.




I tried to dance every chance I could get.



Linger here as long as you can; after 3 weeks on the road to get to this very point, I knew in the back of my head that I wouldn’t ever be back here for a very long time.





We were then offerred either a return 4 hour bus drive or a 30-minute $399 NZD Cessna flight back to Queenstown — There is a convenient airstrip around the corner from the harbor for those willing to splurge.

So Taylan, Alexandra, Isaac, Rachel and I were willing to splurge.



As if seeing it from the sea wasn’t enough, imagine it from the air:



And at this point I totally knocked out, making it one of the most expensive naps I ever took. Luckily I was able to wake up for a few seconds in between slumbers to get these shots:



Right now the flyers are freshening up waiting for Mary and Ann to return by bus as we get ready for one final night out together in Queenstown!


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January 2018