Our last day in Te Anau we spent in Milford Sounds. We had booked ourselves on to a tour, but when we got to the bus it was just us, so we had a private tour. That was really nice because then we could choose how long to spend on each stop. And as it was pouring down with rain we didn’t spend too long on each stop. It took us about 2,5 hours on the bus to get to the boat and then we spent about an hour on the boat looking at the waterfalls, seals, penguins and the scenery. It is really beautiful there but as I said it did rain a lot. The people there said, “the wetter, the better”. But I’m not convinced.
The boat stopped at an information centre halfway through the tour and they had a room that was 64 steps under the water with windows to look out at the fish in the fjord. It was cool because you could see the black corals, they were actually white, and some fish swimming around. The boat then took us back to the bus and the bus took us back to the hotel.
It was a nice day but if we would have had a full bus it would have taken a lot longer.
The day after we drove down to Bluff. We stopped at a bird sanctuary on the way and they had a Takahe which is very rare to see.
From Bluff we had a ferry booked to take us over to Stewart Island. It is an island that not many New Zealander’s have been on. There are 400 people living on the island but it was freezing cold.
The reason for us going there is that you could if you were lucky spot a kiwi bird, as the ones there come out by day.
In the evening we went to one of the two restaurants on the island and the food was great. But halfway through the meal the power went out. They couldn’t cook people’s pizzas or take payments by card. As everybody knows everyone on the island it’s not really an issue, they will just come back the day after and pay.
We came back to our room and the power was still off. The room was ice-cold and we had to sleep with our clothes on with Henry in between us.
The power came back at about 2 in the morning. The lady who served us breakfast said that it was someone that had driven straight into a powerline with their car and done a runner. Everyone in the village was calling each other to find out who it was!
We had booked a tour with a lady to take us to Ulva, a small island the next day that is next to Stewart Island. It’s a place where they introduce near extinct birds back to the wild. They have no predators there, no rats nothing as they cleared it of rats in the 90’s. It was a lovely walk for about 3 hours. We did see lots of different birds including some that they had brought back from the brink of extinction but no Kiwi.
This morning we took the ferry back to the mainland and drove to Queenstown. We have four nights here and then we are flying up to Auckland and then we are going to Australia. I can’t believe we have been in New Zealand for nearly a month already!