We left the Westcoast for Queenstown. The closer we came the less cloudy it was. After a lot rain and clouds to almost the ground we were happy to see blue skies and our mood brightened up. But it was shaken in an instant as we had forgotten to refill our fuel. The moment we realized we were in an area with only few gas stations and had some hills coming up we prayed that Hector Constantin–our campervan–wouldn’t be too thirsty. We drove up the hills very slowly and rolled them down. With the last drop of fuel we made it to the only gas station. We didn’t care about the high prize, we sighed with relief and then realized how beautiful it was around us: We had reached Lake Wanaka! Crystal clear water with a deep blue color and white crests on the waves. And wind. A lot of it. The camera was shaking while taking photos.
At the south end of Lake Wanaka is the town Wanaka. Though it’s beautiful it was crowded by thousands of tourists. We didn’t stay longer than needed and took the road to Queenstown which took us over the highest sealed road of New Zealand: the Crown Summit Peak, 1076m high. And on the Peak you have a breathtaking view down into the valley of Queenstown! I was scared at first but curiosity won and I overcame my fear of height a little bit more–even the serpentines down the peak didn’t frighten me as much as normally. Happy about the success, we reached Quenstown and realized it’s a nice little town but we are not adventure tourists and so there was not much to do for us. We stayed one night, had a great breakfast–”Eggs Benedict” for the first time–in a café and then drove to Te Anau–the town from where tours to the famous Milford Sound start.
We had booked one of these tours and to make it short: it was a m a z i n g ! There is only one road to the Sound and as the bus drove the winding roads our guide explained the landscape passing by and made several stops for us to take photos. Fields of lupines, high mountains with waterfalls, a mirror lake and endless green valleys until we reached the Sound. We were already satisfied with stunning views as we got on the boat that took us through the Sound. Due to a lot rainfall, the mountains surrounding the Sound were covered by hundreds of thin but long waterfalls, like veins. Some of them were said to be 1000m high, like the mountains. It was truly amazing and beautiful.
On the way back almost everyone on the bus fell asleep. The beauty of Milford Sound definitely had caught us all.