The Milford Road, Routeburn, and on to Queenstown

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The Milford Road - looking back

The Milford Road

We witnessed Milford Sound with spectacularly clear skies on the morning we left for Queenstown. Miranda and I agreed that Milford was more majestic with the fog and rain.

The long and twisty road from Milford to Te Anau was beautiful, and a little scary at times. The Homer Tunnel was particularly ‘fun’. It was built in the 1950′s to complete the road, and it goes straight through a big mountain. Only wide enough for one lane of traffic, there is a set of lights at each end. Often tunnels wind around corners, but this one actually dips down!

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Looking back as we approach the Homer Tunnel

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We couldn't help but stop at the Mirror Lakes one last time.

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Suprisingly the reflection looked more amazing then the real thing

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Where mountains meet water

Queenstown

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View of the lake as we drive into town

Queenstown is full of every extreme sport you can think of.  Neither of us being adrenaline junkies, we took the opportunity to explore some of the trails and scenery. A grueling hike up to the Skyline Gondola, turned out to be a bit of fun. At the top there was a free chair lift ride. It wasn’t very long, but had great views of the lake and town.

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All smiles on the free chair lift!

We also got in our first bungy jump! HAH! Fooled you… we didn’t actually participate in the action, but we did get to watch a girl take the leap of faith off a platform sticking out of the side of the mountain – right out over the city! Crazy….

Routeburn

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I love the thick mat of moss as the forest floor that you can see in this photo

A great drive through the country side to Glenorchy took us to the start of the Routeburn Track – another of the Great Walks. We did a day hike up to the Routeburn Falls Hut – lots of swing bridges, and views of the river. Once up at the Falls Hut, it was amazing to look down on the flats.

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Lots of swing bridges! Some more swingy then others

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How many beautiful rivers? Endless

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Miranda's camera has a cool setting where you can pick one colour to highlight - this one shows just how turquoise the water is

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A well named creek if I ever saw one

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View from the Falls Hut down onto the Routeburn Flats

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Just as we were heading back, a helicopter flew in over our heads and landed on the near by platform. Very cool to see one flying so close - also somewhat terrifying... and of course produced fits of giggles captured here

3 Comments

  1. great shots emily!
    i know it’s a tough haul walking around that country, glad to see you’re keeping a stiff upper lip.
    love dad
    p.s. we’re assuming you’ll be there for christmas, we’re going to stay on the coast this year.

    Reply
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