Milford Sound and the Te Anau – Milford Highway

We left Te Anau and turned on the Te Anau-Milford Highway. Our first stop was Lake Mistletoe were we had a short 45 min walk.

A photo stop at the Te Anau Downs

was followed by the Mirror Lakes.

We drove on to The Divide where we did the Key Summit Track. It was rather rainy and foggy – typical sound weather, but I wanted to do the hike anyway. You are supposed to have a great view over the Fiordland National Park. The first part of the Key Summit Track is part of the Routeburn Track. It is pretty steep but since the antibiotics finally help I was fit again and it was no problem at all to get up. The track is really nice, although we didn´t have any view. The vegetation changes throughout the track and there are many birds including keas. We had a short lunch snack stop on the top and three hours later we were back to the car.

A 30 min walk at Humboldt Falls came next.

We took a few pictures before the Homer Tunnel before standing in line to get through.

On the other side we wanted to do the Chasm, but the parking lot was so full that we didn´t find a space. So we continued all the way to Milford Sound, had a tea/coffee and a snack to go in the Café there and walked up to the Piopiotahi Milford Lookout.

The Piopiotahi Milford Foreshore Walk followed. It is really beautiful there and we spent quite some time there.

On our way back we managed to get into the Chasm (about 20 minutes return). Another beautiful spot!

I was pretty tired from driving on these mountain roads and all the walking around but since it was raining in the sound and I was hoping for better camping weather closer to Te Anau I fought my way through to Henry Creek were we pitched up the tent for the night. And I was right, the camp site was dry and stayed dry the whole night. We cooked, had dinner and did the dishes in Lake Te Anau (the only water supply on this camp site being a basic DOC one). I sat down to write my journal while Tom explored the surrounding a bit. Later I joined him at the beach to watch the rest of the sun set.

Back to camp we played cards until there were just too many sandflies to stay outside and went to bed.

IMAG2945 (FILEminimizer)
just a few insects there

The next morning we drove the last leg to Queenstown where we parted since traveling together didn´t really work out with Tom and me without a tour where everything is organized and done by somebody else. About half way we stopped in a Café for a short second breakfast.

We had some picture stops on the rest of the way too.

In Queenstown I dropped Tom at his hostel and I went to mine.
With the right company, maybe better weather and more time I would have done two or three nights along that highway, not rushing through so much and taking more time for longer hikes. It is a beautiful area. If you have never been to Milford or Doubtful sound you should definitely go on a cruise or kayak tour too. It is absolutely worth it!

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