THE 121KM MILFORD ROAD IS A BEAUTIFUL YET FOGGY JOURNEY TO THE FIORDS. Milford Sound and the entire Fiordland National Park is part of a World Heritage Site and is world-famous for its day trip cruises. When we drove through the Homer tunnel, the weather changed dramatically, and we were greeted with clear skies and a smiling sun. At the port before leaving for our cruise, cheeky sand flies kept hovering around us, reminding us of who’s boss. These seemingly pests are actually here for many years because according to Maori legend, the fiords were so beautiful that the goddess of death introduced Te Namu (sand flies) to remind humans that they are mortal and should not linger here. Great job goddess of death, because no repellents would keep these vicious flies away.
Milford is one of the wettest places on earth (an average of 6700mm a year!) and so once our cruise ship left shore, the rains swept in. Luckily, you can choose to sit inside the ship, and view the amazing natural wonders with a free cup of coffee in hand. The captain introduced us to many famous sites such as the Mitre Peak, a stone structure shaped like an endowed male organ and to a colony of sun bathing fur seals.
Cruise ships leave Milford Downs port for day trips
Having a sip of hot coffee in the cruise ship
WHILE STOPPING HALFWAY FOR A LUNCH BREAK, A CURIOUS KEA BIRD CAME TO VISIT US. Kea birds are a smart and yet cheeky parrot endemic to this region. It is known to be very attracted to human food and all things sparkly (for his private collection of glittery items, I suppose?). They are however somewhat endangered and human activities are a big threat to their survival. It is best just to watch their playful expressions from afar and do not feed them.
We experienced a sudden drop in temperature after the rains, and we were trapped indoors for most of the day. For several nights in a row, we have formed these late evening mens’ talk group discussing everything from career to relationships, sharing jokes to heartfelt stories. We bought several NZ beers in preparation for a warm nice conversation at the hostel lounge when all of a sudden, Eric’s sharp ears picked up a peculiar sound from next door. Moments later, we heard audible moaning and squeaking noises. “They are clearly having a party over there,” I said. “And they are not shy at all.”
We thought the noise would end soon, but it just elevated into a full on romping session. Embarassed, we left the cheeky couple alone and continued our serious “intercourse” (sorry, I forgive me) back in our room. It was a weird day after all, we were being harassed first by the sand flies, then by a kea, and by the sounds of our overly excited neighbors. What a day!
Kea, a glacier parrot that LOVES humans
Levitation of the day: Milford Sound