07.03.2014 - 10.03.2014
On my Birthday we drove to Milford Sound. The road can take 2hrs but we stopped at various scenic points to take photos and marvel at the snow topped peaks. On route we went to The Mirror Lakes, Lake Marian and The Chasm for short walks eventually arriving at Milford 4 hours later.
After these spectacular sights Mitre Point at Milford Sound didn't really seem that special. Maybe it was the cloud coverage? Dan surprised me at lunch with a heavenly mini birthday chocolate cake for two and we ate by the river. In the evening we stopped at Lake Gunn DOC site for a night of basic but scenic camping.
Mitre Point, Milford Sound
Dan prepares Birthday fish finger sandwiches
The next day we felt inclined to do a longer walk and took on a 3hr round trip on the Routeburn Track. The guide book did not say it was all uphill on the way! For an hour the track was a steedy uphill narrow track. We refueled with crisps and hot cross buns. Then the last 20 minutes was more of a climb and we took many rest breaks on the way up. Finally we made it to the top and, when the clouds allowed, had a fantastic view. On the downhill route back to the car we passed many people on thier way up. Nearly everyone had all the gear- walking poles, boots, shants.. two seriously cute Chinese tour groups had the lot- water proof trouser cuffs, giant hats and emergency shelters. We saw various large backpacks abandoned by the side of the track. Seriously people. There is no need to buy everything mountain warehouse sells! We made an effort to spurr on people who looked puffed out and politely refrained from pretending the end was in sight when really they had a long way to go. Dan drove us out of Milford Sound and we headed to a cafe with wifi for me to process the 100 whatsapp Birthday messages that flooded in... Okay most were group chats and pictures of the mushrooms growing in my car. We returned to a holiday park in Te Anau for hot showers and went out for dinner. Perhaps not used to rich flavours and large meals we both over indulged and with bloated bellys skipped the pub in favour of a lay down.
We had intended to do another 3 hour walk on the Kepler Track but decided we couldn't be bothered. So we did the opposite and drove to Queenstown for the almighty Ferg Burger. The wait was a mere 20 minutes (over an hour queue can be found at peak times) considering the bap was almost the size of my head with a tastey cajun/lemon yoghurt chicken filling. I can see how its become so popular. We also hit happy hour at Cookie Time for bogof cookies which we munched at 12 Mile Delta Campsite. Our pitch overlooked a hillscape which was so striking it may well have been a hyper real cardboard cutout. We kept in theme and watched Game of Thrones in our little capsule.
THE Ferg Burger
The next morning our plan to go on the gondola was ruined by lots of low clouds so we shopped around town for tacky souvenirs picking up a imitation maori fighting club. Can you guess who choose that one? We cooked lunch overlooking the lake and drove down to The base of Mt Cook to stay the night.