We took our time to get to the Milford Sounds since there was spectacular alpine scenery all along the way. Mirror lakes, valleys, snowy mountains and the Homer Tunnel. The tunnel had been once the longest gravel-surfaced tunnel in the world (since 2010 paved) with a gradient of 1 in 10.
At the parking bays at the tunnel curious Keas came by – mountain parrots. The sun was shining and we were eager to get on the boat for a better view of the fiords. The Milford Sounds is one of 14 fiords in the Fiordland National Park.
Mountains (e.g. Mitre Peak with 1692m) rising from deep fiords and waterfalls dropping 160m into this 16km long fiord formed a mind blowing landscape.
The next day we weren’t so lucky with the weather. Due to strong wind and heavy rain we had to turn around on our track to the key summit (3 hours return tour). The wind was so heavy that the rain purred in our faces and the summit track was in open field.
So we decided to turn around and find some shelter in the forest. We went to a hut which was beautifully set at a lake. Fallen trees made the route a bit tricky to get through. We got out of our completely soaked rain clothes and had a hot soup.
So we continued towards the Catlins. No more tramping in this weather.