After four days of tramping we figured it was time to give our legs a rest. So we booked a sea kayaking adventure on Milford Sound. The weather was perfect, clear, sunny and very still. We arrived at Milford Sound and were kitted out with thermals, buoyancy aids, spraydecks etc.. and were given a bit of a briefing by our guide Tracy. We were all in double kayaks - lucky Louisa got to be with me again!
Louisa and Helen in the double kayak
We started out in Deep Water Basin amongst the lobster fishing huts and boats. The water was glassy and clear and the kayaks just glided along with little effort. We headed out in to the main sound to be greeted by a very large cruise liner that was pumping out lots of fumes... what a shame! Supposedly they have to pay a lot of money to come in to the sound and this ship was certainly making the most of it, it spent the whole day going back and forth in the sound. It did, however, give you a sense of scale, as the large cruise liner looked small compared to Mitre Peak.
Paddling towards Mitre Peak
We started by paddling over to Bowen Falls and then along the northern edge of the sound looking out for wildlife on the rocks and in the clear water. We saw a couple of young male fur seals hanging out on the rocks. As we crossed the sound towards Mitre Peak we were also lucky enough to see a Fiordland penguin - but it was too shy to let us get close and photograph it.
We stopped on one of the few beaches to have some lunch and then headed up to see where the Milford Track ends at Sandfly Point. There were certainly a few sandflies around - especially when we were stopped for lunch. The wind picked up after lunch and it was a little bit of a battle paddling back to Deep Water Bay. It was a really relaxing and beautiful way to see Milford Sound on a perfect day.
On the way back from Milford Sound to Te Anau we stopped at lots of different spots along the scenic drive to look at waterfalls, chasms, spectacular views, as well as a stop for ice cream and a cup of tea! The guides knew lots about the area and provided us with lots of little anecdotes along the way.
Helen and Louisa
It was a great trip - but just too short. So many other things to do in spectacular Fiordland. I'm sure we'll be back again.