Nov. 13, 2012 The following are the thoughts and feelings of Greg as he explored Milford Sound aboard the ship. G was most impressed by the first waterfall he saw. He stated “It was tall and it splashed up after hitting a rock.” His other reflections on this trip are “It was nice, very, very nice.” Now I must admit that I asked him his opinion after we had done Doubtful Sound and even after we had arrived on Stewart Island. In all fairness, at the time we took the day cruise, he was impressed by the sight of the Sound and more impressed by the trip there. On this trip we had chosen a combination tour which included hiking and a boat trip on the Sound. The trip to Milford Sound was marked by the appearance of sharply peaked mountain ranges, many with snow still on them. There were numerous mountains which had water falls cascading down them. Our guide told us that they were not in their full glory as their best show appears after a heavy rainfall.
G and I really preferred to take this trip in the sunlight as you get the best views of the mountains and the Sound this way. It would have been okay if it had rained on the way back, but that did not happen.
The Sound itself is relatively small with the dominant feature being Mitre Peak which assaults the eyes as one begins the journey through the dark water. On each side are mountains curtained with forests of beech. Large open faces of granite stare at you where land slips had occurred many years ago. Waterfalls abound. Rocks have seals on them.
Much too soon the Tasman Sea is reached and the return trip is started.
Our hike was to the Key Summit on the Routeborn track. We again noted that the trails are contoured to the mountain with not much thought given to easing the hiker’s access to the top. In other words, it was steep, but we are hardy and up we went in record time.
G did not get to be the first one of our group there as he was hampered by a picture taking companion. The views were worthy of the effort we had put forth to reach Key Summit.
360 degrees of stunningly close peaks with snow filled bowls rolling into granite sides which merged with the tenaciously held forest. After we hiked back down, the guide prepared us afternoon tea replete with tea, coffee and cookies.