Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New Zealand Scenic Drive 3 - Highway 94 Te Anau to Milford Sound

Before we hit this world famous route, we have heard and read so many rave reviews about it. I was glad that we did go on this one.

We decided to make Te Anau our base for the return day-drive to Milford Sound. We did not want to drive all the way from Queenstown – because you'll have less time for photo stops and the Milford Sound cruise.

Do take note that the road could be closed if an avalanche is impending. So check with the Information Center at Te Anau before proceeding.

We stopped at a few lovely places along the way – the Mirror Lake, the Hollyford Valley Lookout, the Chasm, and the Homner Tunnel.

Our first stop was the Mirror Lake. Here, you may take a 5-minute boardwalk stroll and stare at the calmness of the water. If you let your imagination stray a bit and just stare into the water for a while, you'll start to wonder....Where does the real image end and the reflection begin?

The Hollyford Valley Lookout is also worth a stop. There’s just something special about mountain slopes cloaked in evergreen vegetation.

Our next stop, the Chasm, is not visually spectacular. However, if you are there on a sun-drenched day, you might get to see quaint little rainbows above the swashbuckling water – like we did.

Also, you might want to stand on the walkway just above the water and listen to the crashing noise created by the gushing water. I stood there and felt a stirring awe. Notice also how the boulders and rock-faces have been carved and molded by the rushing waters.

The Homner Tunnel makes it possible to drive all the way to the Sound. But you have to wait for the lights to change because cars can pass only one way.

Meanwhile, get out of your car and soak in the sheer rock-faces here. On a rainy day, you could see surreal streaks of waterfalls flowing down these dark rock-faces. If the mist and clouds scud lowly across the area, you would be treated to a mystical panorama not unlike a scene from the Lord of the Ring.

The Road ends at the famous Milford Sound. Here, we booked a half-day cruise with the Red Boat company. I’ll write about the cruise in another post.


Anonymous Go!smelltheflowers said...

We loved your blog posts on New Zealand and made a post about one of them in our blog at www.gosmelltheflowers.com/blog/?p=65

Hope you can find the time to check it out.

10:43 AM  

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