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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Milford Sound (via Queenstown)

From Christchurch we journeyed to Queenstown, an incredible resort town known for great skiing and extreme adventure.

Our first full day we were scheduled to fly from Queenstown to Milford Sound, cruise around the sound and then fly back home. Ballers! It's quite a drive from Queenstown to the Sound and I'd heard incredible things about the flight (plus a HUGE time saver). It took a lot (A LOT) of convincing to get 5/6 of us on board that plane (with the other 1/6 opting instead to golf with no regrets!). Flights are able to operate about 200 days / year, so they like you to book in for your first full day in Queenstown. That way if weather cancels your trip there's still flexibility to go another day.

Milford Sound is an easy-to-miss-from-the-sea fiord having initially been overlooked by European explorers and Captain James Cook. Its narrow entry from the sea doesn't appear to lead to such a large interior bay. Milford Sound is known for towering Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen falls, which plummet down its sheer sides. The fiord is home to fur seal colonies, penguins and dolphins.

Our pilot told us the cruise around the Sound would be lovely but in reality, the flight would be the most spectacular part. I could not agree more!

We scored with weather! We had the most spectacular clear skies and calm winds on our way to Milford Sound. Our pilot happily noted they get two days / year like that. I will never in my life be able to describe in words the beautiful, pristine, untouched incredibleness we saw from the sky and sea.

Our 16-seater plane!

View from inside the plane

Aaron and the boys on the 3-seat couch at the back of the plane

That other plane was our pilot's dad and his passengers

And some from the cruise!

Beautiful sights from the cruise
Seal rock 
It was a bit chilly on the Sound!

With my mini-me

We snagged some American goldfish crackers at a local shop! And the boys totally represented their American roots with their Detroit sports team gear <3. 

The flight back to Queenstown wasn't nearly as smooth but it was equally as beautiful. Nani even got to fly co-pilot on the way back!

While 5/6 of us did the fly-cruise-fly day, Papi chose to tackle the Queenstown Golf Club! He was thrilled to have the opportunity to play such a beautiful course. We missed him, but we were all happy that everyone found special activities that suited them!

This was only one day in Queenstown. Lots more about Queenstown and surrounding towns next...!

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