There isn’t a lot I can say about Milford Sound and the trip to get there that cannot be conveyed through the pictures. We were incredibly lucky with the weather and only had a half day of rain in the whole trip. We drove down slowly, taking time to stop at a variety of picture points, small walks and hikes off the road.
It is hard to explain quite how remote Fiordland really is. Its a comfy 6h from Queenstown and for 2/3rds of that drive you need to expect no cell phone coverage. Once you are past Te Anau there is none. at. all. Milford is off the grid so runs off generators and hydroelectric. If you do want to use internet its via satellite (and surprisingly usable!)
We stayed ay Milford Sound Lodge and were really super impressed with the accommodation, people and the food. And the kea who came to our door every time he saw us.
We did a lovely boat tour with a stop in at the Discovery Centre. I wasn’t really sure what we would see ‘under water’ in a fiord – for the record – plenty! A huge variety of fish, corals, sea cucumbers, star fish and anemones. On the boat tour we saw seals and little crested penguins.
After two amazing days down there, we headed back to Queenstown for a couple of nights before coming home. Great food, fun on the Luge and gondola. More great food. Then lots of driving with big vistas. Long hours. But worth it.
Warm winter light and time to play at the playground. We have been pottering through this winter, a little homeschool in the mornings, lazy afternoons. We use a reading programme and I do a little maths and spelling with her (on a small and informal scale) but most of the rest is just letting the kid follow her heart and her interests. Currently that means spending a lot of time on her monkey bars, playing with her dolls and play dates with friends. She has a writing (and read aloud) group fortnightly which includes a extended playtime afterwards for all the children.
Lazy play where the kids run barefoot or gumbooted round gardens, bounce on trampolines. Carry the muddled heads of snowmen about or chalk up a concrete patio. It is interesting watching kids who are broadly unscheduled; play. There is a relaxation, a lack of urgency to what they do. Its a delight and a lesson.
She loves to bike and hike so we often find ourselves peddling to playgrounds or the woods. Or a afternoon in the hills if the weather is nice. She voraciously follows her own extra curricular interests, dancing and gymnastics four days a week at the moment. Rather more than I had hoped for but she was quite determined not to drop anything before the end of the year. The promise of a looming stage performance just to great.
We were expecting a huge snow storm. They fortold feet of it, days long snow fall.
Nothing happened. Well, there were some flurries, a bit settled at higher altitude. But at our house. Nada.
So we dressed warm and tried to find some elsewhere (fail) but it was fun in the playground.
Still wearing her Big Little Wild Things Hooded Scarf from last year. This one is such a hit!
A delightful walk through the beech woods and up into the hills. A perfect way to spend a Sunday. Fresh air and hot chocolate. Snow ball fights and marvelling at nature. After a stressful couple of weeks where we have all felt short tempered and buffeted by life, it was just what we needed to recharge and reconnect.
A hike we want to get back out and do again in the no to distant future. We ended up turning around when we got to a particularly wet spot where discretion was the better part of valour and we put dry feet above distance.
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