Travel Magazine

NEW ZEALAND's FIORDLAND: Part 3, Cruise on Milford Sound, Guest Post by Owen Floody

By Carolinearnoldtravel @CarolineSArnold

NEW ZEALAND's FIORDLAND: Part 3, Cruise on Milford Sound, Guest Post by Owen Floody

View of the fiords from a helicopter

Our friend Owen Floody did a trekking and photo tour of New Zealand's South Island this past fall (the Southern Hemisphere spring.)  Owen recently retired from a career of teaching and research at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. He has always been an avid photographer and in his retirement has taken numerous trips that allow him to pursue his passion. Here is the third part of a short reflection on his trip to New Zealand and some of his excellent photographs.
At the end of my trekking, I wandered Queenstown for a day before returning to Fiordland with Real Journeys for a 7-day Discovery Cruise on the 32-passenger Milford Wanderer.  Getting to our departure point required us to travel by bus from Queenstown to Manapouri, by boat across Lake Manapouri, and again by bus from the lake to Deep Cove, at the eastern end of Doubtful Sound.  Upon boarding, we settled into our cabins, met our 6-person crew, learned about the ship's safety features, and soon began to sail westward along beautiful Doubtful Sound.  What makes this and the other fiords so appealing?  Common features include steep high rock walls that somehow manage to support vegetation resembling a vertical rainforest, a plethora of tall waterfalls, and a complex, often very colorful, shoreline.   
NEW ZEALAND's FIORDLAND: Part 3, Cruise on Milford Sound, Guest Post by Owen Floody
Eventually I realized that the colonization of the walls by trees and other plants depends on the presence of thick mats of moss that can be very attractive and so continued to catch my eye the rest of the cruise.  We did not see a lot of wildlife, but possible sightings include whales, dolphins, seals, Fiordland-crested or blue penguins, and many species of seabirds.
NEW ZEALAND's FIORDLAND: Part 3, Cruise on Milford Sound, Guest Post by Owen Floody
Having sailed the length of Doubtful Sound, we reached the Tasman Sea and turned southwest to parallel the Fiordland coast. Upon arriving at Breaksea Sound, we followed it westward to a protected cove where we anchored for our first night, consistent with a pattern in which the ship always stopped moving whenever we were eating or sleeping.
Though much of our time was spent enjoying the views of one after another fiord (Doubtful, Breaksea and Dusky Sounds, Chalky and Preservation Inlets) as we cruised, this was broken up by two-per-day landings.  These gave us the opportunity to stretch our legs on short hikes.  Some  included stretches of rainforest resembling those from my treks.   
NEW ZEALAND's FIORDLAND: Part 3, Cruise on Milford Sound, Guest Post by Owen Floody
Others took us along lovely beaches or to overlooks (e.g., the lighthouse at Puysegur Point) with impressive views.  But many landings revolved around more historical themes.  As this part of New Zealand was explored by Captain James Cook in 1769-1775, we were able to visit several sites that figured importantly in these voyages (e.g., Astronomers Point). Similarly, as Fiordland experienced a flurry of gold mining in 1893-1910, we frequently encountered the remnants of mines or mining settlements. 

NEW ZEALAND's FIORDLAND: Part 3, Cruise on Milford Sound, Guest Post by Owen Floody

Fragment of stamp battery in former mining settlement

Other options for exploration were provided depending on conditions and our location.  For instance, poking along the shore in the ship's motorboat was a common activity that permitted the close inspection of otherwise inaccessible shorelines.  When the conditions were ideal, most passengers piled into one or another of the ship's nearly 30 kayaks, for self-directed and even closer looks at the coastal rock formations and vegetation.
Finally, a very special aspect of the cruise occurred at its end.  Those of us who hadn't studied our itineraries were surprised to find ourselves far from our final destination (the West Arm of Lake Manapouri) early on the seventh and last day.  And yet no one seemed anxious to get the ship moving northward.  This is because the master plan was for us to be picked up by helicopter in Preservation Inlet, compressing the return trip to 20-30 minutes of spectacular flight over the fiords.  What a fantastic climax to the trip this proved to be! In building this feature into our trip, as indeed in all aspects of the cruise, I felt that Real Journeys did an excellent job of caring for and exposing us to the wonders of Fiordland.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Easy Breezy Summertime Looks

    Easy Breezy Summertime Looks

    Mid-Atlantic states are notoriously known for their humid weather in the summer. They rival the swamplands of Florida. The saying, "it's not the heat, it's th... Read more

    10 hours, 53 minutes ago by   Bridgetteraes
    FASHION, LIFESTYLE
  • The Xroadie Files

    Xroadie Files

    Revbjelde – Severance Mordecai Smyth – Mellotron, Andy Prince – Chapman Stick, Guest Musicians Severance slow melodic sounds that just seem to work... Read more

    14 hours, 53 minutes ago by   Ripplemusic
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • Trump and Putin Might Have Thought Helsinki Summit Was Private, but...

    Trump Putin Might Have Thought Helsinki Summit Private, Intelligence Agencies from Finland Sweden Likely Reported Almost Real Time

    Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin might have thought their meeting in Helsinki yesterday was virtually private, but that almost certainly was not the case, report... Read more

    15 hours, 13 minutes ago by   Rogershuler
    LEGAL, SOCIETY
  • Learn the Language of Your Brows "Browmoticons" | Happy Brows

    Learn Language Your Brows "Browmoticons" Happy

    Brows speak volumes about yourself, you can communicate with other people without even speaking with just using your eyebrows. A subtle arch can reflect your... Read more

    15 hours, 46 minutes ago by   Rayrose Camille Samson
    HAIR & BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE
  • Wildacres Report

    Wildacres Report

    That was the week that was. About a hundred writers convene on the mountain for a week of workshops, music, partying, and quite a lot of silliness. Read more

    16 hours, 23 minutes ago by   Vickilane
    CREATIVITY, PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Ultra-gorgeous Gala Montenapoleone Trunk Show and Bridal Party

    Ultra-gorgeous Gala Montenapoleone Trunk Show Bridal Party

    Love4Weddings Love4Weddings - A Stylish Wedding Blog Σήμερα, σας παρέχουμε μια μικρή γεύση από το ονειρικό trunk show του οίκου Gala Montenapoleane και του... Read more

    17 hours, 23 minutes ago by   Love4weddings
  • The Ultimate Romantic Wedding Inspiration | Love4Weddings Bridal Party

    Ultimate Romantic Wedding Inspiration Love4Weddings Bridal Party

    Love4Weddings Love4Weddings - A Stylish Wedding Blog Σε αποχρώσεις του απαλού ροζ και του αστραφτερού χρυσού, στολίστηκε ο υπέροχος εσωτερικός χώρος του... Read more

    17 hours, 23 minutes ago by   Love4weddings

Magazine