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Kim’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 10 Mar 2007

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand

MapWell as I said a 7.30am start to go and see Milford Sound, one of the most famous sites in New Zealand and the one that is on every travel programme. Once again we had managed to get on a small tour and a special bus that was made for touring in these mountains with tiered seats, so everyone has a good view and glass roofs.

The journey to Milford Sound was over two hours long and took us around the mountain ranges and through the national park. The mountains here are often called the Alps and several of them are snow covered all year round. Queenstown not only offers summer sports but also sking in the winter in an area called Remarkables. It is incrediable as you travel around New Zealand and more so here to realise just how young this country is - Queenstown was just a small place with a few houses in 1950, little or no road contact with some of the outlying farms and no serious infrastructure.

The mountains give way to grassy plains and huge sheep farms but nowadays, they are also farming deer as this is giving them a better sales return - lambs to market between 4 months and 1 year are only fetching about 50 dollars apiece and then you work out how much you would have to pay for a whole lamb in the UK - someone is making the money!

Having arrived at Milford Sound, off the coach and onto the boat ( yes, another water experience). Milford Sound was first discovered by Captian Cook and is a place of outstanding beauty with views all aound, waterfalls and eventually open sea. To my great joy and total pleasure, we saw not only seals but some dolphins - I really hope that I might get a chance to see more of these ownderful creatures in Australia.

Today's fact - Milford Sound is not really a sound but a Fiord as it was created by an melting glacier and has a v shape at the bottom of the waterbed and not a u which is something created by a river - ok boring but just to let you all know the brain is still working. We sailed for nearly two hours and then back on the coach and home - a 12 hour day travelling and seeing. Did you also know that one side of the Island gets 1.6 metres of rain a year and the other over 6 metres, hence the reason that New Zealand is green and normally wet!!!

The pictures will tell a beter story that I can with words as this was a very visual trip .

Dinner was a very rushed affair - steak and chips for 15 dollars. I dont think it even touched the sides I was that hungry and then bed - travelling is really tiring