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Milford Sound Misery

Wondering what all the fuss is about on a rainy, rainy day...

rain 9 °C

Lloyd was indeed feeling better today, but unfortunately our decision to opt out of yesterday’s boat trip came back to haunt us, with some of the most miserable weather we’ve experienced. No cyclone, at least, but heavy rain and mist meant that our Milford Sound cruise could only fail to live up to our expectations. And indeed it did.

Milford-Sound-Misery.jpg
There's something beautiful out there, somewhere...

The boat crew tried to be cheerful by pointing out that Milford Sound receives more than six metres of rain a year, and that it is this kind of rainfall that enables Milford Sound to be the outstanding natural beauty that it is. Or is when the sun is shining. Furthermore, there are hundreds of rainfalls that only come to life when it’s raining. Gee. Lucky us.

LT-Milford..terfall.jpgJR-Milford..terfall.jpg
We had to entertain ourselves by allowing ourselves to be dunked in waterfalls.

A visit to the underwater observatory failed to lift our spirits (well, ok, my spirits), although the concept continues to intrigue. The observatory is basically a viewing room that has been sunk ten metres below the surface in order to offer non-scuba divers a rare insight into life underwater. It’s particularly special, apparently, because of a rare phenomenon called “Deep Water Emergence” that occurs here in Milford Sound. Basically, the nature of the Sound means that the fresh water fails to mix with the sea water and forms a barrier several meters thick on the surface. The result is that a deep ocean environment is replicated at a relatively shallow depth. The black corals (actually white as seen in the pictures below) normally grow at much greater depths, but are uniquely visible at the observatory.

Underwater..tory-II.jpgUnderwater..ory-III.jpg

Back on land, we dried off and set off on the long drive back through Te Anau (this time in the rain), and then onto Queenstown. We were reminded: carpe diem. If the weather is good, use it ;o)

Milford-So..-Beauty.jpg
OK, so I guess it wasn't that bad. Though for me the highlight will also be the drive out to Milford Sound along some staggeringly beautiful scenery.

Posted by jacquiedro 20:54 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world

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