Saturday, 6 February 2010

Milford Sound and The Catlins

The guide books tried their best to put me off visiting Milford Sound! 'The most touristy place in New Zealand; up to 7 metres of rainfall a year; beware of the sandflies!'
The boat trip up the sound, (which is actually a fiord) is spectacular and one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.
It didn't rain, there weren't many other tourists there the day we went and we didn't see any sandflies!
Milford Sound is only one of about 40 fiords that make up this remote and inaccesable part of New Zealand known as Fiordland.

This week we have been in The Catlins, the very south of the country, and stood on the most southerly tip of New Zealand which is probably the closest I'll ever get to the Antarctic! The Catlins are rugged, remote and wild with rocky coastline, sandy coves, windswept trees and where the wind feels like it's blowing fresh from the Antarctic at times. It takes some getting used to that a south wind is cold and a north wind is warm! The light is very bright with brilliant blue skies. One of the attractions of The Catlins is the wildlife. We have seen lots of seals, some Royal Spoonbills and watched rare Yellow-eyed Penguins coming out of the water and waddling slowly up the beach to their nests from a distance. If you click on the very small penguin picture you can just about see it's yellow crown! Went for a walk along a remote beach and I almost tripped over a sea-lion half-buried and asleep in the sand (not a good idea!).