I remember visiting Milford Sound many!! years ago and thinking wow, this is great. Way back then it was a bus trip from Te Anau and a small boat out to view Stirling Falls from the water. But this morning I heard doors banging in the corridor, wondered what the time was and opened the curtains to see outside. Lo and behold a bloody great 2km high cliff with 3 million waterfalls cascading down!!! Yes, a little exaggerated but my first words were “KEMM - get up!!!!” Albeit lack of sleep after a rock and roll ride through the night (and no, I didn’t get seasick although I’m sure many would have), the early morning entrance into Milford Sound was spectacular to say the least! It may not have been a fine sunny day with blue skies overhead, but having rain and mist and waterfalls everywhere puts a whole new perspective into the place - the waterfalls were stunning!
An eerie and magnificent morning.
TODAY In Port Chalmers (Dunedin) - 9 degrees, Kemm and I have wandered up the street -it’s Sunday - nothing open! Found a fish n chip shop and had that for lunch in the park feeding the seagulls - exciting stuff!!! Lots of others went off on the Tier Gorge Railway excursion which we have done not that long ago - the Chocolate factory was on the list also but when were in Dunedin we did all those sight seeing bits so have had a relatively quiet day today.
Now we’ve just been advised that the Akaroa stop is off the agenda - high winds and big swell so no tenders will go in. As such, we’re staying in port here overnight and will cruise on up to Picton tomorrow.
A few days since my last email but our cruise has been relaxing and uneventful.
Picton of course we got off and hired a car around to Blenheim for a vineyard lunch at Allan Scott Wines - a delightful lunch and pleasant day out. Wellington took a casual stroll in the inner city and got a cab up to “Pukeahu National Museum’, the original Wellington Museum before Te Papa became the new venue. Our goal was to visit the display on ‘The Great War’. Really well done and we could have spent hours in there reading all the image captions, scrolls and writings. It was an extremely well done display mostly depicting the New Zealanders involved but also a lot of Australian involvement shown as well.
That night we cruised on up the coast to Napier, the ship visit was only a few hours so a casual stroll down the main street seemed to be on the agenda for 2000 people! Hopefully the retail sales in Napier blossomed because of our visit!
Tauranga was our next stop - that of course was a family lunch which turned out to be great fun - Mum, Claire and Tony, Kemm and I and Christine - had a really nice catch up,Tony disappeared back to work, Claire the same, Christine was on a lunch hour so they all disappeared and left us to say goodbye to Mum and ‘see you in March’.
Back on board and off to next stop Auckland - not very far but calm seas and slow travel made for a smooth night at sea and a good sleep.
In Auckland for the day today - turned out to be a beautiful day weather wise, the warmest since we’ve left Australia. Had contacted Arthur and Alison who were also in Auckland (Alison doing a couple of days work at Waiheke Island). Met up about 11.30am, strolled around the waterfront area and found a delightful spot for lunch and 12 beers (mostly between Kemm and Arthur although I did manage a couple!). Our table at the restaurant was a great spot near the Maritime Museum for viewing boats coming and going, a ‘Tommy the Steamboat’ little tourist boat stooging through the waters, a midday canon firing (NOISY ++) and guys from a 5th floor apartment sending a fishing line down from the top to mates on the ground so they could send the apartment key down to those in need! A pleasant way to spend a long lunch.
So now we’ve left Auckland and heading up to next spot at Waitangi, not sure what we’ll do, the last tender boat back to the ship is 1.30pm so it’s another brief stop.
From there it’s a couple of days back to Sydney and we have been forewarned it ‘could be a bumpy ride’….. mmmmm…….