Why did we want to get to Te Anau? It is the staging area for tours of Fiordland National Park. Mountains in the area reach elevations of up to 2,750 m (9,020 ft) and plunge to deep fiords - 14 of them. We all thought this was the most breathtaking scenery we encountered on our trip. Craig had booked us for a day trip on Milford Sound. It was about a 2 hour drive from Te Anau to the launch site of the cruise boat we went on.
The town of Te Anau is situated on one of the largest lakes in the country - aptly named Lake Te Anau.
Lake Te Anau from the town waterfront area.
Following are all from Milford Sound - comments only where required. Most are self explanatory - just great scenery shots! This was a long day so there are lots of pix. Enjoy!
The peak on the right is Mitre Peak "so called because of its resemblance to a bishop's mitre." It is one of the most famous landmarks of Fiordland and probably the most photographed. We took a few pix of it ourselves. And it appears on the front cover of BOTH the tour books that I bought before we left!
This is the boat we were on. The masts are "decorative" - not functional. We were out on the top deck for the trip. It was a nice day, as you can see by the pix. It did get windy further out.
Mary and Craig.
This one is supposedly shaped like a lion and I believe the name reflects that fact in Maori.
Craig and Mary.
Craig, Mary and Joe. This may be the only pix of the three of us. We just didn't think about getting too many.
The pohutukawa or New Zealand Christmas Tree, metsiderosis excelsa, is one of the most outstanding plants of the entire New Zealand flora. A tougher or more adaptable coastal tree would be hard to find, for the pohutukawa will gain a foothold in the most inhospitable of rock crevices where continual lashings of salt-laden winds and drenchings of salt water are the norm, and life giving fresh water and nutrients are scarce in the extreme.
Glowworms are the larval stage in the life of an insect called the fungus gnat. Although they are most spectacular in caves, glowworms are also quite common outside - they can be found wherever conditions are damp, food is in good supply and there is an overhanging wall. The scientific name of the New Zealand species is Arachnocampa luminosa. Similar glowworms can be found in the south-east of Australia.