Posted by: danielfee | December 3, 2011

Travel Photo of the Day 12-3-2011

Fiordland, New Zealand

 

Milford Sound, New Zealand

 

Sterling Falls – Milford Sound

Sterling Falls - Milford Sound, New Zealand

  

My wife and I have been traveling the world since 1995 and we have been to 37 countries (so far). One of my most memorable moments, and most often told travel stories, came on our trip to Australia and New Zealand. We were in Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand with an excursion scheduled to visit Milford Sound the next day. The plan was to take a 30 minute small plane flight over the Southern Alps and Hollyford Valley to reach Milford Sound. When we woke that morning, Christmas Eve, we were disappointed to find that a storm had moved in and all flights were grounded. The only other options were to take a three hour coach ride south to Te Anau and then back north to Milford Sound or skip Milford Sound altogether. We had seen photos of Milford Sound on beautiful sunny days and did not want to miss it so we opted for the long coach ride. It continued to rain as we made our way along Route 94 and we experienced our first small wow moments with a few rainbows and all the extra waterfalls that were being created by the steady rain. We made a stop at The Chasm in Fiordland, where the Cleddau River flows through the eroded boulders and then plunges into a narrow chasm creating a deep waterfall; a beautiful site we could not have seen from the air. When we reached Milford Sound the rain eased so we boarded a sightseeing boat to cruise around the sound. As we approached the narrowest part of the fjord, the winds blowing in from the Tasman Sea increased to an estimated 75 to 80 knots. I made my way out on the back deck of the boat using it as a windbreak. Off to the right was Sterling Falls, one of the most beautiful year-round falls. The wind was blowing so hard through the narrow pass of the fjord that the falls were being blown back up into a cloud of mist before most of it could reach the water level. Wow was all I could say as I took photos and video of this awesome sight. We also learned a very important travel lesson that day. Don’t let unexpected changes in your plans ruin your day. Just go with the flow and your Wow moment may be in your immediate future.

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