Day 13 – Day Trip – Milford Sound, Manapouri

11:59 pm Motorbike/Motorcycle, New Zealand, Travel

We got up early, so that we could get to the Milford Sound and be in Manapouri for the 12:30pm departure to the Power Station.

It was freezing cold in the morning, and no surprise that there was fresh snow in the hills.

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It was windy on the way to Milford Sound – but very scenic.

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Many of the fields by the side of the road were filled with beautiful wild flowers.

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Majestic mountains.

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There are many waterfalls – and such a variety as I have never seen.

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And misty clouds everywhere. The place appears as if it is never dry.  Oh, and it is freezing cold!!

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It took us almost 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to the tunnel, because we stopped so often to take photos.

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When we arrived at the tunnel, we felt like blocks of ice – and there was a good reason.  It was very, very cold.  There was still snow on the round in patches.

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We even saw a Kea at the entrance to the tunnel – apparently this is a favourite spot for them. These birds are very cheeky, and can quickly damage a car – especially soft rubber parts.  They have been know to pull all the rubber out from around the windscreen of cars.

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View behind us, as we continue to wait for the light to change on the tunnel.  During peak hours it only allows the flow of traffic in one direction at a time.  You can see another motorbike has arrived – it is also a BWM R1200GS. They were complaining about the cold too. They said that they hadn’t stopped for any photos, as they were just feeling to cold to be bothered.

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We finally arrived at the sound, and it was a very wet day.  But I think the sounds look the best when it is raining.  They have a certain character about them that is enhanced by the rain.

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After having a hot breakfast at the cafe, we made our return journey.  Here we are waiting to re-enter the tunnel.

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Really red rocks that were by the side of the road.

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And more wildflowers and mountains.

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We rode straight to Manapouri, and arrived at the ferry terminal at 12:10pm, enough time to buy a ticket and board the ferry.  Our friends, who had come by bus from Te Anau, arrived at exactly the same time. We sat in the back of the boat together.

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Even though it was raining, it was a very scenic journey.

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We, once again, saw lots of waterfalls.

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Just before you get to the power station, you can see the overhead cables that carry the power to Bluff.  The power station is actually underground – carved out of the rock.

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Here the bus is about to enter the tunnel that leads down to the power station.

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Just after we entered the tunnel, there were two busses coming out. Interestingly, vehicles drive on the right side of the tunnel (opposite side of the road to normal traffic in New Zealand).

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The next few photos  show the rock out of which the station was carved.

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Our return journey was uneventful. More waterfalls, a Kea, and lots of sleepy people!

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Upon our return, Peter and Evan rode to Winton.  Here Evan is demonstrating how he will keep Peter under the speed limit.

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