day forty: november 8, 2015: quintin lodge to mitre peak lodge
Another big day to end the hiking portion of our trek, 13 miles, but almost all slightly downhill and flat. It was still a lot of mileage to cover in one day. We woke up to rain, yup it was going to be another wet day. As we began to walk, we fully realized why the guides had told us that Milford needed to be experienced in wet weather. There were waterfalls EVERYWHERE! Many of those waterfalls only exist during rainfall. Many times, the track would open up into clearings and we would stand for a few minutes just looking around us with waterfalls cascading down around us in every direction.
Finally! We hit mile marker 33 on our 33.5 mile journey. Apparently enough people complained about the last "half" mile that the Department of Conservation remeasured the track and it's actually 33.9 miles, making the last "half mile" really closer to a full mile.
So we made it! After taking a break with some hot drinks, we boarded a small boat to take us across the sound to the Mitre Peak Lodge. The lodge is located right near the water with amazing views just outside most of the rooms and the lounge. It was an awesome place to spend the last night.
day forty-one: november 9, 2015: milford sound cruise
After breakfast, we were treated to a cruise on the Milford Sound. At first, the weather didn't seem to be in our favor as you couldn't see Mitre Peak and the area was filled with clouds and mist. Buuuut, as we got on the boat....the clouds went on their way and the Milford Sound showcased just how beautiful it is. We even spotted some whales and the world's rarest penguin, called the yellow crested penguin! I'll let the photos do the talking -- we really lucked out!
One of the best parts of doing the Milford Track was meeting great people. We met some people who I'm certain we will cross paths with again in the future.
After the cruise, we boarded our bus for a long five hour journey back to Queenstown. Thankfully, upon our return our new friends from Queenstown invited us over for a home cooked meal and drinks!
day forty-two: november 10, 2015: queenstown
Today we slept in a little bit and then went to meet a couple we met on the trek for coffee and tea. We talked about doing the Milford Track again in the future, but then settled on possibly trying to meet up and doing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Hopefully we'll be able to make that happen!
Other than that, we're trying to relax today and recover from all the walking. Tomorrow we fly to Auckland for a few nights before meeting Jonathan's parents in Fiji.