Thursday, October 27
Click on the photos to enlarge.
A view from our window of where we are continuing our stay in Queenstown and our hotel situated in Reese Street is named ater its Scottish founder who established sheep farming in 1860. Not long afterwards he was paid 10,000 pounds compensation for part acquisition of his land for gold exploration. Gold was discovered in the Shotover river in 1862, bringing thousands of men and some colorful women to converge on the settlement. The Shotover river is the second highest gold bearing river in history, second only to Klondike in Northern Canada. The River yielded 57.6 Kgs of gold per day in its early days.
Today we went on a long day trip to Milford Sound. Click here to view the area. The fiord at Milford was formed by a giant glacier over 1,000 metres in height that carved out its current day shape meeting up with the Tasman ocean. Its mode is one of teeming rain and high winds. Rainfall is 30 feet a year and winds can reach 160kmh but we were fortunate to experience a beautiful day and only temporary brisk winds of 40 knot's. The second picture is view from the boat.
Our journey to MIlford took in lush farming land, mainly sheep (there are 40 million NZ) and deer, ostrich and fishing. Like most areas NZ suffers from imported species and havoc is inflicted by Stoats (from the weasel family) and Possums.The Stoats devour the flightless birds and the possums rare vegetation.
Driving through the foirdland we encountered towering mountains and green remote valleys, a true wildnerness area.
Upon arrival at Milford we boarded our ship and on our cruise encountered penguins and seals sunning themselves on the rocky outcrops below the towering cliff faces of the snow clad mountains. The views along the way were stunning and those within the fiord breathtaking.