Two foot bridges over the Cleddau River offer dramatic views of a series of powerful waterfalls. The Chasm walkway offers dramatic river scenes.
Thousands of years of swirling water have sculpted shapes and basins in the rock. The sheer velocity of water gives an appreciation of how much rainfall the Milford Sound area receives per annum. it is not an easy task to take pictures there as access is very limited and you can't step behind the fence (nor should you as it is very steep!!). Just before you reach Milford Sound, you can spot a nice waterfall on the left hand side of the road. A short break here will provide a good opportunity for photography.
And we are off to Milford Sound. It is amazing to see how different it looks every day. The rawness of the nature is amazing. We loved taking photos here, though the only disadvantage was the sand flies. You stop for five seconds and they are all over you:-(((. They were landing on our lenses and it was hard to take pictures. One of us had to wave our hand around camera as the other was taking pictures. Even then we had quite a few photos with sand fly smudges on them. Before you get there, make sure to buy a good repellent in New Zealand as they have specific effect on sand flies. Our repellent from Australia was strong but not as good.
There is only one restaurant in Milford Sound and the food is below average. The burger we had over there was probably the worst we ever had but because we stayed there three nights, there wasn't much we could do about it. The nearest reasonable restaurant is in Te Anau, 120km away. The Milford Sound Lodge which is only a few meters away has it's own kitchen with pots and utensils, so if you bring your own supplies, you can cook your own meals.
This time round we didn't do the cruize as we have done it a couple of times in the past. It was very nice, though taking photos is a little bit harder on the boat due to stability. If you have IS on your lens and are taking pictures during the day, you will be fine, but in low light conditions it could be harder.
Next morning we decided to do a little bit of hiking in the nearby Tutoko Valley. As soon as we entered the forest, we couldn't believe how beautiful it was. It felt like we were in a fairyland or in Middle-earth from Lord of the Rings (which was most likely filmed somewhere around here). It is truly one of the most beautiful places on Earth!! The track is 4km long, but we were so obsessed with taking pictures, we didn't get to the end. Make sure that you follow the signs, otherwise you can get lost very easily in the dense forrest.
New Zealand is famous for it's fern trees. The fern tree is even on New Zealand passports and used on athlete's jerseys in international competitions. Pikopiko fern tips or edible fern fronds also known as bush asparagus are pale green with brown speckles. They are picked before the leaves unfold and used by Maori's in their kitchen to add a unique "forest" flavour to dishes. Beware though, as there about 312 different varieties of wild ferns growing in New Zealand but only seven varieties are edible.
The next day we headed back to beautiful Queenstown.