While en route to Milford Sound recently, and just to the East of the Homer Tunnel, I had the opportunity to drink straight from a mountain stream at a little place called Monkey Creek.
You might think it is a little stupid to go drinking from untreated water sources…and to be honest I would agree with you…but given it was up in the mountains and thus there was less chance of a dead animal leeching itself into the stream or someone relieving themselves upstream, I figured I was OK.
Anyway, the water was fresh and very cold (I felt like my hand was going to drop off while I had a few mouthfuls). Beautiful. Thanks go to my father-in-law for the photo!
It is fair to say that the oft-recycled water we drink everyday is nothing like as good as a fresh mountain dew!
New Zealand is home to the world’s only alpine parrot – the Kea. They live around the treeline on the South Island. I came into contact with them for the first time on my way to Milford Sound in Fiordland (at The Chasm walk to be precise).
The Kea is renowned for its antics. It is a very intelligent bird and has a reputation for pulling the rubber seals off parked cars, stealing food, stealing shoelaces from boots left outside and even for attacking sheep (in areas of scarce food they apparently have learned that sheep’s kidneys have a good fat source near the skin surface!). You can see why you might have a love-hate relationship with them.
With such a link to people, yoou won’t be surprised to learn that they hang around car parks on tourist routes – acting like they own the place (and to be fair, we are in their territory). Fantastic to see them and to interact with them for a while.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that they are drab, under all of that green is red, orange and blue feathers which are seen in flight. Beautiful, great personalities…but cheeky and destructive!
Sharp readers may recall some time ago my previous post from my 2014 visit to Milford Sound (click here for a reminder) in which I commented on the lack of creatures.
Anyway, I went back recently for my third ever visit and it was the first time I have seen Milford Sound (which is actually a fjord – made by glaciers and not by rivers) in full sunshine. Amazingly, it was sunny to the West of the Homer Tunnel and Cloudy on the East. Gotta love the mountains.
It rains here on 2 out of every 3 days and they get over 6m of rain each year. Seeing the area in full rain is pretty special with waterfalls pouring from the mountains but of course we all love a nice sunny day.
I didn’t go for a cruise this time, instead going for a walk and taking some photos with as little views of the people-impact as possible. Hope you enjoy them with Mitre Peak in its full glory! Spectacular!