RTW – week 28 (the 8th wonder)

HELLO New Zealand!!

We have just landed in our last official country, so it is really starting to set in that we are going home soon. Crazy!

Ireland, a good 7 months ago, feels like a lifetime ago at this point. So much has changed, and we have seen so much.

But let’s not walk down that road just yet!

My big excursion for NZ is Milford Sound. Rudyard Kipling calls it the 8th Great Wonder of the World, and he sure wasn’t lying. But if I have to be honest, I am pretty sure that the entire South Island is a great wonder.

Looking at the long term weather forecast it appeared that we only had about 3 days of sun coming up, so we booked a small cottage in Te Anau for 2 nights hoping to visit Milford on one of them.

We booked a tiny little cabin with three beds and a sink. Just enough space to sleep and eat our packed dinners for the time. Don’t judge me guys, that chilli saved us some major money!

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Fiordland National Park takes up a good portion of the southern part of the Island and there are numerous hikes to keep you busy, so we knew we wouldn’t run out of things to do.

We booked a tour with Southern Discoveries the night before and got up at 6am to make the 2 hour drive down. Turns out, Te Anau isn’t exactly the perfect place for visiting Milford. If you do visit, there is a really nice camping lodge right there that you should look into.

Either way, the 2 hour drive is full of awe inspiring moments and is sure to knock your socks off.

Milford Sound is so hard to describe, especially since none of these photos do it justice.

The layers of beauty is truly breathtaking. We saw plenty of seals and our very first spotting of penguins. Thankfully, all approved sightings by Bryan.

We must have knocked off 5 hikes those 3 full days, our very favourite being the Key Summit. This is a 2 hour climb to the summit of one of Fiordland’s mountains and a relatively easy 1 hour down. The rain was starting up and we were making off and a massive tree had fallen blocking the path up.

I was carrying Charlie in the baby carrier and looked back at Bryan thinking “are we biting off more than we can chew?” before Hunter informed us, “it’s just a little bit of mud!”. Nothing that can’t be washed off right?

Well, we did go for it, although the added weight of a 40 pound sleeping baby didn’t help the climb. If you are gifted a sunny and clear day in Fiordland, you must do this hike.

It was just another one of those moments where all 4 (Charlie snoozing sweet dreams) just stopped, no one spoke and we all took it in. A few tears maybe even fell from my eye. Maybe.

I am so proud of these two kids for completing each and every one of these hikes with zero complaints. They are becoming so strong!

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