New Zealand Day 3

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On our third day of this trip and the second day actually exploring New Zealand, we took a cruise around Milford Sound. Even though I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see the penguins that are native to the area- the Tawiki- I was pleasantly surprised because NZ’s landscape continues to amaze me.

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In the morning we went to a place called Miles Better Pies for breakfast. This place had a 4.5 star rating on Yelp and was definitely accurate. I didn’t know this before going, but apparently these small meat pies are a must have here. You can get them pretty much anywhere and they are small in size and good for one meal. I shared a lamb and mint pie and a steak and cheese pie with my sister and they were both DELICIOUS! I personally liked the lamb and mint better than the steak and cheese because it had a sweeter, fresher taste because of the mint, and it was less dry.

milford sound

Next, we took a two hour drive from Te Anau to the ship terminal for our cruise around Milford Sound. Milford Sound isn’t actually a Sound, but a Fjord, as I learned today on the cruise. The difference is that a sound is a type of body of water that is created when the ocean carves out an area in a land mass while a fjord is created when a glacier carves out an area in a land mass. In fact NZ has 14 Sounds, but 13 of them are actually fjords that were actually mischaracterized. It makes sense that this “Sound” was carved out by Glaciers since NZ is the last land mass until Antarctica!

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The air outside was cold and it was super windy but I’m still grateful that we got to see the Sound today. We saw tons of beautiful waterfalls and even the Tasmanian Sea! At one point, they even took us underneath the waterfall so we could-literally– soak in the sweet freshwater.

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My favorite site on the cruise were probably all the seals we saw resting on the rocks- one of them even seemed to be waving hello on us! I didn’t get it on video unfortunately, but it was still adorable.

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Towards the end of the cruise we visited an underwater observatory and we were able to see what life looks like underwater. New Zealand’s waters are home to so many species, but the one that I found the most interesting was the black coral. The coral we saw were between 200 and 300 years old, and, surprisingly, were white with black skeletons. We learned from our tour guide that this is because there are tiny microrganisms that live on the coral that make it appear that way. After concluding our tour, we took a long, five hour drive back to Queenstown.

In the morning we are heading out from there and making our way down to Lake Tekapo, which is home to one of the world’s international dark sky reserves, just because the night time sky and stars can be seen so well from here.

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I wrote in yesterday’s post about how New Zealand’s calming atmosphere is teaching me to have more patience, and driving through the country I’m realizing how important this patience really is. Maybe this is because I’ve been in school for most of my life and because of that I feel like I always have to be “on”- like there isn’t a moment to waste and like I always have to be on time to do everything. But I’m realizing while I’m here that it’s important to loosen up a little, maybe a lot in my case. Even though we’re falling an intinerary on our journey, we are finding that there are so many times when we simply have to stop and smell the roses, or in this case, the lupin popping up in the grass just beneath the mountain and along a small stream right next to the road, or the many patches of sheep, lamb, lamas and all the other animals that we see as we drive through the green land. You simply can’t enjoy all these things unless you take a minute to look at them, even when things seem really busy. All in all, my experience so far has been really eye opening and I’m excited to see what’s ahead.

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