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New Zealand Capstone 2008
Milford Kea

Day 6: Milford Sound to Queenstown

March 13th, 2008

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Location Map of Stops

UWEC Student Research Day

Dr. Harry Jol

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Woke up on the boat in Milford Sound to a delicious breakfast, and left Harrison’s Cove to go out to the Tasman.   We started heading back but took a little detour back to Harrison’s Cove to drop off those who wanted to check out the Underwater Observatory (below). It was a very unique place because most of the fish that can be seen from only eight meters underwater here are usually found at depths much greater than that.  The reason these fish live here is because the top two to three meters of the sound are freshwater and act as sunglasses making the sea life think it is deeper than it really is.

Underwater Ob

Left Milford to start another day with a good amount to driving to get us into Queenstown with time to do the Queenstown Luge and possibly check out a few more of the sights and activities.  After getting out on our way along the Milford Road we made a few stops, our first one was The Chasm (below), it was a pretty cool place, it was a very large crack in the rainforest floor with the Cleddau River running through it.  It was a strange place since we were looking down on the waterfall from above rather than in the front of it. There were a few footbridges that we walked across that went from level on the ground to suddenly being ten meters above the bottom of the river and then back to flat on the ground.

 

Chasm

Our next stop was Lake Gunn (below), where we stopped for lunch; it was another very calm lake with the Southern Alps and the forests surrounding it protecting it from the wind.  It was a very nice place for another reflection picture with the mountains pointing up and down. 

 

Lake Gunn

Stop three of the drive was the Mirror Lakes (below), which are supposed to be another very calm spot but when we got there it was very breezy and they were not very reflective.

 

Mirror lakes

We stopped by the same place we had lunch the previous day at Lake Te Anau, this time we weren’t in such a hurry so we were able to check out the visitor’s center and read about it and grab a few souvenirs.

Arrived in Queenstown, instead of going to check into the Top Ten right away we decided to go to the gondola and get up to the highest point in the town (below) right away where all kinds of activities are.  A few of us took the gondola to the top and the rest hiked up. 

Queenstown

At the top we finally got to do the luge (below) which we were all excited about doing.  It was basically little gravity powered cars that you raced down the curvy hill.  You would pull back on the handlebars to start, and then once you got started the harder you would pull back the more brake you would be utilizing.

Luge

After the excitement of the luge we all took some time to look at the Remarkables (below) across the lake, which were as the name states, remarkable.

The Remarkables

 

While looking at the Remarkables we decided that since we were in Queenstown, the extreme sports capital of the world, we would check out the swing and the bungee jumping taking place near the top of the gondola.  After seeing two people do the swing, Keith (below) and myself, Todd ( second below), decided that we had to try out the bungee jump, sadly everyone else was too afraid to experience it.

 

keith

Todd

Video of Todd Bungee Jumping


After all the excitement from the activities of Queenstown we went and checked into the Top Ten, got some dinner, and went to bed.

 

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