Small in this world
The first 2 weeks of tight rhythms didn’t make us give up on an “extended” weekend that we knew was challenging. The distances of New Zealand require us, this time, to travel by plane; destination Queenstown, the gateway to Fiordland, the land of the fjords, a world heritage site. Arrived in this small town of only 15,000 inhabitants but with a respectable airport, another 4 hours by car await us to reach the small tourist port, to the west, circumnavigating Lake Wakatipu, from where dozens of mini boats leave to accompany the visitors along Milford Sound, one of the most beautiful and hidden inlets on the whole island.
Milford Sound Fjord with its hundreds of spectacular waterfalls is a favorite setting for many filmmakers. A place full of suggestions, well protected by the Tasman Sea, which not even Captain James Cook, a skilled cartographer, was able to discover, believing they were only rocks.
Queenstown is a frontier town, equipped to host tourists from all over the world, but the distance from the world is evident. In addition to the more or less faithful reconstructions of the signs and shops of the past, there is often a shortage of food or everyday goods in these parts.
The 300 km that took us to the Milford Sound fjord marina, covered in 4 hours, were surreal. Highway 6 is a well-maintained highway, as is regional highway 94 which climbs over the mountains. All around is a predominance of colors on the “burnt yellow”, a sign of the low rainfall of an unusually dry summer for these areas. Along the way we meet a single small village with very few houses and a bar where you can stretch your legs. The rest is the land of sheep and cows; the very few farms that we see are in sheet metal and refer to the images of Alberto Sordi and Claudia Cardinale in “Beautiful, honest, emigrated Australia would marry an unsullied countrywoman”.
Tired we finally reach the goal and the first impression is that the show deserves the effort made to get here. In perfect time on boarding times, the catamaran leaves the marina and sets off along the fjord.
The feeling is of being really small in the face of so much greatness.
The waterfalls that the catamaran approaches seem small but in reality they are well over 100 meters high. It is evident that in these parts man is only a guest; animals and fish are the real hosts.
Along the journey we glimpse a small colony of penguins lying in the sun and soon, as announced by the captain of the ship, 2 pairs of dolphins show up and will accompany us throughout the journey.
With adrenaline pumping, still incredulous in front of such a spectacle of nature, we set off on the way back; 4 hours by car, alone, is no joke. On the way back we are a little more attentive to the road signs and a small detour makes us meet a new friend who jumps on me as soon as he sees me, a bit like our little Niky 🥰🥰🥰.
The next day, the last in the South Island of New Zealand, we try to spend it with a little more peace of mind. A trip to Lake Wanaka, just an hour’s drive away, is what we needed. The photos of the tree sticking out of the water are a must we cannot give up; the right postcard to conclude this journey to the South of the world.