Alba and I checked out of our hostel in Queenstown very early on an extremely cold morning. It would only get colder as we continued south. I had the beginnings of a cold (a sore throat and just overall tiredness) and was wary of the chill in the air. There was frost-like snow on the ground, but the bus stops for no one and nothing. I hopped on and tried to get some sleep.
I don’t remember much of the three-hour drive to Te Anau. The day was cloudy and cold and fog hindered any chance of a view. When we arrived in Te Anau, we booked our Milford Sound cruise for the afternoon and hit up a grocery store. I stocked up on some cold medicine, hoping it would at least dampen the effects of my cold, and fruit juice for a boost of vitamin C. Then we continued on to Milford, making several stops for photo opps despite the snow. I skipped most of them and huddled in the bus where it was slightly warmer than outside.
At Milford Sound, we got on a boat and cruised the fjord. The beauty of Milford Sound is immediate. Some places seem to gradually evolve from nothing to something, but Milford is startlingly amazing from the onset. We were surrounded by sheer cliff walls that towered high above us. With all the recent rain and snow, there were dozens of waterfalls flowing. Long stretches of fluffy white clouds seemed low enough to touch. Everything was truly incredible to see and lived up to all the hype surrounding this famous tourist attraction. Milford Sound really embodied all that is great about New Zealand.
During the 45-minute cruise, I began to feel even worse. I wished I could enjoy the sights even more, but I’d had enough and took shelter inside the ship where it was warmer. After docking, we headed to Gunns Camp, which turned out to be a back-to-nature type of accommodation. We settled into five different historical cabins that housed up to six people. There were two tiny rooms joined together by a small sitting area with a wood and coal-burning stove. In separate buildings there were kitchen and bathroom facilities. However, I was ready for bed and quickly showered, ate some soup and tried to get some rest. All said and done, it was probably 5:00 pm when I went to sleep.