Sometimes I like to get away and drive. Drive for a long long time, when driving becomes second nature and a inward process takes place. When you start internalize the lyrics of that song you are listening to, and start thinking. When you look around and take the passing landscapes in.
At first, wide open spaces welcome you on the road with the occasional cattle. A river flows through the valley and on the horizon majestic mountains stand. If you press on, you will be rewarded with enchanting green forests and windy roads. The road to the world famous Milford Sound in high season is busy but luckily for me traffic is light.
As the road continues, there are plenty of opportunities to stop on the way. that offer a place to relax and take the beautiful scenery in without stress. The DOC (department of conservation) of New Zealand does a great job of building facilities for visitors.
The mountain range then gets closer and closer and you can’t help but admire their strength and power, standing the ground for centuries. But mountains are not the only attraction to potential visitors. Small waterfalls and lakes can be found by those who look for them. A popular icon is the Mirror Lake and it was a small but an interesting sight. The mirroring is impressive.
As I drove further into the mountains, I was welcomed by some small drizzle until it became a constant light white noise against my windows. With the rain comes the mist and fog giving this another atmospheric feel to it. Driving through the scenery, through the rain and the mist, sights appear and disappear to form a perfect atmosphere to dwell on your life, ideas and other deeper thoughts.
To reach Milford Sound, there is one tunnel to pass. One spot where people wait and get the opportunity to admire the scenery. If they would stop instead if continuing right away, they would get to discover those small temporary water falls from close up.
On the other end of the tunnel is a another famous spot to take a look at the scenery. And the tourist buses full of Asian tourists mainly give a whole other feel to this normally calm and lonely place. This is the rule throughout the journey to Milford sound, if you leave the road only for a couple of meters and miss the popular spots, it could seem empty. If you follow the crowds though, you will encounter the place in a completely different manner.
Finally after 118 km of windy roads the goal is in sight, the mighty Milford Sound and its iconic mountains. Time for a break and coffee before heading back to Te Anau where the journey started.