22nd March, 2015.
Rise and shine! I didn’t bother bathing (sejuk bedi kot!) but I did go to brush my teeth and wash my face by the Wakatipu Lake. There was a sense of awe that God has given me the chance to witness the beauty that is Wakatipu, and I prayed that I would be given equal chances to see more of the world again.
We headed back on the unsealed road towards Glenorchy, and made our way to Queenstown.
The highway turns south to follow the southeastern shore of the lake, skirting the foot of The Remarkables and the Hector Mountains. This stretch of the highway is in part tortuously winding, and rises and falls over a stretch known as “The Devil’s Staircase”. – Wikipedia.
Driving up and down the Tangga Setan as it was aptly named was exhilarating. It was windy and the lake, the skies were picture perfect. We made a pitstop at one of the lookout point, but of course the photos are still in Syaiful’s GoPro.
Somewhere along the jalan kampung, a rigorous policewoman caught thambi speeding at 100 km/hour. That was how we got out infringement ticket from New Zealand. NZD 80 from the pocket. Hahha.
A word of warning to the motorhome drivers: stick to 90 km/hour or risk paying NZD 80.
We made it to Te Anau around noon. It was a quaint and picturesque little town right by its namesake lake. We made a pitstop at the Info Centre for toilet break, and of course to ask about Milford Road camping sites and its accessibility.
One of the things that I love about New Zealand is the comprehensive ways the government tries to provide information to the tourists. There are dozens of pamphlets on one particular area, by the time you finish reading them you’d know the place like the back of your hand.
I asked the lady at the counter, “So madam, could you please tell me where the last flushing toilet is along Milford Road?” Since my mother’s acquaintance with long-drop toilet didn’t impress her much. The lady nicely pointed out Knobs Flat out of many DOC sites along Milford Road. Ok, not bad at all.
Milford Road itself has a pretty amazing history. One of the most scenic roads in New Zealand, it is also one of the most dangerous too, with injury crash rates at 65 %. Very treacherous, very exciting, very remarkable.
We did stop by Knobs Flat. It had proper flushing toilets and powered sites, but we didn’t feel the pull. Besides, the view was quite subpar compared to the rest of the journey. So we continued down the road…
One of the most prominent parts of the highway is of course the Homer Tunnel.The tunnel pierces the Homer Saddle, and measures at 1.2 km long. Dark, single-laned. It made us wonder with the amount of money New Zealand is receiving, they still can’t properly seal and provide proper lighting for the tunnel. Maybe they need to take a page or two from our Terowong Menora and Smart Tunnel. Hmm.
After the tunnel, all hell breaks loose. Why? Look at the photo stolen from another website below.
Again, my thambi outdid himself with his driving.
We put up a night at one of the two accommodations available in Milford Sound, Milford Sound Lodge. It is hidden in the bush, right next to a river with a beautiful view of the mountains.
But alas, the sandflies were reigning here.