Queenstown/Milford Sound

After spending three and a half days hiking in Mt. Cook, I knew I’d be shattered. It was still nice outside having arrived in Queenstown at 7pm, so I took the gondola up to the top of Queenstown Hill during sunset.

I’d used cookies and chocolate as incentives for reaching the end of hike a couple of days before. If I were to walk to the top of the hill, I would’ve probably had to use a trip to the pharmacy to get the over-the-counter strength ibuprofen as an incentive to do so. I was very sore.

Friday morning I wasn’t really feeling up to much. It seems that if you don’t want to hurl yourself out of a plane, jump off a bridge or be flung through the air on the Nevis Swing, there isn’t really much else to do. As I don’t have a death wish, I used the day to chill and recover after the previous three and a half days of hiking.

Saturday I took a daytrip to Milford Sound. Last year I visited Doubtful Sound, so had been a little on the fence as to whether or not to go this time around. I figured that I’d enjoy the day in Milford Sound a lot more than being in Queenstown, so off I went.

All in all, it was a 9-hour(ish) round trip, but Milford Sound is great. The cruise was two hours long. It’s meant to rain there 182 days of the year, but we had a blueish sky. It’s meant to be better in the rain as there’s a lot of temporary waterfalls, but can’t complain about nice weather.

This morning I was meant to go to Auckland from Queenstown. Instead, I have faced a 10+ hour delay, and sat in Dunedin Airport (east on the South Island, a four hour drive away), waiting for my flight in four hours time. The flight I was meant to get had to turn around from Auckland because of engineering problems.

I had the choice of having Air NZ put me up in a hotel and catching a flight tomorrow, but could be put on a flight as late as 7.30pm. I decided to call today a write off and get the long delay in another airport, so I can make the most of my day in Auckland tomorrow.

In light of the Coronavirus, I’ve had to cut my trip short and leave for the UK on the 25th. It’s all a bit up in the air at the moment and I’m not too sure of the route I’m to take, as I will be facing border closures. With that said, I am relieved that this has happened right at the end of my time away, and haven’t quit my job and moved out of somewhere to find out that my plans have gone to shit.