Te Anau, Doubtful Sound, Milford Track

In Wanaka and Queenstown I had really great experience, but it was time to try something different. One of my good friend says, that it is no important where you are, but what you experience. I agree. In New Zealand there are a few places I really want to see. A couple weeks ago I read about an amazing place called Te Anau with a great connection to places like Doubtful and Milford Sound. I read some information on the Internet and checked my guide and I was sure I had to go there, so when my accommodation in Queenstown expired, I book a new one in Te Anau and I started to be really excited, despite the fact that the bus leaved Queenstown early morning.

Although we are going to travel by car on North Island with my friend from Germany next week, I like travelling with buses because you can meet a lot of interesting people. There was a girl in YHA who was leaving Queenstown with me. When I sat down on bus I started to talk to her. Her name was Malin. She had similar plans like me and she seemed like a really nice person. Her company was really cool and we arrived in Te Anau without troubles. The driver dropped us somewhere in the middle of the town. I asked him if he knows where YHA Te Anau is. He showed us a way and we went there, but after a while it looked like we got lost. We met a guy from Asia and he had the same problem. I took my Rough Guide, turned over some pages and tried to find some pages about Te Anau. I was quite successful and we could check the map and find YHA.

The building looked very nice, interior was amazing. There are some differences among YHA backpackers in New Zealand, but YHA Te Anau belonged among the better ones. With Malin we wanted to accommodate but it was not possible, because the cleaning was still in progress. A girl in the reception said they had quite big group the night before. With Malin we put our luggage to store room and went to explore Te Anau together. I really enjoyed to walking with her. We were talking about various things and she had exactly the same kind of personality I am interested in. During our walking a lot of fun included. For instance she asked me what the most favorite food is in the Czech Republic. I replied that the Czech guys like meet and she could find some duck meat a lot. Unfortunately she understood me dog meat instead of duck one and she looked quite scared, because she herself has two nice dogs. After that we were laughing that misunderstanding and I added she probably was not going to invite me at her place because I could eat her lovely dogs. :)

We were walking around Te Anau Lake and we visited Information center as well. There were some materials about Mount Cook village so I showed her some brochures about Mueller Hut. After we left the Information Center we were going to drink some coffee together. We ordered our drinks and sat down for a while. I showed Malin some of my photo and we were drinking, talking and waiting for check-in time in YHA. When the time came we went to accommodate and we agreed we could meet at 3 pm and went out together again. I had still quite a long time so I put my luggage into my room, ate something and tried to wonder about my next steps. At three o’clock we met in the main hall and tried to walking around the lake again. We used the first part of the Kepler track. After a while we could observe some native birds of New Zealand. There was possible to see Kea parrots and Tui birds for instance. We observed the Lake Te Anau and the mountains. There were some clouds around the mountains and the whole scenery was really extraordinary.

When we were walking back we decided to book some activities. We visited a special place and Malin booked a Doubtful Sound kayak trip. I booked Doubtful Sound as well, but I chose a boat trip. There was a special price and the weather seemed beautiful. After we left the booking center we went watching a film about Fiordland with Malin. Meanwhile I proposed her I could cook a dinner for us. There was a Four Square in Te Anau, so we had plenty ingredients. She bought me a ticket for the movie and we really enjoyed watching that project. After that the both of us were pretty much more exited to visit Doubtful Sound than before. When the film was gone we came back to YHA and we found we have only a pizza base from ingredients. We went to supermarket to buy some other ones. There was some improvisation, but I really wanted to prepare and cooked that pizza well. We prepared everything, it was a really good cooperation. When I put the final product to the oven and hoped the result will be all right. We found an empty table. I also bought some cheese cake, but it was like a dessert. I took the pizza from the oven and start serving whole dinner.

I was surprised, but the result was amazing. For both of us the pizza was delicious. Malin said I would be a cook. :) After dinner there was no problem to serve a dessert. After the dinner we visited a very nice restaurant. We drank some beer and enjoyed that relaxed atmosphere spread Te Anau wide. For me it was one of the best days here in New Zealand, but we had still some time. I wanted to show Malin some episodes Flight of the Concord. We were walking through our hostel and tried to find a calm place for watching. We decided to go into my room, because I thought my roommateswould be away for a while. However, all of them were inside. Some guys from Spain, New York and Belgium. There were very nice ones, indeed. With Malin we tried to watch some videos, but the noise inside the room was quite unpleasant for watching, so we went outside for a while and after that we found a great place within our backpacker. We spent maybe more than one hour with watching some part of Flight of the Concords, but it was very nice and I though we both enjoyed whole day.

Next day I had had to wake up quite early because of Doubtful Sound experience. Originally I had booked only one night in YHA, so in the morning I also had to leave my room. Because the same situation like previous night and my new room was not prepared, I just put my luggage to store room and left the YHA building and was going to wait for my connection to Doubtful Sound. I met a guy from France, but he was going to Milford Sound. A bus stopped quite soon. I thought it was a school bus, but the driver allowed me to hop on. After that were stopping at many places in Te Anau and collected some other people. Together we went to a township Manapori where two small boats were waiting for us. I sat next to a window and was really excited. There were two captains and when they came in, one of them asked everyone if somebody with name Tomasek is aboard. I was wondering what I forgot, but they just wanted to give me a lunch. Everything seemed all right and we could leave the township.

The first part of that trip was to sail Lake Manapori and get to West Arm. There was also a power station and we had a short excursion. It was really interesting. The guys said it was probably the best New Zealand engineering achievement. We were on bus and the driver took us into a tunnel. A funny thing was he changed his direction inside, within a narrow tunnel. After the excursion we went to a small lookout to observe a small part of our trip. It was really beautiful. After a while the driver dropped us close to the other boats. We got aboard again. The weather was beautiful and the whole sailing was amazing. We could observe some waterfalls, hills and some other parts of Fiordland National Park. The Doubtful Sound was closer and closer. We reached Tasman Sea and it was really cool, because we had some nice moments. We could observe some dolphins, penguins with yellow heads and seals who relaxed on a stone. All of us took many photos. We had one stop closed to a waterfall. We were really close, so we were able to touch the falling water. For me it was a moment I probably never forget. Some troubles caused sandflies. They bit my hands, but for me it was a part of experience. From boats we sat on bus and went back to West Arm again where two ferries were prepared for us. In next 20-30 minutes we got the coast of Manapori where the bus back to Te Anau was ready. I met some nice people from Australia so the time went quite fast.

In Te Anau I met Malin again. Her day was also amazing. For next days she decided to go Kepler Track, I wanted to visit Sounds again. I book a small part of Mildford Track and took keys from my new room. I moved my luggage there and in the same room was a guy from France with a guy from Italy. There were very nice, but I was quite hungry, so I went to the kitchen to prepare something. Malin was packing her things and after she went shopping. When I finished my dinner I sat down to a quite calm place and was adding my previous article. When Malin returned from the shop she sat next to me. I showed her my photos from Doubtful Sound. After a while I said good bye. That is a disadvantage of travelling. You can meet a lot of very nice people, but because of different plans you can leave them quite early. I will miss her, but who knows, maybe we will meet somewhere in Canada, where she also would like to go. In YHA there was a couple from Doubtful Sound trip. I talked to them a little bit. There were from Melbourne and I recommended them some things in Wanaka. I had a conversation with my roommates about girls and I went to bed quite late, but I was really tired, so I fell asleep without troubles.

The good thing next day was I could not change my room. I left my hostel only with my camera and a bottle of water. I went to a meeting point for Milford Sound where I got a ticket for a ferry. There were some other people from Australia, the UK (London) and the US (Minnesota). In the bus we had a really nice conversation and when we got aboard we kept talking. On the lake we observed sceneries and it was really beautiful. I have a friend Ondra in the Czech Republic who is a London lover. I told a London couple about him. They were very nice people as well as the people from the US. We talked traditionally about everything, in particular about New Zealand experience. Their next plan was to go to Mount Cook Village. I gave him some advice and wished all the best. However, the Milford was pretty amazing. Sandflies were everywhere, but the weather was beautiful and I could take a lot of nice photos. We had some light walk. We saw poison flowers as well as spectacular sceneries. We had a lunch in a small hut. After we crossed the bridge and explored a small part of Milford Track. We could observe some domestic birds and saw very interesting flora. I took a lot of photos again. When we were in Te Anau, the guy from Australia lent me a raincoat. However, it was not necessary, because the weather was amazing.

Our guide was a very nice guy from Te Anau. He showed us some nice things along the track and we were really satisfied. When we returned back to village I said goodbye to all of them and went back to YHA. In my room there was a girl from Italy. Her name was Barbara and she writes blog as well. I added her blog among my favorites even though everything is in German language. :) However, Google translator works. When she introduced me I had to show her some parts of Flight of the Concords, because in one episode those guys fell in love with a girl with the same name. Last night in Te Anau was quite nice. Our room was full with girls from America and Canada. It was not surprise for me, that all of them were really nice. They study in Dunedin and had spent some days in Mount Cook village, so we had some common interest. Next morning I woke up quite late. I had a very quick breakfast and had to leave the hostel quite quickly. I had booked the bus to Invercargill because I wanted to visit Stuart Island. I nearly missed bus, but fortunately it didn’t happen. I left Te Anau on Sunday, I spent there three days and for me it was really one of the best experience in New Zealand. Te Anau is a small town, but very beautiful. I can imagine spend there a long time. However, it was time to try something different in Invercargill. But, this is a different story.

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One Response to Te Anau, Doubtful Sound, Milford Track

  1. Kamil says:

    Beautiful scenery and kind words in your article, Artman. Thanks!

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