Disclaimer: there will be a million photos on this post.
We woke up at Moke Lake campsite to a very frosty morning. The mist and frost were intense. This was definitely our coldest night and coldest morning so far.
The drive to the site last night was quite scary. The gravel road was completely icy, narrow and steep. There were a few other cars that were having trouble on the road (we think young Kiwis use Moke Lake campground as a makeout spot!), but Jo handled it like a pro.
Elaina remembered seeing all the sheep laying down and staring at us as we were driving through. She was thinking, “They know something we don’t know.”
Thankfully we made it out okay , and really enjoyed the drive back toward Queenstown. The views were absolutely spectacular.
We stopped at a lookout on Lake Wakatipu and got real camera happy. WE CAN’T HELP IT. This place is just unreal.
We finally made it into town and stopped at the Budget 1 2 3 + Plus store (awesome name) to pick up some postcards. It costs $2 to send 1 POSTCARD in New Zealand. Craziness.
It was sad to leave Queenstown, because it is such a special little town, but we ventured off in the direction of Te Anau en route to Milford Sound. We were trying to figure out if we would stay in Te Anau or further along the road to the Milford Sound. We stopped in Te Anau and hit a couple info spots. The lady in the iSITE was really funny. She has actually been to Minnesota, specifically the Mall of America, many times, and Oregon. We tried to tell her about some cool things to do in Minnesota BESIDES shopping, but she really wasn’t interested. She thinks everything is so cheap in the US, and especially Minnesota because there isn’t tax on clothes. We thought she might be interested in hearing about cool activities outdoors to do but…nope.
We told her we were cruising around NZ in our little campervan. Her response: “Oh, those things are divorce material!”
Fortunately, we don’t agree (and we’re still married). Campervans rule!
We decided to keep pushing on toward Milford Sound, and stopped to check out the Mirror Lakes. It was a really nice hike out to the lakes, and there were a bunch of ducks diving down in the water. It was pretty sweet!
We decided to push our luck and keep driving up toward Milford Sound and the Milford Sound Lodge. We were testing our luck because the Lodge just has a limited number of rooms, and since our phones didn’t work, we couldn’t call up there and see if they had rooms available. So we just hoped for the best!
So far, we’ve done really well with paying barely anything to sleep places, and kind of regretted not getting a hostel in Queenstown so we could clean up and regroup–showers…laundry…all things that aren’t available when you’re LIVING IN A VAN–so we were very hopeful about staying in the Lodge.
The drive from Cascade Creek up to Milford Sound was really awesome. It included a tunnel through the mountains that was almost a mile long…very creepy!!
We took a couple night photos and the color of the sky against the mountains with the stars coming out was so cool.
We arrived at the Lodge and asked about dorm rooms, decided we wanted to stay in the dorms and then went to pay and they had sold the 2 spots they had left to some other people. DANG.
Oh well, the camper area had community facilities, including a kitchen, showers, and bathrooms inside…we were SO excited.
After showers, we started our laundry and then heated up some dinner in the communal kitchen. We were able to accomplish a bunch of stuff–copied pics from the camera to the computer and external hard drive, watched our bungy videos, which were so fun! Jo was so smart to have set those up!
We hung out for a while there and had a few beers. It was a nice, chill time.
The person working the front desk said you could see glow worms if you just go out and walk around. We decided to try to find some, but didn’t have any luck.
We turned in, excited for our Milford Sound cruise tomorrow!