Our first adventure in New Zealand was to Milford Sound (a famous fjord on the south island). We took a coach (bus) from Queenstown to Milford. Our coach driver, Ben, made several stops along the way so we could experience and feel the stunning beauty of the vast landscapes of New Zealand. We saw Mirror Lake (one of the many still lakes in the area), The Chasm, golden tussock high country, snow capped mountain peaks, densely forested valleys, and lots of sheep. You might recognize some of the scenery if you have seen The Lord of the Rings movies.
Once in Milford, we boarded the Milford Mariner for our overnight cruise. We spent the remaining hours of daylight taking pictures on the bow of the ship. The scenery was incredible. We stumbled across a pod of bottle-nosed dolphins and a couple of New Zealand fur seals.
We were exhausted from our travels so most of us headed to our bottom deck cabins around 9pm. John on the other hand had a much different night. John was sharing a room with three complete strangers since the rooms only held four people. John woke up around midnight and needed to go to the bathroom. He didn't want to wake up his roommates up by turning the lights on, so he decided to use the bathroom in the hall. John left the room with no shoes and no keys. Yes, no shoes and no keys. There were no crew workers up and he didn't want to wake anyone up so he spent the night in our assigned booth in the dining room area of the ship (see below for a reenactment photo). The next morning we were up by 5:45 and thought we would be the first ones at breakfast. We walked up the stairs and were shocked to see John sitting at the table with a breakfast feast before him and a half read book at his side. I guess it's just nice eating breakfast in bed once in awhile.
After breakfast (8am) we took a twenty minute nature cruise in a small motor boat. Don't worry, we were completely soaked and frozen to the bone within two minutes. Crazy tourists!