From Wanaka, we drove past Queenstown to Te Anau, (pronounced Tay Anow), where we spent the next 2 nights. We checked into the Fiordlands Greatviews Holiday Park and got situated in our one room cabin with a few beds and a desk. There were 2 sets of bunk beds, so Evelyn was pretty thrilled to get to sleep on the top, just like Blake.
We went into town to grab some dinner and check out some tour information for the next day. We picked up some authentic Italian pasta and pizza and went back to the holiday park where we ate it in the communal kitchen.
That night we tried to put the children to bed early, but by the time we got them settled down it was dark and late. Oliver became very attached on this trip and would not stop crying when I was in the room. And since we were all in the same tiny room, I ended up slipping outside so he could settle down.
And before my eyes was the most glorious night sky I have ever seen! We were pretty bummed to miss the stars in Tekapo due to clouds, so seeing this was the best treat.
Since I was banned outside for a while, I got my camera and played around. I realized I’m no astrographer and that the beauty I was experiencing could only be captured in my mind. When I was a little girl, I remember many nights camping or even at home that my parents would pull us out of bed to watch a meteor shower or to look at the stars because “they sure look incredible tonight” as quoted by my Dad. So Brandon brought each of the kids out of bed to have a mommy date looking at the stars. It was a magnificent night watching those thousands of stars twinkling and to see the Milky Way so thick and noticeable.
The next morning, we got up first thing to drive 2 hours to Milford Sound. I’ll do a separate post on that.
We stayed one more night in Te Anau and then woke up Saturday, March 18th, on Brandon’s 32nd birthday to catch a Glow Worm Cave Tour before we drove back to Queenstown.
Unfortunately, no photos were allowed in the cave, which I guess was a good thing so we could focus on being completely present. But man, that was the coolest cave I’ve ever seen. A gushing river had carved the curviest, most interesting looking sculptures that we got to hike through. Once we reached the glow worm grotto, all lights went out and we got into a 12 person boat. We drifted into a dark portion where all of sudden, hundreds and thousands of glow worms were twinkling on the top of the cave. The view could be compared with the night sky we had seen the night prior.
We had to keep completely quiet because noise and lights scare the worms which will in turn make them night glow, so it was a task to keep Blake and Evelyn quiet since they were a bit afraid of the dark. Oliver on the other hand fell asleep fast in the Ergo once we hit pitch black. Thank goodness there were only a few tears of fear, for our sake and everyone else’s.
That experience was one of the most unique one’s we’ve ever had. It was incredible. I got these images off the web so we can remember what it was like.
^These are the glow worm beads, that they catch their food with. And glow worms are actually maggots, but the marketing people didn’t think anyone would want to see glow maggots. haha!
^We got to take a boat ride across Lake Te Anau, the 2nd largest lake in New Zealand to get to the caves. Our children really really loved boat rides.
And then we stopped at a park where they had the coolest parent/child swing and a zip line. Needless to say, we stayed a lot longer than we thought. All 5 of us played hard there. It was a great kick start to the birthday celebrations!