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Plan to tunnel through Milford Sound axed


Jul 17 2013, 4:43am

Post #1 of 12 (171 views)
Plan to tunnel through Milford Sound axed Can't Post

I really thought it was going to get the go ahead, but it's a no. Phew.
Read more here.

Superuser / Moderator

Jul 17 2013, 4:54am

Post #2 of 12 (133 views)
*throws biodegradeable confetti* [In reply to] Can't Post

Apart from the reasons stated for not going ahead with it, I think there is a lot to be said for taking a slow route through a world heritage area. Why be in a rush? Why is it thought to be 'best' to get to a destination quickly when, for this, the landscape through which you travel is a large part of the experience?

We've had the slow food revolution; I advocate for slow travel. (Or at least, slow enough that the landscape doesn't blur.)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories


Jul 17 2013, 5:20am

Post #3 of 12 (130 views)
Totally agree [In reply to] Can't Post

Call me an old grump, but if you want to get there in a rush then why bother? I am all in favour of taking your time to absorb the wonder, hear the birds, and perhaps to eat that second breakfast. Cool

Slow travel revolution - I like it!

I wonder if that would work in the employment sense. Maybe I could start at around 10, taking a slow journey to work in order to enjoy the scenic wonders..I can see the Southern Alps on the way to work you know, but only if I can leave when it is actually daylight.Laugh

Tol Eressea

Jul 17 2013, 6:39am

Post #4 of 12 (117 views)
That is the biggest triumph the environment has had anywhere for some time. [In reply to] Can't Post

I am sitting here with tears of relief not held back. That driving trip to Milford is still one of the most memorable of all my traveling, and I'm glad others will still have that leisurely joy. It seemed as if two beautiful parks of the US - Yosemite and Yellowstone - had both been laid out for us to enjoy. That road is a breathtaking adventure in itself - and enough of a footprint for us to leave there in order to have access to the splendour of Milford Sound. Now the surrounding valley and hills can remain as pristine as ever.

A very good decision and I, too, am pleasantly surprised at the foresight shown.
Perhaps sometimes it does pay to sign those petitions.Smile

On the road to Milford Sound.


Jul 17 2013, 7:16am

Post #5 of 12 (110 views)
It was a pleasant surprise [In reply to] Can't Post

It is a rare event that our current Government supplies me with one of those. I'll take it. Smile


Jul 17 2013, 7:25am

Post #6 of 12 (112 views)
But, the drive from Te Anau is the best part! [In reply to] Can't Post

It's one of the most awesome, dramatic roads I've ever been on. Vistas like this, this, or (on this one, look for the tiny person in a blue sweater and khaki pants toward the left, to get the scale) are worth the drive!

Superuser / Moderator

Jul 17 2013, 7:36am

Post #7 of 12 (118 views)
Great photos! [In reply to] Can't Post

The thing that spooked me with the Homer Tunnel was that it rises to a crest in the middle so that when you enter it, there's no 'light at the end of the tunnel' to aim towards until you're half-way through!

But yeah, the Te Anau-Milford road is the most stunning landscape I've driven through - followed by Haast-Wanaka and much of the west coast.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories


Jul 17 2013, 9:27am

Post #8 of 12 (103 views)
Te Anau is the logical starting point......... [In reply to] Can't Post

but unfortunately many visitors stay in Queenstown and then do the round trip to Milford Sound by coach which makes for a very long day.
One of the best ways is to travel from Te Anau with Trips & Tramps http://www.tripsandtramps.com/

Lily Fairbairn

Jul 17 2013, 2:24pm

Post #9 of 12 (84 views)
Wow [In reply to] Can't Post

I hadn't heard of this! I've never driven in the area---I saw Milford Sound from the deck of a ship on a gorgeous sunny day---but I can't imagine doing a huge construction project in those mountains.

I agree---there is something to be said for slow and appreciative travel, making the journey rather than ticking off destinations.


Jul 18 2013, 7:21am

Post #10 of 12 (73 views)
It takes time to do it justice. [In reply to] Can't Post

None of these places are close. We spent 3 days in the Queenstown area (actually, a lovely B&B in the country halfway to Arrowtown), did an overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound, and then spent 3 days in Te Anau, including a day trip (drive) to Milford Sound. Many miles involved, but every one of them spectacular and enjoyable.

We'd love to go back.

(This post was edited by Elizabeth on Jul 18 2013, 7:21am)


Jul 18 2013, 12:36pm

Post #11 of 12 (60 views)
That's wonderful! [In reply to] Can't Post

My family and I visited NZ in Dec 2011, and the drive from Queen's Town to Milford Sound was so beautiful, one of the highlights of the trip. I spent a very enjoyable 3 hours day-dreaming that I was traveling through the Misty Mountains (helped the fact it was pretty misty that day), and the tunnel we went through became Goblin Town in my mind ( Blush ), not a pleasant place to be.

I didn't know there was a plan to build a tunnel; thank goodness they've changed their minds!

On the way there too, we drove past where they had been filming TH two days earlier. Shocked Shocked Shocked I actually jumped out my seat to see it.

Although, having said that, after Milford Sound we were all so tired, we couldn't face another 3 hours in a stuffy tour bus, so, spur of the moment, decided to take the helicopter back to Queen's Town.

Wow. Was that awesome. The most terrifying, stunning, enthralling experience of my life. Flying through the cloud and rain, over the mountain peaks, having the pilot point out LotR film locations as we spend over them, cannot be compared to a drive through a tunnel.

Thank heavens it's been axed!!!

'There lie the woods of Lothlorien!' said Legolas. 'That is the fairest of all the dwellings of my people. There are no trees like the trees of that land. For in the autumn their leaves fall not, but turn to gold.'


Jul 20 2013, 6:16pm

Post #12 of 12 (47 views)
I agree Atahuaa [In reply to] Can't Post

I found the Homer tunnel really spooky- I was terrified that the lights would change before I got to the other end! But driving from Te Anau to Milford Sound is just wonderful! I was fortunate to be driving myself, so had the freedom to stop and get out at several points. And I actually had perfect weather for the boat trip on the Sound too- my photos of Mitre Peak look straight out of the travel brochure! So different from my previous time in NZ, when I went to Doubtful Sound and it rained so much- all I could see was rain and mist/fog. And as soon as we got back through the tunnel to Lake Manapouri it was brilliant sunshine again!
I'm SO glad that the tunnel plan has been axed!!!

Coming soon!- The first TORn Amateur Symposium, starts Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Closing date for essay submission Sunday 14th July, but even if you don't submit, join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work


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