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Old July 17th, 2013, 07:33 PM
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TLCOhio TLCOhio is offline
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Default NZ Milford Sound News: Stop Tunnel Construction/Impact??!!

Major breaking news from NZ on the super scenic Milford Sound and a potential development that raised serious questions. From the Daily Mail in London today, they have this headline: " New Zealand's great fjord Milford Sound is spared the drills - but a wider tourism issue remains" with these highlights: "Depending on your perspective, New Zealand could be described as the end of the world. Last year, I wrote about a growing controversy that was causing tempers to flare amid the pastoral scenery and leafy beauty of the country’s otherwise quiet South Island. The thorn iwas the proposal to build an eight-mile tunnel that would have helped to connect the holiday hotspot of Queenstown with the magnificent fjord of Milford Sound. This would have provided a considerable short-cut for the thousands of tourists who seek out this geological miracle each year. The terrain that surrounds Milford Sound is rugged and almost completely untouched, and a journey to reach it, assuming you are staying in Queenstown, involves a detour of 180 miles – south around the picturesque shore of Lake Wakatipu, west to the resort town of Te Anau, then north again along the snaking surface of State Highway 94, the narrow ribbon that provides the only road access up to the fjord. The construction project would have involved chiselling half a million tonnes of pristine soil from Mount Aspiring National Park and the wider area of Te Wahipounamu – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Over the last 18 months, voices have been raised, protests organised and petitions signed. Today, the verdict is in. And the answer is a resounding no. New Zealand’s Conservation Minister Nick Smith has ruled that the environmental impact of the engineering works would have been significant, having a huge effect on both Mount Aspiring National Park and its neighbour Fiordland National Park (in which Milford Sound sits)."

This UK media author gave this added background on Milford Sound: "Two years ago, I made the pilgrimage to Milford Sound, taking the long way round from Queenstown. The views – the steep flanks of the fjord rearing towards the clouds, their craggy grandeur reflected in the water – made the hours behind the wheel entirely worthwhile. As I drove north, I endured slow progress behind the endless tour buses that were clogging Highway 94. The same army of vehicles was there as I meandered south. They are too big and too cumbersome for the road. But they are an unavoidable product of the beauty of Milford Sound, a place people are desperate to visit. The New Zealand government’s refusal to sanction the construction will not alleviate the pressure that is placed on Fiordland National Park by the wheels that regularly rumble through it. There are many similar cases – sites of colossal historic or cultural importance that are creaking under the weight of our ravenous interest in then. Machu Picchu was designed as a small Inca citadel on a lonely Andean mountain top, but received over one million visitors in 2011. Milford Sound receives some 500,000 visitors a year – the vast majority arriving via a road that is scarcely suitable. When Captain Cook first espied Milford Sound in 1769 while sailing down the coast of the South Island, he saw it in such isolation that he dared not enter from the sea for fear that he would not be able to escape again."

From the Dominion Post newspaper in NZ, they have this headline: "Opponents cheer tunnel decision" with these highlights: "There was jubilation in the south yesterday as a controversial plan to drill a tunnel to cut travel time to Milford Sound was rejected by Conservation Minister Nick Smith. Southland Conservation Board chairwoman and Te Anau resident Viv Shaw said the board was delighted and it appeared the decision was based on the Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks Management Plans. Dr Smith said the $180 million plan to build a route through the Fiordland and Mt Aspiring national parks, halving the travel time for the 420,000 visitors to Milford Sound each year, was beyond what was appropriate for a World Heritage Area and ran counter to the intent of the National Parks Act."

Our plans for January 2014 include not only visiting Milford Sound on the Celebrity Solstice, but we will be getting off of the ship and taking that longer route around the mountains and lakes to reach Queenstown in doing an overnight stay in this lakefront city. It will be interesting to see this full area in person. Sounds very dramatic and scenic!! Good background on this area from these stories today.

Full stories at:
http://travelblog.dailymail.co.uk/20...he-drills.html
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post...unnel-decision

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


Did a June 7-19, 2011, Celebrity Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 135,879 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:
http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1426474


From the above London newspaper story, here is their map that shows the long and curved current routing around from Milford Sound to Queenstown. The straighter "short-cut tunnel" would be straighter and quicker. But at what price?:

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Old July 18th, 2013, 04:28 AM
CCC's CCC's is offline
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I am a great lover of the South Island of New Zealand and in particular the Sounds with Doubtful Sound being my favourite. The road trip is all part of the absolute pleasure in visiting this area of New Zealand. I cannot understand how this proposal was even put forward by the politicians, but enough said on that point. My main overriding "concern" with the proposal was ........ New Zealand, and in particular the South Island, is well known for its earthquake activity. As an example, when were were overnighting at Tea Anau I was woken at 5.00 am by our motel "shivering" followed by a loud crack. No damage done as it was quite a minor earthquake. However, to be in an 8-mile long underground tunnel and there is an earthquake !!! Not for me. I would take my chances on the road above thank you.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 09:10 AM
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I agree that it was a good decision by Nick Smith. Not only would the proposed road have impacted the priceless scenery, but it would also have taken a significan portion of its tourism livelihood away from the town of Te Anau.

I have been to Milford Sound by all three, possible types of transport - by road, by air and by sea.

Yes, the current road to Milford is long. It is also rugged and beautiful. It does take hours but, as one of our popular advertisements for cheese says: "Good things take time."
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Old July 18th, 2013, 09:13 AM
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TLCOhio TLCOhio is offline
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Default Very Helpful Added Background! Thanks!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCC's View Post
I am a great lover of the South Island of New Zealand and in particular the Sounds with Doubtful Sound being my favourite. The road trip is all part of the absolute pleasure in visiting this area of New Zealand. I cannot understand how this proposal was even put forward by the politicians, but enough said on that point. My main overriding "concern" with the proposal was ........ New Zealand, and in particular the South Island, is well known for its earthquake activity. As an example, when were were overnighting at Tea Anau I was woken at 5.00 am by our motel "shivering" followed by a loud crack. No damage done as it was quite a minor earthquake. However, to be in an 8-mile long underground tunnel and there is an earthquake !!! Not for me. I would take my chances on the road above thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi Kruzer View Post
The news broke in NZ last night. I think the main concern was safety in such a long tunnel. I believe it was only going to be one lane and concern was raised about evacuation in the case of an accident. Further up the coast at Pike River, the bodies of 29 miners are still underground after an explosion nearly 2 years ago. The road may be long, but the scenery is spectacular. Why miss all the scenery to sit in a tunnel for a long time?
Quote:
NSWP: Could be side issues such as earthquakes or the Kiwis have run out of money. Just my thoughts.
Quote:
kiwipete: Re the finance side,it would certinly put a big dent in the roading budget. As an immigrant of 38 years, this country never fails to amaze me on what they manage to achieve when you think that their income is generated by only 4.5 million tax payers and associated companies, about the same as Melbourne!!
Quote:
celle: I have been to Milford Sound by all three, possible types of transport - by road, by air and by sea. Yes, the current road to Milford is long. It is also rugged and beautiful. It does take hours but, as one of our popular advertisements for cheese says: "Good things take time."
Appreciate the good, added thoughts from CCC's, celle, David/Kiwi Kruzer above and the others quoted and noted on the other NZ-Aussie board of CC. Very helpful and interesting getting these added items of thought and background. Had not considered the earthquake and economics/cost factors. Looking forward to being there and learning much more while traveling in this area, talking with the locals, etc. Will share these items on our very active roll call for our Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014 Celebrity Solstice, Sydney to Auckland cruise.

Keep sharing these items. THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


Celebrity Solstice Visual Highlights? From our June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in France, Italy, Kotor and Dubrovnik, I have pull together a number of wonderful visuals of the Solstice, its features, food, entertainment, options, etc. We are now at over 8,819 views for this shorter version of my larger full review of that cruise and all of the port pictures/details. Check these postings and added info at:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1803477

Last edited by TLCOhio; July 18th, 2013 at 09:16 AM.
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