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I captured this beautiful scene at the base of Sutherland Falls, the tallest waterfall in New Zealand and one that is only accessible via a one-hour side trail off of the Milford Track. This trail isn’t located in the best of places for unguided walkers, because it’s just as you come down off of Mackinnon Pass but still an hour’s walk from the hut where you spend your third night (for guided walkers it’s much better — the trail leaves the track at their hut).
Even though we were all a bit weary from having climbed the pass with all of our gear, we still couldn’t pass up a chance at seeing this spectacular waterfall — and we were definitely rewarded for the extra effort. The waterfall is massive; its water thunders as it crashes into the rocks below and creates a massive spray that instantly cools you down no matter how far you are from the base. Rather than just standing and enjoying the light shower, another walker (Teddy) and I decided to get a bit of a different view by climbing up behind the waterfall (photo in the thumbnails below). It was very slippery and I’m pretty sure everyone was expecting one of us to break an ankle, but we made a complete 360 around the falls without falling over once. It was amazing standing behind such a huge wall of water, and it gave us a dose of the typical Milford Track experience — getting soaked — that we didn’t have otherwise because the weather was perfect for our entire 4 day trek.
So, even though this photo isn’t my best technically, I still love it — both for the scene and for the memories that it brings back. Plus, it helped to justify my purchase of a waterproof camera just days beforehand (after I’d had an unfortunate incident with my Canon Powershot).
Here are some other photos from our slippery trip around Sutherland Falls: