Rocks come in all shapes and sizes. They can be as big as a mountain range, or as small as a grain of sand. They can be colourful, dull, smooth and as rough as a gravel road. But some of the strangest rocks I have ever seen were at the Chasm.
The Chasm is a feature found on the Milford Road, the exquisite stretch of highway that runs between Te Anau and Milford Sound in the South Island of New Zealand. It is proof of the true power of water.
The Chasm car park is large and well sign posted on the Milford Sound end of the Milford Road, about 1 and a quarter hours from Te Anau. A large contingent of tour buses sat creaking in the cold air as I parked my car under their elongated shadows.
A track led from the car park, well maintained and flat, and I followed this with a horde of other tourists intent on seeing this feature of the region.
The Chasm itself is a narrow gorge of rock that has been shaped by the river that squeezes through it, creating patterns rarely seen in rock. The grey stone seems to twist and turn in on itself, its skin wrinkled and dimpled like an old man's. And the noise of the water is deafening.
Two wooden viewing platforms jut out over the Chasm, and the humans that look downwards are dwarfed by the attraction's girth. But it is strangely enlivening to see nature's power at work, its never ceasing industry, and it makes me smile to think it is still there as I write this.
The walkway is only around 20 minutes return, and is a perfect diversion on the descent into Milford Sound. [more]
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