This was an especially early morning. I staggered around and got dressed at 5:30 this morning. Then, our whole group loaded onto a glass-ceiling bus and began our long journey. About two hours in, we stopped for breakfast in Te Anau. I got some incredible banana pancakes! On the bus, I got to watch the moon fall and the sun rise behind the mountains, painting the sky beautiful colors. The long drive was gorgeous-we went through the countryside and saw sheep and forests and lakes and mountains. It could not have been more perfect. We made a few scenic stops to admire the mountains. We saw the Mirror Lake where the mountains cast a nearly perfect reflection in the water. I need more synonyms for ‘stunning’. Around 12:30, we finally arrived at our destination: Milford Sound. We loaded onto a ferry, and we all headed straight to the top deck. It was freezing cold, but the view made it worth it! Everyone here refers to this place as the most beautiful place on Earth, and it’s hard to disagree. Sheer cliffs and forests and waterfalls lined the sides of Milford Sound. Rainbows appeared on the waterfalls from the sun, making it seem even more like a dream. The ferry took us out to the expanse of the Tasman Sea which separates New Zealand from Australia. It was beautiful. The ferry then turned around and took us back to the Sound. The ferry took us under one of the waterfalls, and I reveled in the spray of the water. It felt like a baptism. New Zealand is cloud nine. Once the ferry got back to the docks, we all loaded back onto the bus. This time, I got to watch the sun set behind the mountains. The drive back to Queenstown lasted about five hours, but I passed it by watching the stars and getting lost in conversations with my friends. Once back, a group of us went to dinner at a cozy restaurant on the pier. I got the South Island Lamb, and it was amazing. I enjoyed the warmth and good food and good company. We all then went back to hostel, and I quickly fell asleep.