Fiordland Photos

En route from Nelson to Milford Sound
View from Fresh Water Basin, Milford Sound
Milford Sound
Milford Sound
Harrison Cove, Milford Sound
View from our mooring. Cameron never thought he would see snow from the boat:)
On a hike up the famed Milford Track
Milford Track View
Banyan at rest in Fresh Water Basin, Milford Sound
Departing Milford Sound
From Milford Sound, we sailed down to George Sound
Behind Anchor Island, George Sound aka Sandfly Central. We are very slightly aground here…
Sandflies in George Sound
George Sound
Heading into Alice Bay at the top of George Sound
Alice Lake, a short hike from the top of George Sound
Banyan stern tied to a permanent line in Alice Bay, George Sound
A looking down the waterfall into George Sound
Alice Lake at the top of the falls, George Sound
My favorite photo from our time in Fiordland. Cameron with his girls. Alice Lake, George Sound
Dea’s Cove, Bradshaw Arm, Doubtful Sound. We are all side tied to the same hawser line running from the beach out to a mooring buoy behind us.
The business end of the hawser line
The mystery object. These were what was glowing at night. They were all over the place in Fiordland. We sailed through fields of these during the day and at night while they glowed with luminescence. Anyone know what they are?
Dea’s Cove, Bradshaw Arm, Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound
Precipice Cove, Doubtful Sound. Cameron’s looking happy after settling in for the coming blow
Precipice Cove, Doubtful Sound – one of the only anchorages we ever shared with other boats
Precipice Cove, Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound
Captain Cameron
Gear Arm, Doubtful Sound
Gear Arm, Doubtful Sound
Gear Arm, Doubtful Sound
Gear Arm, Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound
Amazing day… Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound
Banyan showing off her laundry in Deep Water Basin, Doubtful Sound
Helena Falls, Deep Water Basin, Doubtful Sound
Helena Falls, Deep Water Basin, Doubtful Sound
Our view from the falls out to Banyan in Deep Water Basin, Doubtful Sound
Looking down Doubtful Sound from Deep Water Basin
Blanket Bay Hotel, Doubtful Sound
Filling up with water at the Blanket Bay Hotel, Doubtful Sound
Dinner, tossed to us from some super nice fisherman.
more dinner
Poke Baby!
Motoring up Dagg Sound
Still water at the head of Dagg Sound
Motoring out of Dagg Sound
School en route
Dusky Sound
Rafted to a dive boat in Cascade Cove, Dusky Sound. They also tossed us some cray!
A pretty sweet heli pad, Cascade Cove, Dusky Sound
Cook Arm, Dusky Sound
view from the heli pad. Banyan is moored between a stern line to shore and a mooring which is just outside the frame
View from Astronomer’s Point, where Capt. Cook took the transit of Venus to get a more accurate location for New Zealand and where he did a 30 day refit of his ship. The first beer brewed in New Zealand was brewed here 🙂
Heading into Luncheon Cove, Dusky Sound
Luncheon Cove, where Cook “dinned on crayfish” and we had a respite from the sandflies! Our bow and stern are connected to permanent lines.
A view out toward Many Islands in Dusky Sound from a view point on Anchorage Island
The Bush – Anchorage Island, Dusky Sound
One of the classic Fishing depots where fisherman off load crayfish and bring in supplies. The helicopter actually lands on the structure to the right of the building on the left. One pilot we talked to said this was the sketchiest of the pads.
Some industrious fisherman has installed a satellite here so they can get their Rugby and TV shows:)
Departing Luncheon Cove and Dusky through the narrow channels
Crown Fern
Departing Dusky Sound
Collecting dinner Preservation Sound
Cameron grabbed a shot of our rust bucket mooring in Weka Cove, Preservation Sound while he was up doing a rig inspection. The fisherman have converted an old ferry and built a helipad on top. Inside it looked like a bar, the day after a good party.
Paua (abalone) for dinner, Preservation Sound
Walk to the light house on Puysegur Point, Preservation Sound
Puysegur Point
View from Puysegur Point
The Light house at Puysegur Point
Preservation Sound
Weka Cove, Preservation Sound
En Route to Stewart Island. Can you believe this is the Southern Ocean!!!


  1. Jan Jopson says:

    Beautiful photos!! Looking forward to seeing Stewart Island through your eyes as well. And seeing you in person in Dunedin soon. Hope you can find the weather window you are looking for … 🙂 (small parcel here from First Aid NZ). Safe passage!!

  2. Gabriella Van zutphen says:

    Your photos are amazing, the girls have grown so much and you all look so happy. Safe travels. Lots of love from Norway xx

  3. barbara harkema says:

    Amazing pictures! love reading your adventures and seeing the photo’s. what an amazing country NZ, I walked the Milford Sound track myself many years ago and recognise the area, stunning. Jealous of all the fresh seafood! enjoy.

  4. Michele Herald says:

    Wow!!! Your photos were worth waiting for… Amazing!!
    Makes me want to book a boat trip in the sounds asap

  5. Stephanie West says:

    Love your photos! Just beautiful! Loved reading your adventures and have been googling the places you have been reporting from, but your pictures are even better than what I find on the internet! I just can’t believe there are OTHER boats out there with you! Crazy! On the other hand, I just can’t believe there are NO other boats out there with you! lol. What an amazing time you are getting to spend with your girls! Not sure my 3 boys, who love sailing, would have loved these close quarters for such an extended period of time. Your family is amazing! And, thank you for sharing some of your scary times! Reminds us that it is not as easy as you make it look! But you tackle each hurdle and make me think I can tackle my hurdles as well (like getting anxious when boat is healing more than I’d like!). Yes! You are encouraging me, even though you have never met me!! Love it! Stay safe! Looking forward to future posts! –sorry for over-commenting 🙂

    • Anne Vawter says:

      You CAN tackle those hurdles. The more you do it, the easier it gets. I recall one of the first times we healed over a lot on Banyan. Isa was yelling “we’re gonna die, we’re gonna die!” I didn’t have a spare hand to comfort her which didn’t seem to matter because she promptly fell asleep. Now when that happens, she still gets a bit worried, but just crawls into the footwell and curls up:). I find that steering really helps me as I can manage the heel and I get to tell Cameron to ease the main sheet 🙂 Happy Sailing!!

      • Stephanie West says:

        Love it! I capsized when I was 12 – had to be rescued by the coast guard, watched my favorite pair of yellow jeans float away and sink. I’m sure my dad was thinking about more than lost jeans! But still today, I “see” water coming overboard when we take a high heal, and I don’t wear yellow clothing! Then, once, when I had my 2 yr old onboard, I was steering and landed us on a reef. Again, coast guard to the rescue. So, I don’t steer much. But, you’re right. I should take more control. New goal: steer more. Your girls are very brave! It must be so interesting for you to see how they handle their challenges and to see what sailing memories will be their strongest memories decades later!

        • Anne Vawter says:

          Sounds like you are very brave! Many would not have gone sailing again after a few of those experiences, but you are still out there enjoying the wind in your hair and tackling your fears. Happy Sailing!

  6. Joyce Beery Miles says:

    Love, love the photos. As someone else said” worth the wait”. We have been to Milford Sound, but that is all and you shared the really beautiful coastal places of South Island.

  7. Marianne McGriff says:

    Banyan Crew…what spectacular photos…can’t wait to sit down and embrace again. Sending much love, Marianne
    PS. I’m adding NZ and Milford Sound to my ‘Bucket List’!!!!!!!

  8. Phil Burton says:

    Great pictures of the trip of a lifetime. And isn’t that a picture of an animal called a Sea Cucumber?

    • Anne Vawter says:

      So that is what I thought too! But I think Debi found that it is a Tunicate. It floats and doesn’t have the 5 sections to its muscles that a cucumber has. I only know that because of SV Alandra crew 🙂

  9. Douglas Vawter says:

    Great, beautiful photos. Despite the time lapse, the photos bring the earlier blogs to life. What an amazing experience for the Banyan crew! It is obvious you have been eating well!!! Look forward to the next time you have internet capacity to sends additional photos documenting your adventure. Love to All!

  10. Eric Berghorn says:

    I asked for photos of Mt. views from Milford Sound from in and around Banyan and you delivered ! Envious of the low population density in your locality. Napa Valley is feeling rather overcrowded with people at the moment. I don’t think your missing out too much on the post Covid re-introduction of tourists around here…The sense of open space and huge wilderness backdrops is refreshing!

    • Anne Vawter says:

      Yikes… yea, the Valley felt really full the last few times I was there. Too much of a good thing:) I bet it is really a shock after having that COVID downtime. We are feeling pretty blessed to be here.

  11. Karen says:

    Oh man you can’t believe how excited I was to see a new post notification with the word “Photos” in it this morning! So much fun to see these! big hugs

    ps tell the girls we got hail the size of dimes yesterday!

  12. Barbara Vawter says:

    Absolutely Gorgeous Photos from Banyon Family! Doubtful Sound photos probably my favorite; family, water, reflections, such drama in the colors. Seeing these photos, I can only imagine our Beautiful World, Garden of Eden that was created for our Enjoyment & Joy! Thank You for sharing adventures & beautiful Fiordland’s !

  13. David Means says:

    Your photos were spectacular. We took an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound and it was very beautiful and informative. I wish I were there with you looking at all the Sounds. New Zealand and the south islands in particular are the most beautiful sights on earth. You are tempting me to take another trip. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Laurence says:

    Hi the Vawter family,
    We have really enjoyed all your adventures from day one. Especially these from the South Island- Milford Sounds. (We are little biased of course) Our prayers go with you and Banyan for your continued safe travels.
    -Laurence & Veronica.

  15. Caitlin says:

    Lovely to see all the Banyaneers! These are beautiful photos. And so much seafood! How is the sea vegetable harvesting coming along? Hugs to you all from all of us.

    • Anne Vawter says:

      Hi Caitlin! Cameron comes back to the boat regularly with seaweed hanging from his backpack:). We dry it and put it in soups. So much to eat from the land here… it’s really amazing. Since February, I’ve cooked from purchased meat only twice. We’ve caught it or gathered it. I bet Alaska is a bit the same in that regard. Loved getting your email! A reply is on its way. Hugs

  16. Janis and Fred Blue says:

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!! So refreshing from all the stuff going on here. We have a newer gr grson in Tx. First they were in the big snow power outage and just yesterday had golf size hail that dented their car and shattered their windshield in 7 places….they need to come back to IN. (Randy’s dau). Keep on sailing!! <3 to all, A Janis

    • Anne Vawter says:

      Yikes! Glad they are safe… seems there was a lot of hail recently. My sister had some big hail in MT as well. Crazy weather stuff… We had hail in Fiordland but not so big thankfully!! Cheers!

  17. Debi Vawter says:

    My goodness those are beautiful pictures! You guys are looking good.
    As for your mystery object this is what I found…
    Pyrosoma atlanticum
    A species of marine colonial tunicates in the class Thaliacea found in temperate waters world wide.

    Love and hugs to all of you,
    Aunt Debi

    • Anne Vawter says:

      You are amazing Deb! Cool!! I’ve no idea what to call it still.. a tunicate? It’s so interesting. It was hard, see-through, and seemed to have a cavity inside where it could have a bubble of air to manage its ability to float. so cool.

  18. Taylor Miller says:

    Thank you for the effort to put all this together! Wonderful photos and stories. It’s so great to follow and vicariously participate in your adventure. Wish I could be sailing along with you. Taylor, zephyr Catalina 36 Sausalito

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