Photography, Travel

Fiordland New Zealand: the sheer scale of Milford Sound

Rudyard Kipling described Milford Sound as the 8. Wonder of the World. With an average annual rainfall of 6.5m it is also one of the wettest inhabited places on earth!

The road leading from Te Anau to Milford is full of stunning locations already. On calm days the Mirror Lakes along the way create a perfect reflection of the surrounding mountains and in summer lupins grow along the Eglinton river.

If you feel like walking (as we did) you can also follow a part of the Routeburn Track (one of the Great Walks) and climb to the Key Summit. The view is spectacular!

As soon as you exit the hand-hewn Holmer Tunnel just before Milford you enter a whole different world. Around you all is steep cliffs and waterfalls. It’s kinda magical!

Lupins in the Cascade Creek before Milford & Key Summit, Routeburn Track

For Milford Sound we’d booked an overnight cruise including a 90min walk along another Great Walk: the beautiful Milford Track.

The starting point is the so-called Sandfly Point which definitely lives up to its reputation! I’ve never seen so many of those pesky flies in my life! Unfortunately walking the whole length of the track (4 days) has to be booked long in advance and is often fully booked for the whole season.

No one can prepare you for the sheer scale of Milford Sound.

– a fellow passenger

Milford Sound – actually a fjord – is marvelous. In good weather you can see the full size of the soaring cliffs, rising near vertically to about 1,700m in places from the water. When it’s been raining you can witness the true beauty of the fjord: hundreds of temporary waterfalls appear, some cascading down the cliffs for a thousand meters, others drifting away in the wind, never to reach the water of the sound.

No matter what weather, you have to fall in love with this extraordinary (and very remote) place.

And if you’re lucky enough you can even spot some fur seals and bottlenose dolphins playing in the water!