Road Tripping Around New Zealand Chapter 19: Misty and mysterious Milford Sound
6 December 2015
We have finally arrived! The drive here was not easy but yay to Corrine! The sign that greeted us when we arrived.
We were pretty early so went to have coffee and light snacks at the lounge. Despite stopping by The Chasm, we were still darn early. That was how excited we were.
A glimpse of Milford Sound as we walked towards our designated ferry.
The signage about sandflies were not joke. There were tiny sandflies everywhere outdoors. We were busy trying to swat it all away but it was pointless so we gave up. Of course we could have chosen to stay indoor but hey, we are in Milford Sound! Who would want to stay indoors!
We were planning where to sit so that we could get the best view of the cruise. It was very crowded with tourists from everywhere around the world.
We managed to get comfortable seats at the top deck, so here we go!
We had no idea there were free freshly bake chocolate chip cookies and coffee / tea in the lower deck. The cookies were so yummy that we kept returning to the lower deck for more lol.
We were free to roam around the ferry.
It was pretty cloudy. As we moved, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me because I was seeing double mountains. I mean, how many Mitre Peaks were there?
It turned out that it rains 182 days a year. Milford Sound is known as the wettest inhabited place in New Zealand and one of the wettest in the world.
The rainfall creates dozens of temporary waterfalls (as well as a number of major, more permanent ones) cascading down the cliff faces, some reaching a thousand metres in length. Source here.
The captain was entertaining. He was pointing to us where the little waterfalls were and the histories about it. There was beauty all around us, it was difficult to only admire one side.
We were also surprised that we would have the opportunity to be near the waterfalls. They recommended that we wear rain coats so that we would not be drenched but I was stubborn.
The waterfalls may looked tiny from afar but guess what, it grew bigger and bigger as we approach closer. We could also hear the loud sound of water rushing down.
I actually recorded the whole experience on video but I was one of the stubborn ones without a raincoat so I did not want to go too near. The bestie was already enjoying herself and playing with the water. Lol. I will upload the video here some day.
We were also pretty lucky because it was sunny when we were in the middle of the cruise.
The captain mentioned that if we were lucky we would be able to see dolphins swimming and playing around but we did not see any so I guess we were not that lucky. Instead, we saw these cuties!
Since it was sunny, they were all lying around for a sun tan. The captain also mentioned that they are all males so they are basically a group of teenage seals lazing around in the sun. Lol.
We continued to feel awed by the numerous number of waterfalls around us.
Look at the size of the ship below! How tiny it looked compared to the waterfalls! After heavy rain many hundreds of temporary waterfalls can be seen running down the steep sided rock faces. They are fed by rain water drenched moss and will last a few days at most once the rain stops. The only 2 permanent and largest waterfalls here are Stirling Falls and Lady Bowen Falls.
My cuzzie, Corrine who is a local was equally amazed by what we see throughout the cruise. I kept telling her “Look at your beautiful country!”
On the whole, this cruise was the best way to see Milford Sound in a nutshell. If you are hiking, it would take days so this was the best option for us who did not have a lot of time to spare.
So so beautiful. As we started to go back, the sky started to turn dark too, indicating that it might rain. And then we saw this….look at the mist and dark clouds. It was sunny a few minutes ago. How fast the weather changes.
Doesn’t it looked magnificent? Mitre Peak 1690 m above sea level, comparative only to Mount Cook. I was glad we were able to experience both sunny and cloudy weathers during our cruise. It started to get darker and look at all the mist surrounding the mountains.
It felt surreal to be back on land after 2 hours. We decided to walk around to explore. It drizzled for a few minutes and stopped abruptly.
If you have the opportunity to be here, do take time to walk here because the view is spectacular. We took a group photo here.
Love the misty mountains as backdrop. On our way back, look what we found!
A bird nestling! It looked so uncomfortable when so many people started to watch it so we decided to leave the bird and give it some privacy lol.
This was a wonderful experience. Prior to the trip, I had read and researched about Milford Sound for months. I have also been seeing other travel bloggers and hikers upload gorgeous photos of Milford Sound. To be able to see it live with my own eyes was beyond amazing.
I totally felt rejuvenated after the cruise. If you are a nature lower, this place is a must go at least once in your lifetime.