The star of The Fiordlands National Park is undoubtedly Milford Sound. The 13-kilometer-long (18-mile-long) fjord is characterized by rainforest-coated peaks rising from sea-level, spontaneous silver-threaded waterfalls, cascading year-round waterfalls, such as Bowen Falls (520 feet) and Stirling Falls, and, of course, tourists. Being tourists ourselves, we decided that a cruise on Milford Sound was something we had to do, so we hopped on Southern Discoveries Lady Bowen and set sail!
Our early morning eco-cruise started out like many Milford mornings with the mountains drapped in fog, thus adding to the mystic. Making our way out to the Tasman Sea we were greeted by towering peaks, including the 5,560-foot pinnacle of Mitre Peak, playful seal pups, mini-waterfalls, and finally, the sun! Heading back to shore, our boat captain made a dramatic pit-stop underneath Stirling Falls for some close up misty waterfall photo ops and then, we simply soaked up the sun while taking in all of Milford’s beauty from the top deck.
[Fun facts: Milford Sound was incorrectly named by it’s founders; seeing as the channels were carved out by glaciers, rather than rivers, it is technically a fjord.
“The sounds of Fiordland see 7200 mm (283 inches) of rain a year. There is so much rain there that the sea is topped by a 20-foot deep layer of fresh water.” Source: New Zealand, Fodor’s
We did not see dolphins, but next time we will!]
Next stop: Queenstown and The Remarkables
Song lyrics: Zac Brown Band “Free”
– Go. Change your state of mind.