Milford Sound is the one place in New Zealand that beats everywhere else for views. Climb aboard a boat here, sail around a bit and you will have to pinch yourself to check that it’s all real. There is such inconceivable beauty in this part of the world that its simply unfathomable. Everywhere you look here you’ll be reaching for your camera as it is all picture perfect. Even after taking several hundred photos you don’t feel like you have done it justice. No photo ever will, you have to see it in person before you can truly comprehend the scale of it. There are several different ways for you to explore Milford Sound. The easiest and most popular method is to choose from the many companies offering a cruise around the fjord. The lengths of the cruises vary depending on what you are looking for, some even extend overnight.
For myself, I had to opt for a two-hour cruise due to time restrictions that I had. We were told that we were in fact very lucky because for the week previous to our arrival it had been raining pretty much non stop until the day we arrived. Not only did this mean we had a clear day with which to experience our beautiful surroundings but it also meant the rain water would be running down the sides of the rock faces to contribute to the many waterfalls that are often seen here. The boat trip took us across the fjord and along the sides of the rock faces so we could get close enough to see different minerals and rock types.
We also got close enough to see several seals lazing around on the rocks in the sun. Not only did we see seals but we also got a glimpse of two penguin heads bobbing along the water’s surface which got the boats passengers very excited indeed! Unfortunately I didn’t personally see any dolphins here even though they were meant to be quite commonly spotted. I guess they were running errands! The course of the boat then took us to the edge of the Tasman sea and then back along the other side of the fjord occasionally catching us out by edging into one of the small waterfalls. One of the most notable and appealing aspects of Milford Sound for me were just how still and flat the water was. It just added to the atmosphere and created this feeling of peace and tranquillity which was becoming commonplace for me all over New Zealand.
Another way to see the area is to kayak around the fjord. If you have the time, money and energy to do this it would certainly be an amazing way to view the majestic scenery. One which I wish I had the opportunity to take. In kayaks you get to take your time, and really grasp the vastness of this stunning area. Along your travels on the fjord you may be lucky enough to see a variety of wildlife, including seals and penguins much closer than from a boat. And of course, you will also bear witness to the hundreds of waterfalls, from a calm, trickle to a raging torrent. Milford Sound is one of the must-sees in New Zealand and was only just beaten as my favourite destination by Abel Tasman.