Milford Sound has been on my bucket list for the longest time. It’s one of the better known sights in New Zealand, and I was excited to see it for myself after having stared photos in magazines, books, and blogs for so long! It’s strange, but I actually felt a little apprehensive as we drove across from Wanaka – there was so much expectation and excitement that I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype or we would be hit with awful weather. Needless to say…. it exceeded all my expectations! Rudyard Kipling called Milford Sound the Eighth Wonder of the World, and he was so right!
The drive from Wanaka to Milford Sound was b-e-a-utiful! As we entered the Fjordland National Park, we pulled off at a viewpoint to take it all in. We looked out over the beautiful hills, and up at all the waterfalls coating the sides of the cliff faces. We also encountered some cheeky kea, native parrots with a reputation for destroying tyres and cars!
While in Milford Sound, we decided to stay in one of the Riverside Chalets at Milford Sound Lodge. We were in chalet number 1, and it was the most incredible place I’ve ever stayed. Two walls were entirely windows, offering amazing views of the river and the mountains. There was also a window next to the ceiling, meaning we could see the stars from our bed. The sky was so clear that the stars ACTUALLY twinkled… something I’ve never seen before!
The following morning, we woke up at 5:45am to watch sunrise over the sound. It was so still, and quiet, and the low lying clouds made it feel so, so magical. I honestly felt as though I was stepping into Jurassic Park or The Land Before Time. The midges, however, did make it slightly less magical! Thank gawd the lodge gave us insect repellent wipes! #rainforestlyf
Later that morning, we took a cruise of Milford Sound with Sourthern Discoveries. It was SO GOOD. We paid a little more to go on the smaller boat with the hope of seeing more of the wildlife. We saw a dolphin, some New Zealand fur seals, and the Fjordland Crested Penguin – the third rarest species in the world. The tour guide was also brilliant – he told that the legend is that how Milford Sound was carved by a demi-god, but it was in fact carved by a glacier, meaning it is actually a fjord – not a sound! (‘sounds’ are carved by rivers… dont’cha know…. *snooty face*). We visited Milford on a gloriously sunny day, but apparently when it rains it can be even more beautiful, with up to 18,000 temporary waterfalls. The waterfalls were AMAZING – the skipper pulled our boats right up to the base of one, giving us what is affectionately known as a ‘glacial facial’.
Milford Sound 100% lived up to (and exceeded) all of the hype. It was honestly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen ❤
Watch the video diary of our New Zealand Road Trip here:
The New Zealand Blog Series (unlinked posts are coming soon!):