“You can’t visit New Zealand without seeing the Milford Sound! That’s like going to Egypt and not visit the pyramids!” – Our guide when he introduced the option for a day trip to the Milford Sound. I have to admit I was putty in his hands when he said that. It was a “Take my money!” kind of moment. The journey to Milford Sound required the big green bus to drive through twists and turns on a road that seemed too small to carry its weight. The fog would consistently roll in thickly, blanketing the striking green of a mountain side that sees rain often.
Once we arrived, we hurried to the ferry that sails along the Milford. The day was bright yet cloudy with consistent mist gliding along the air. I was very grateful for it because the more it rained, the more waterfalls I would have the opportunity to witness.
Even though Milford Sound is called a “sound”, it is actually a fiord because it was formed by a combination of erosion and the melting of ancient glacial ice. It is regarded as one of the wettest places on Earth, receiving approximately one hundred and eighty days of rainfall. The best part about visiting Milford Sound is that no matter what time of year you visit, it is always scenic.
As the cruise jetted further into the fiord, I noticed that the water was a peculiar inky black. Apparently as the reoccurring rainfall washes away residue from the surrounding forest and as it flows into the fiord, it creates this distinct color. When I visit places like this, I am astounded at what our world can create with billions of years and nature running its course.
Milford Sound is the pièce de résistance of the Fiordland National Park and a UNESCO world heritage site.