I’ve been looking forward to Milford Sound for about a year. I had read many blog posts about it and I even had it as my computer background at work. But as we drove through New Zealand and saw such amazing scenery, I started to doubt that Milford Sound could possibly live up to my expectations. Could it really be that much better than everything else we saw along the way?
Incredibly, it did not disappoint me at all. It was actually more impressive in person than in any of the pictures. Now you might be wondering what Milford Sound is. It’s a long channel carved by glaciers through the mountains from the Tasman Sea. So technically it’s a fjord, not a sound. I really don’t think I can describe it adequately. Majestic, enormous, amazing, grand, awesome and incredible were all words that came to mind as we floated by. You’ll just have to look at the pictures, except even the pictures don’t capture the size of the place.
We were able to get up close to everything on a smaller sized cruise ship. At the beginning, fog was covering most of the mountain tops, making them look kind of mysterious. Then the sun came out, the fog lifted and we could see just how big the mountains were. There were also many waterfalls crashing down the sides of the canyon. When it’s raining, there are literally thousands of waterfalls. Our boat went right up to the bottom of one of them and we got very wet. We also got up close to a colony of fur seals. The best part, though, was at the very end when a group of dolphins swam up to us and started playing in the wake of our boat. Apparently it’s kind of rare to see dolphins there. Even the tour guides were taking pictures of them.
After the cruise, we hiked up to Lake Marian. It was definitely the most challenging hike we’ve done yet. The path wasn’t your typical sand and gravel variety, it was mostly rocks of various sizes, mud and tree roots that we had to climb up. And the entire hour and a half hike was uphill. Steep uphill. Once we made it to the lake, Brad and I had very different opinions on whether or not it was worth it. (I’ll let you guess who thought what.) At least we both agreed that Milford Sound was incredible.