International National Parks

Travel Journal (9/30/2019): Milford Sound

We must have banked some good karma because today could not have possibly been a better travel day. We woke up in Te Anau to the sound of rain and immediately feared the worst for our tour of Milford Sound. However, the day ended up being a lot more beautiful than we thought.

Our guide service, Trips and Tramps, was absolutely fantastic. Our guide was really nice and really knowledgable on the area. He has led tours in Fiordland National Park as well as Milford and Doubtful Sounds for years. Best of all, their tours are small group tours of no more than 14 people. We had three people on our tour, including my wife and myself.

It was raining as we started our tour and continued to rain well into Fiordland National Park. The good part of it raining was that all of the waterfalls were very much alive. Apparently, they hadn’t seen any sun in Fiordland National Park in over a week.

In Fiordland we made a hike to a cascading waterfall, stopped to see some mirrored lakes, and checked out the Chasm, which is one of Fiordland’s most popular features. As we were visiting the Chasm, it suddenly stopped raining and we started to notice blue skies.

This luck continued as we got to Milford Sound. The clouds lifted and the blue skies moved in. We were now getting the best of both world’s.

Not only did we have clear, blue skies when we toured Milford Sound, but we also got to see very lively waterfalls (and lots of them) because it had rained so much there for the last week.

The cruise on Milford Sound was out of this world beautiful. We saw towering mountains along the sound that were so big it made us do a double-take when we saw them. Not to forget the numerous giant waterfalls that are 2-3 times taller than Niagara Falls.

The one thing that we were hoping to see, but didn’t get to see a lot of was wildlife. We saw some sea lions and raptors, but that was about it.

Dolphins, orcas, humpback whales, penguins, and even great white and mako sharks have all been spotted in the sound before. Our guide informed us that you are more likely to see wildlife in Doubtful Sound because it is more remote.

That is it for today’s update. Tomorrow we head to Wanaka to do some sky diving, hiking, and some more exploration of this beautiful country. Until then!

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