Milford Sound

There are plenty of ways to see Milford Sound including the most comfortable of cruise boats.  With kids, this was our choice.

The last boat of the day was cheaper and ready just in time for us to finish lunch.  It is a quick 10-minute walk from the parking lot to get to the harbor and there are several companies to choose from.

The boats all make their way down one side and turn around at the mouth of the Tasman Sea, where you will be subject to whatever the sea throws at you.

Part of the uniqueness of this sound is the underwater break that calms the turbulent water of the Tasman Sea and makes for calm quiet water inside.

There are also tannins, the nutrient sought after in Red wine and chocolate.  It is also highly regarded by sea life.  It is these tannins washed into the water by the 300 mm of rain a year, that make a unique environment for the sea life below.  A one in a kind location, the underwater creatures at just 10 meters deep are usually found at 100 meters!

This is so unique, in fact, that there is no other place like it in the world.

The water is usually quite dark with all the fresh water and soil mixed with the sea water that flows in.  There has not been a lot of rain lately so we are treated to clear blue water.

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That dark line at the bottom is about 6 feet tall.  There are also Fur Seals sunning them selves in this picture.

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This waterfall appeared at minute 44 of the movie Wolverine Origins.  Wolverine jumps naked from these falls.  The falls stand 151 meter high.  That’s over 40 stories high!

 

If you happen to go to Milford Sound be sure to visit the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory.  Sadly, we missed it by a day and it was closed for a week of maintenance.

Since there were soooo many pictures and video I made this for you to watch.

Enjoy!

Getting to Milford Sound – New Zealand

There are a lot of places to see in New Zealand and by far the most spectacular so far is Milford Sound.  A unique world unlike any other in the world, Milford Sound is also far off the beaten track.

On our way, we passed through Lake Manapouri and Lake Te Anau.  Both have great places to stay and beautiful views.

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These small towns are a great launching point for your 2 plus hour drive.  Take your time, stay the night and explore all of the beauty of the region.

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Once you leave Te Anau there are no gas stations, no stores and no towns along the way.  There are very few places to overnight as well.

You can find some campsites that are “self-serve” and even a few remote lodges.

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The drive is filled with spectacular sights so go slow, stretch your legs and gaze upon the views that are like no other.

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Road conditions also change from day to day.  Check www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic every day before you drive.  You can have frost, rain, snow, avalanches, rock slides or pleasant sunshine. The weather also changes based on your altitude, on the day we traveled there was snow as low as 300m above sea level.  The next day, when we left, there were thousands of waterfalls caused by that night’s rain.Day 9Day 9Day 9Day 9NZ 8NZ 8NZ 8

This is the Kea

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The Kea is endangered and the worlds only alpine parrot.  It has sadly fallen prey to mammals and most notedly the Human.  The salt in our food will kill them as they cannot process it.  PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE KEA!

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They are cheeky little birds who will tear apart exposed parts of your car, wires, and rubber bits mostly. They are fun to watch and quite bold.

There are plenty of scenic lookouts and hiking trails along the way.

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Open Fields encased by snow capped mountains

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Dense forest

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Glacial formed rivers

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Clear Blue Water

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Mirror Glass Water

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When you get to the end of the road to Milford Sound you will find the information center/café and the harbor.

This is when you have finally reached your destination.

 

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There is a lot to see and do here and only one place to stay.

The Milford Sound Lodge has various accommodations with everything from private bathrooms to a Resturant and Lounge.

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