Milford Sound is utterly breathtaking. I was drawn to this place because it featured as a “must-do” on my world scratch-map, and because the legends of its natural beauty precede it.
Although one of the most tourist-flogged natural wonders in New Zealand, Milford Sound remains serene. The Sound is majestic grandeur. It towers up all around you, encompasses you, surrounds you. All is quiet as ancient forces push the very earth upwards and forwards and create chasms and forests. It was formed by a glacier, which technically makes it a fjord, but nonetheless humbling.
Just out of Te Anau, Milford Sound is a fair ways out of Queenstown. Make the drive if you can, otherwise catch a day tour from Queenstown (keep in mind a return trip from Queenstown will be about 12hours).
Perks of self-driving: you can manage your pit stops through the national park, stop off at the waterfalls and take time in the little shops along the way.
Perks of taking a tour: some tours offer a boat cruise through the Sound (and some cruises offer lunch). The driver will have helpful factoids about the area and will stop and secret attractions like the Kea birds. The driver knows the route as if it were the back of their hand, which is important because the roads are windy and hard to pass, especially in wet weather, which is most of the time.
Blue skies are rare at Milford Sound. I had mystical rain which amplified the waterfalls and shrouded the fjord in a solemn mist. I found it truly awe inspiring.
A boat cruise through the Sound will showcase pods of dolphins and take you out to the mouth of the Tasman Sea. I cannot recommend this trip highly enough. You will be humbled, you will be inspired and you will feel connected to something larger than us, something much older.
Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.