Cruising down Milford Sound, New Zealand

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC spent a day in Milford Sound, on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Milford Sound is actually not a sound, but a fjord. The difference is that a sound is carved out by water and then back-filled by the sea, whereas a fjord is carved out by a glacier and then back-filled by the sea. A fjord typically has a flat bottom and very steep sides, while a sound has a v-shaped bottom and sloping sides.

We took a boat trip that set off from the bottom end of the fjord and headed up the southern side towards the sea, turned at the mouth and then returned along the northern side of the fjord. The TC chose a “Nature Cruise” rather than a “Scenic Cruise”. A nature cruise is on a smaller boat, that gets you closer to the water and also closer to the towering mountains that form the banks of the fjord. We got so close that we could touch the land. We even took a shower under a couple of the magnificent waterfalls that crash down the mountains all round.

My impressions? Milford Sound is magical. Awesome. This worm tries to avoid using that word, but it works here. The drive from Te Anau is beautiful too. Awesome indeed.

Travel tip

Drive to Milford Sound yourself, rather than taking a bus tour. It gives you more time to look around and to stop when you like.

Recommended accommodation

Amber Court Motel, on Quintin Street in Te Anau. There’s only one hotel in Milford itself, and it was fully booked. The Amber Court Motel offers friendly service, and is clean and convenient.

The book I’m in

Bad Luck and Trouble, by Lee Child. Jack Reacher gets together with some old buddies from his army unit. It’s like having a number of Reachers all in one book.

The photos

Me cruising down Milford Sound:

Cruising through Milford Sound, New Zealand

Cruising through Milford Sound, New Zealand

The drive to Milford is stunningly beautiful. This worm fears he will run out of adjectives and adverbs before he can do justice to the majesty of the views all round. So let’s let the pictures speak for themselves.

It’s mid summer in New Zealand, but many of the peaks are covered in snow:

Cruising through Milford Sound, New Zealand

Snow-capped mountains on the way to Milford

Winding rivers and low-lying cloud marked our early-morning drive:

Cruising through Milford Sound, New Zealand

Rivers and cloud on the way to Milford

Cloud drifting off a snow-shrouded giant:

Cruising through Milford Sound, New Zealand

Cloud streaming away from a snow-shrouded peak on the way to Milford

A view from the boat on Milford Sound:

Cruising through Milford Sound, New Zealand

Two boats on Milford Sound, dwarfed by the scenery

Looking back down Milford Sound, with the 160m-high Bowen Falls on the left:

Cruising through Milford Sound, New Zealand

Looking into Milford Sound with Bowen Falls on the left

A closer look at Bowen Falls, with some kayaks and rowers providing perspective just left of middle bottom:

Cruising through Milford Sound, New Zealand

Bowen Falls, with three kayaks and people at middle left

Another glacier-formed valley, butting onto Milford Sound, with a waterfall and pleasing play of light:

Cruising through Milford Sound, New Zealand

Light and shade with waterfall in Milford Sound, and a cruise boat giving perspective

Unusually for Milford Sound, the weather is bright and sunny. The TC, bless her cotton socks, professed herself a bit disappointed. She had been hoping for mist-induced mystery and glimpses of mountain giants and frost-breathing waterfalls straight out of Tolkien. So she was very pleased with the above shot.

Waterfalls all over the place:

Cruising through Milford Sound, New Zealand

Waterfalls in Milford Sound

Heading into the fjord towards the Milford Sound harbour, looking back at Harrison Cove:

Cruising through Milford Sound, New Zealand

Looking back towards Harrison Cove in Milford Sound

That’s all for today dudes.

Published in: on 13 February 2011 at 11:39 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. […] my earlier post I wrote about our trip to Milford Sound, on New Zealand’s South Island. On the road to Milford Sound is The Chasm, well worth seeing […]


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