South Island | Milford Sound (1/5/15)

Fiordland National Park was everything I dreamt it would be and more. Jesse and I went back and forth on whether we should visit Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound and in the end Milford won due to convenience. And I’m not sorry.

I can’t describe it and I won’t even try. The photos don’t do it any justice (though I’ll share some anyways). You couldn’t tilt your head back far enough to see the top of the walls, let alone get a decent photo of it all. You’ll have to do an image search of Milford for any sunny day photos because we had a typhoon-esque cruise, but the waterfalls were raging and because the Sound is rainy most days, we were experiencing the real deal, apparently. The captain told us Milford Sound gets significantly more rainfall “than your hometown”. It’s a tall order for Portland, but sure enough. Milford Sound = ~270 inches. Portland = ~40 inches. You win, Milford. You win.

On the boat, we’d go out on the upper deck and were instantly soaked and almost blown over. It was so cold, but so beautiful. The whole day was really incredible and it should be in the top 5 places to visit on anyone’s list. That’s all I can say.

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This next photo is the Homer Tunnel. It’s one lane, dark, damp, and scary. And also remarkable. It opened in 1954 and is the only way into Milford Sound by car.

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The morning cruises were certainly popular and it was reminiscent of an airport or train station; people queuing for tickets, lining up at the door for their respective boats, sorting out bags and children and cameras and tickets. We were on the lovely orange ‘Milford Haven’.

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Our cruise served us BLTs for breakfast. They were not bad, but someone told me I should cut back on my bacon intake. I was not impressed.

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After the cruise, we quickly walked the 10 minutes back to the car and changed out of our soaking clothes. On the other side of the tunnel out of the Sound, it was a beautiful day. Mountains are funny that way.

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We stopped at a river outside Te Anau for Jesse to get in some fishing. He didn’t have any luck, but it was a relaxing spot for me to do some reading and enjoy the sunshine. A man wandered by and we explained we were on our way to Cromwell. He told us not to miss Mrs. Jones’ fruit stand; she can’t be beat. I love getting tips from locals!

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We drove inland for a few hours and the view into Queenstown was also just as incredible as they say. New Zealand is truly beautiful everywhere.

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