Described by Rudyard Kipling as the eighth Wonder of the World, Milford Sound is one of the most famous tourist destination in New Zealand, understandably so. I’ve been there three times (in January, May and June) and loved every visit. Somehow despite being in one of the wettest places in the world, I’ve had perfect weather every time!
The usual way to explore the place is by boat, with a host of typically two hour cruises available from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Unfortunately this is the worst time for photography (though it’s hard to take a bad photo here) as the sun is directly overhead. For that reason I probably enjoyed the winter cruise the most, more shadows and lower sun.
Milford Sound is actually a fjord, along with all the other ‘sounds’ in Fjordland. The Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island are the only true sounds. Either way it’s a hugely impressive place, surrounded by sheer rock faces, most of 1,000m high. See the boat in the photos below for some sense of scale.
A typical cruise will head out into the sea, weather permitting, and back.
There are numerous waterfalls, better when it has been raining obviously, but still good at any time, and heading up close to them obligatory for any cruise.
I’ve not been to the Milford Sounds Under Water Observatory in Harrison Cove, mixed reviews online.
There are usually a few fur seals around, more so in summer.
Finally the most iconic shot of Milford Sound, that of the 1,683m high Mitre Peak, which is seen by the car park when you arrive. It’s tidal though so make sure you take a look when you arrive and leave for quite different views.