International travel

Milford Sound: Breathtaking!

Milford Sound: Breathtaking!“No matter how many photos you’ve seen of Milford Sound, nothing can prepare you for the incredible feeling of actually being there. It is an inspiring and exceptional place.” (Real Journeys brochure)

Milford Sound; Breathtaking!
Map of Fiordland, South Island, New Zealand

From my journal:

We left Te Anau and began our journey to Milford Sound along Milford Road, with stops at Mirror Lake,

Knob’s Flat,

Milford Sound: Breathtaking!
Knob’s Flat, along Milford Road

the Chasm walk

Milford Sound: Breathtaking!
Chasm walkway
Milford Sound: Breathtaking!
Looking down into the Chasm
Milford Sound: Breathtaking!
On the bridge overlooking the Chasm

and Homer Tunnel

Milford Sound: Breathtaking!
Entrance into Homer Tunnel

Milford Sound: Breathtaking!… all fabulous photo stops. We were so gaga about each of these scenic places that we clearly had no idea what was waiting at the end of our drive:Milford Sound: Breathtaking! Mitre Peak,

Milford Sound: Breathtaking!
Mitre Peak, Milford Sound

Stirling Falls,

Milford Sound: Breathtaking!
Stirling Falls

the Tasman Sea.

Milford Sound: Breathtaking!
Milford Sound meets the Tasman Sea

All beautiful with clear blue skies and reasonably calm water. This fiord, while more popular and peopled and touristy, is definitely more scenic than Doubtful Sound [which I had visited the day before]. And very different – shorter, narrower, and much more dramatic in appearance. I was delightfully awe-struck!

Milford Sound: Breathtaking!Inspiring adjectives such as dramatic, magical, sensational, epic, and breathtaking, Milford Sound thoroughly deserves all the tributes that are consistently bestowed upon it.

As described by “Go See Discover Stay,” New Zealand’s AA Travel Guide:

“Nestled within Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is the most accessible sound, and the best known of the glacier-cut fiords. It has a stellar reputation among cruisers, nature-lovers and trampers. And with good reason – a cruise through here reveals a bevy of gob-smacking sights. From cloud-piercing cliffs and snow-capped mountains to rainforest and an endless number of ever-changing waterfalls, this is a region drenched in beauty.”Milford Sound: Breathtaking!“Then there’s the iconic Mitre Peak, a commanding sight that will welcome you at the head of the fiord. Mitre Peak, seen to rise dramatically out of the water to a steep (1683m) point, is revealed as part of a chain of peaks when viewed from the water ….”

“Access to Milford Sound is by Milford Road, by air, or along the Milford Track. Remember to bring insect repellent* and a rain coat – this region does receive a lot of rain, but don’t let that put you off visiting. The moody weather only enhances the aura of this amazing part of the world, and as it’s constantly changing there’s every chance it will fine up during your visit.”

* [See my Travel Rx post for insect repellant suggestions.]

A few Sound facts from the Real Journeys brochure:

On either side of the road to Milford, the landscape is cloaked in cool temperate rainforest, jungle-dense and complete with vines, climbers, perching plants and ferns, including tree ferns. Milford Sound: Breathtaking!Fiordland National Park is one of the wettest places in the world, with Milford Sound averaging more than 6m a year. In heavy rain, the great rock walls stream with waterfalls and small rivers become raging torrents.Milford Sound: Breathtaking!“Mitre Peak (Rahotu – a symbol of maleness) – So named because of its resemblance to a Bishop’s Mitre, this spectacular 1682m mountain is believed to be one of the world’s highest to rise directly out of the sea.

“New Zealand Fur Seals are found throughout the fiord. Almost hunted to extinction for their skins and oil, the fur seal is now fully protected and numbers are increasing steadily. Seals are superb swimmers … they feed at night, mainly on squid, octopus and barracuda. During the day they can be seen around the fiord basking on the rocks.”

Milford Sound: Breathtaking!
New Zealand Fur Seals

From my journal (cont.)

Milford Sound: Breathtaking!
Our vessel for the 2-hour Real Journeys Nature Cruise

I also found, upon asking our guide, Kendra (from Real Journeys), that the cruise around Milford Sound is handicap accessible. I asked how a wheelchair would be brought aboard (and into the cabin, which has a high lip at the entry). I was told that the crew would actually lift the wheelchair and occupant aboard. (Fortunately, Carrieanna can do some walking sans chair.) It’s doable, and I hope some day she’ll want to experience it for herself.

By Jeri Murphy

Traveler, writer, photographer, former wedding officiant, mother, friend, explorer and new Texian ... that's just a little about me!

6 replies on “Milford Sound: Breathtaking!”

I’m so grateful he encouraged me to visit New Zealand; I believe he’s very happy I did.


A trip to New Zealand, and especially the South Island, is totally worth the flight. Of course, you’ll want to spend two or three weeks there, to enjoy all this beautiful country has to offer AND to make the long (13 hours – overnight) flight worthwhile!


How serendipitous! I was just looking at my NZ pics the other day. Your pictures put me right back there to the glory and splendor of Milford Sound and what an amazing journey we had. Thank you.


Thank you! I loved reviewing the photos and my notes. My greatest challenge was limiting the number of photos I used!


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