Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Milford Sound, South Island

Milford Sound is a fjord in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island within the Fjordland National Park and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It is New Zealand’s most famous tourist destinations, and Rudyard Kipling’s eighth Wonder of the World, and the only one that is accessible by road.

Milford Sound & Mitre Peak, South Island, New Zealand. Photo Image © Karen Toh
Mitre Peak is an iconic mountain in the South Island, one that has a distinctive shape of the mitre headwear of Christian bishops. It is close to the shore of Milford Sound, and is a stunning sight, rising 1,692 km (5,551 feet) from the water of the sound. It is actually a grouped set of five peaks, but from the most easily accessible viewpoints, it appears as a single point.

The sound runs 15 kilometers inland from the Tasman Sea and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) or more on either side. Milford Sound is known as the wettest inhabited place in New Zealand and one of the wettest in the world, with rainfall reaching 250mm over a 24 hour period. This rainfall creates dozens of temporary waterfalls.

Stirling Falls, Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand. Photo Image © Wikipedia
To get to Milford Sound, you could either drive from Te Anau (last town), which will take you 2 hours and 20 minutes; take a plane or Helicopter from Queenstown; or take a Coach & Cruise from either Queenstown or Te Anau. The journey from Queenstown may take approximately 5 to 6 hours one-way.

Before you plan your trip, you should book ahead your cruise, so that you can plan your travel time.

If you plan to hike, the Milford Track is one of most popular walks and can be undertaken as a Guided Walk or independently with Guided Walkers staying in separate huts and having a slightly more “luxurious” experience. Do note that visitors planning to walk should book ahead due to limitations in numbers allowed in the Track as well as limitations in accommodations.
"Returning into the Sound". Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand. 
Photo Image © Karen Toh

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