The drive to Milford Sound from Queenstown is meant to be one of the most beautiful and scenic trips in the world. Deep blue lakes, rolling green hills and clear babbling brooks against the majestic backdrop of jagged, snow-capped mountains.
The drive was long – around 3 hours – and included many stops to take photos as well as a lunch break and petrol refill at Te Anau. From that point onwards there were no petrol stations, phone reception or good Wi-Fi. Between Te Anau and Milford Sound, we had to go through the Homer Tunnel. There were traffic lights at the entrance and we had to wait for cars coming from the opposite direction to go through the tunnel first. While we waited, we gazed at the most stunning landscape of waterfalls cascading down rocky cliffs.
The drive through the tunnel was dark and a little scary. I was happy my boyfriend was driving instead of me. But – as they say – there was light at the end of the tunnel and we were soon making our way down windy, narrow roads towards Milford Sound.
At Milford Sound, we were very lucky to stay at one of the lovely lodges. The highlight was the floor to ceiling windows through which we could see a gushing river and waterfalls. The rooms were cosy, warm and well appointed. The meals at the lodge were delicious home-style dishes such as baked salmon with kale and rice or Thai red curry.
We spent a whole day – two nights – in Milford Sound to take full advantage of the beautiful surroundings. (Most people do a day trip and return to Queenstown in the evening). The biggest tourist attraction is to go out on the Milford Sound which is a fjord formed from the erosion and melting of glaciers. There’s plenty of cruises, kayaking and hiking tours to see this beautiful, natural and untouched landscape.
I joined my boyfriend’s parents for a cruise on the Sound while my boyfriend and his brother went on a kayaking tour. The cruise took us on the deep, sparkling blue U-shaped body of water from the mouth of the fjord to the open Tasman Sea, and back to land again. On the way, we saw the most incredible waterfalls and picture postcard views of water, mountains and sky. It was such a magical experience… It was also hard to gauge the size of the surrounding cliffs and peaks after a while until we saw a kayak, boat or helicopter which reminded us just how big the Sound was compared to us. It was another great experience to remind me how small I am against this big world.
Have you been to Milford Sound? What did you think?