Cruising Milford Sound

So, after four hours of driving through pieces of Paradise, we finally made it to Milford Sound. This ten mile long fjord runs inland from the Tasman Sea. It is narrow, the way you would expect a fjord to be, and edged on both sides by sheer cliffs of about 4,000 feet. I have seen reviews that say Milton Sound is the most beautiful place on Earth. We caught it on a nice weather day…no rain, pleasant temperature, and relatively calm sea, which accentuated its claim.

Our group was treated to a buffet lunch upon ship arrival, but after watching the hordes board, I skimmed the food and headed straight to the stern. I wanted a spot that was blocked from the wind, but gave me unobstructed rail access to the vistas about to be presented. I stayed there for the entire cruise, which was only about two hours. It seemed to go by in a blink. The ship cruised out to near the opening of the Sea, turned around, did a couple cheesy, touristy things on the way back in (creep up on seals, put the bow as close to a waterfall as possible), and headed back into the harbor.

Milford Sound is millions of years in the making, and is a combination of glacial movement and erosion, and the shifting of tectonic plates. Movement along the fault lines thrust the mountains upward, and the ice ages and glacier retreats formed the fissures that became the fjord. The writings say that the Sound is continuing to evolve, so let’s all give it another 500,000 years and come back to review its progressions.

I found myself trying to compare these sights to others I have experienced, but gave up after a half hour to simply enjoy this unique sense of oneness with the majesty of nature’s sculpture.  A few more pics to end, including one looking out at the Tasman Sea, and then a retrace of road steps to Queenstown. Some in our party chose to fly, but I wouldn’t give up the chance to more slowly pass the next hours’ sights, even if they tried to give me a plane ticket.

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