During a recent Fly-Cruise-Fly tour, I flew with Air Milford from Queenstown to Milford Sound. The first part of this trip was covered in my Fly-Cruise-Fly post and for ease of reading this blog post covers the cruise aspect of the trip. As the trip was a combined trip, all components were organised through Air Milford, starting with the flight from Queenstown to Milford Sound, followed by the Cruise and then finally the return flight to Queenstown.
The cruise went for approximately two (2) hours across Milford Sound (piopiotahi) which is a fiord on the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island. The sound is an incredible place which runs some 15mks inland from the Tasman Sea, is surrounded by sheer rock faces which are said to rise 1200 metres or more on each side (and also underwater), and has an incredible mean average rainfall of around 6,412mm making it one of the wettest inhabited places in New Zealand, and one of the wettest in the world. There are two permanent waterfalls at the Sound (Lady Bowen Falls, and Stirling Falls) however, after heavy rainfall there are many temporary waterfalls which appear.
During the cruise, we travelled down the Sound towards the mouth of the fjord, stopping to view the waterfalls whilst enjoying cheese and biscuits on the boat. During the trip, we had a look at some of the wildlife, got right into the waterfalls (so close you got wet), before making our way back to the berth.
The trip was well worth it, and I would recommend it to anyone who is considering visiting the Sound. During the trip, I took my Nikon D610 and alternated between by 16mm fisheye, and my 24-120mm lens. Images were processed in Lightroom CC, or stitched using Autopano Giga on my return.
Images (click to enlarge):