Milford Sound New Zealand
We had booked a cruise of Milford Sound and within an hour of our arrival were chugging away from the wharf. We were booked with Mitre Peak cruises for a small 40 person boat, but being the last cruise of the day, there were less than 20 people on board giving us the ability to wander inside and outside and topside. The sheer peaks, the waterfall the spectacular blue water, the snow capped peaks kept us moving about the boat and the camera shutters snapping.
We followed it down the Fjord on its way to the Tasman sea. No luck with dolphins and whales, but we did see a small colony of fur seals up close and personal, but honestly the mountains really stole the show. The sound twists and turns between glacier carved mounatains for 9 miles with sheer cliffs rising over 3000 feet on both sides and water plunging to depths well over 1000 feet.
After a round trip of two hours of non-stop beauty, we headed off for dinner at the Blue Duck, the ONLY restaurant in Milford Sound, outside of the small menu at the café at our lodge. Our waiter was a personable lad from Brighton, England and we had basic good food of fish and chips and steak. It is relaxed backpacker type atmosphere here, especially after the busloads of day trippers are gone.
We debated the merits of a kayak trip or hiring a boat ferry to take us to the start of a day hike for the next day, but as it turned out the point was entirely moot.. The wind and the deluge swept in by 9 PM and never let up for 24 hours. The next morning there were a dozen new waterfalls pouring off the mountainside and the stepping stones that people walked across the river on were well underwater.
Thankfully we were in a comfortable chalet and a day of relaxing was just fine. We managed to stay occupied and a bottle of New Zealand wine and New Zealand cheese made for a pleasant day all around.
There was slight letup around supper time and we almost thought about walking ,but it was a good thing we didn’t because the deluge started again during dinner. We picked up a young Irish couple on the way back to the lodge. They were on their honeymoon and getting drenched.