Milford Sound is a lie, friends. It’s not a sound at all. It’s actually a fjord. Sounds are formed by free-flowing water whereas fjords are formed by ice through glacial movement. But that’s the only lie about Milford Sound. It’s simply stunning.
The Fjord was well-known to the Maori, of course. They used the area for fishing and observing tidal patterns. The first European to find Milford was Capt. John Grono in 1812. He named it Milford Haven after his home in Wales. Capt. John Lort Stokes failed us all in the 1850s when he renamed it Milford Sound. (I’m really not getting over this, am I?)
We arrived at the Fjord after our bus journey from Queenstown and hopped on a tour boat for our cruise through the fjords. We had spotty rain throughout the trip, but occasionally the sun would poke through the clouds and reward us with brilliance reflected across the waters among the fjords. We also saw waterfalls and seals.
This place seemed very mysterious to me. The mists and monoliths that hide in line behind one another and only appear as the boat makes its slow way through the fjord combined to give an aura of otherworldliness. The grays and blues of the water and sky were interspersed with the most vibrant greens from the dense forests that blanket the cliff faces. The rocks along the waterline displayed a fascinating combination of colors: grays, greens, yellows, creams. The whole space radiates peace and calm, amidst the rain.
After our boat cruise, we hopped back on the bus and rode the 4 hours back to Queenstown. I guess if I’d counted the cost before I went (8.5 hours on a bus for 2 hours on a boat in the rain), I might have had some trouble with the math. But honestly, it was worth every minute.
Title quote: Rudyard Kipling