Discovering Milford Sound: Daytrip from Queenstown

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Milford Sound, New Zealand

As the humpback whale sprayed and flicked its tail, I gazed around me, mountains, waterfalls, open water, birds singing and the gentle hum of the boat. I was finally here. Milford Sound. The area that is one of the top highlights of New Zealand.

The kind folks at Kiwi Discovery offered me a free coach trip from Queenstown and a cruise around Milford Sound. I was about the only New Zealander on the trip, besides the bus driver I think, which hit home how much of a tourist I am in my own country. I made friends and had a great trip anyway.

Drive to Milford Sound

Drive to Milford Sound

The drive down into Milford Sound via Fiordland National Park was possibly even better than the cruise itself. The scenery was absolutely stunning to say the least. We stopped along the way to quickly take a few photos and then jump back on the coach to continue the trip. It’s a long day, so as much as I would have liked to stand and appreciate the scenery more, we just didn’t have time.

Mirror Lake was a stunning little spot, with a lake that produces a lovely mirror of the mountains and scenery around it.

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

There was some pretty lovely forest stops along the way too.

Entrance to Lake Gunn walk

Entrance to Lake Gunn walk

Bridge to Lake Marian walk

Bridge to Lake Marian walk

Ponga tree

Ponga tree

And even a ‘friendly’ Kea or two… or three…

New Zealand native bird - the Kea

New Zealand native bird – the Kea

Did anyone ever ask ‘Why did the Kea cross the road?’ Probably to start pecking away at the cars…

It was snow capped mountains all around, as we eased down into Milford Sound, a place some describe as the 8th wonder of the world.

Moneky Creek

Moneky Creek

We were on a smaller boat, so there was plenty of space and could enjoy two hours of cruising around. While it seemed a pretty sunny day, the waterfalls were still putting on a bit of a show which was great. When the boat go out to the ocean, the weather started turning in, but sure enough, as we came back in the sun was beaming again.

Our boat for the Milford Sound cruise

Our boat for the Milford Sound cruise

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

Milford Sound clouds Milford Sound

Waterfall in Milford Sound

Waterfall in Milford Sound

Waterfall in Milford Sound

Waterfall in Milford Sound

During the time in Milford Sound, we spotted a great array of wildlife. Some people spotted dolphins, but I was pretty pleased to see several Humpback whales instead. I’d seen Southern Right whales in Argentina in December last year, so it was pretty cool to see another type of whale — this time in my own country.

Humpback whale in Milford Sound

Humpback whale in Milford Sound

Seals were also on display at ‘Seal Point’.

Seal Point

Seal Point

Seal in Milford Sound

Seal in Milford Sound

Milford Sound was a pretty awesome day trip during my time in Queenstown. It would have been exhausting to drive myself all the way there and back in one day, so if I do it again I think I’d stay a night in Te Anau and then take my time going there and try to spend longer enjoying the scenery. I’d love the chance to do one of the big hikes one day too! This time around, the day trip was just right to make the most of my short time down there.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

If you’d like to check out the company I went with on my day trip to Milford Sound, Kiwi Discovery are online at http://www.kiwidiscovery.com/milford-sound/.

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