Situated about 120 windy km away from Te Anau, the Milford Sound is one of the most popular tourist attractions in New Zealand, it even made it into my top ten hits of the country! Originally bypassed by Captain Cook on his voyage around New Zealand the first European who entered the sound was a Welshman, clearly inspired by the scenery that he thought resembled his homeland he named it Milford after Milford Haven a town in Pembrokeshire. As with most things in New Zealand the Europeans were many years behind the Māoris, the local tribe called the sound Piopiotahi after the legendary Piopio bird (now extinct) and had been visiting and using the natural resources (jade/greenstone) for many years. It is part of the Fiordland National Park, New Zealand’s biggest, and when you’re there it is easy to see why it is so popular.
We chose to drove from Te Anau, it was to be our lazy day following on from the Kepler track walk. Setting off relatively early, you’ll need to allow yourself plenty of time to make it to the sound. With multiple coaches, many bends and an uncountable number of bad drivers all adding together to make this not such an enjoyable ride. The scenery was trying to shine through, I think there was almost ten minutes where the sun broke out and the rain stopped. We hoped that the sun would win once we were on the sound but it was not to be. The rainfall here is measured in meters, not centimeters. That should probably be a sign of just how much rain they receive. The rain does have one advantage and that is that all the waterfalls that scale the sides of the sound are in full flow, it certainly created some atmosphere.
Here is this week’s film: