One of the favored New Zealand vacation destinations is Milford Sound. This is one of those special places that manages to nestle, or better yet, force its way into your heart. There is no bad time to visit Milford Sound New Zealand, and though it rains a lot here, it does little to dampen spirits. Milford Sound is found on the country's South Island, just 175 miles northwest of Queenstown. It's part of New Zealand's Fiordland region, and the views here are nothing short of breathtaking. Rudyard Kipling is known labeled this region as his choice for the eighth wonder of the world, and should you be lucky enough to end up here at some point, you'll understand his inspiration for doing so. According to Maori legend, the Fiordland region of New Zealand was created by a godly figure known as Tu Te Raki Whanoa. You'd have to think that if that was the case, then Tu Te definitely spent some extra time crafting this stunning landscape.
Milford Sound is hard to notice if you are out at sea, so much so that the famed British explorer, Captain Cook, didn't even notice it when charting the New Zealand waters a couple-hundred years back. His loss. Had he noticed this area, he might have never left, which is how you might feel upon arriving. The Milford Sound stretches some 14 nautical miles until it reaches the Tasman Sea, and you can easily exhaust your camera along the way. The whole Fiordland region is so picturesque, in fact, that you will want to make sure you have extra film or photo space, as well as plenty of extra camera batteries. Of course, this is pretty much true of most of New Zealand. From the rich blue waters, the mountains at Milford Sound quickly soar high into the sky, some reaching almost 6,000 feet. On rocky perches here and there, you'll notice fur seals going about their daily routines, and you're bound to spot at least one dolphin enjoying the area as much as you probably are.
As mentioned, it tends to rain quite a bit here, so you'll certainly want to bring waterproof or water repellent clothing just in case. The weather is also known to change at the drop of a hat, so you'll want to make sure you have a few layers of clothing available, even in the summer. As you might imagine, when it is raining at Milford Sound, the place takes on a different kind of beauty. Sure, it can be a bit melancholy, but it's a good kind of melancholy. Plus, when it rains here, numerous mountain waterfalls come to life, gushing torrents of water down the impressive cliff sides. When it's dry here, you'll have a much tougher time finding a waterfall, so there is reason to rejoice in rainfall when enjoying Milford Sound vacations.
Milford Sound tours are in good supply, and among the most popular are the Milford Sound cruises. The Milford Sound cruises have an array of options to choose from. You can enjoy a scenic cruise, perhaps going the full length of the fiord. These kinds of Milford Sound cruises tend to offer modern vessels that have plenty of space. If the bigger boats don't seem like a good fit for you, you can always arrange a small boat cruise. These are great for families and anyone who is looking for a more personal experience. Nature lovers will find the nature cruises to be their best fit for Milford Sound cruises, as they feature nature guides that are a valuable resource. Overnight cruises are also worth checking out, and some of the ships found here offer private cabins, with others offering quad rooms and bunk-style accommodations. To make your Milford Sound vacation a bit more stress-free, you might look into New Zealand vacation packages that offer flight connections and shuttle rides from Queenstown to Milford Sound.
The Milford Sound accommodations are slim, so you might find that shacking up for a night on one of the overnight Milford Sound cruises is the best way to go. If you don't want to come in on a tour bus in the morning, only to leave at night, then there is one option for Milford Sound accommodations that is the only land-based lodging found in the Fiordland National Park. The Milford Sound Lodge might not be the most luxurious of New Zealand lodges, but it does give you the chance to stay at this amazing destination. It offers some 24 units, and shared bathrooms are the only option. Backpackers will certainly enjoy the value here, and the natural surroundings are enough to satisfy most. This only choice for land-based Milford Sound accommodations has a nice lounge and a pretty good restaurant, and you will find adequate facilities for cooking or doing laundry. The staff can also help you plan and arrange Milford Sound tours, which is an added convenience. Driving tours are among the favorite Milford Sound tours, especially the road leading here from Te Anau. This road is world-renowned, and you will likely find yourself stopping frequently along the way to admire the views.