It's probably one of the most recommended activities for travelers headed to New Zealand's south island and it sure doesn't disappoint. A cruise on Milford Sound is an absolute must on any visit to Fiordland. With the gorgeous blue water, the peaks surrounding the sound, and the possibility of seeing penguins - it just doesn't get much better.
By far the most fascinating part of the cruise was learning about tree avalanches. You see all those stripes of rock amidst the the green covered cliffs? Well, the tree's here grow on those vertical faces by forming a sort of web with anchor points. When some of those anchor points fail, you get a tree avalanche where the entire web pulls off the side of the face and tumbles down into the sound.
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The Road to Milford Sound
My husband & I were lucky to have the opportunity to travel around New Zealand for several weeks. Of course, Milford Sound was one of the "must sees" on our list. We booked a day tour with a local operator called Trips and Tramps. Unfortunately, the night before our tour, it snowed, and the road to the Sound was closed to all traffic. But our tour guide was confident that the road would be cleared in time for us to travel from Te Anau to the boat that would take us through the Sound. So we departed as scheduled and, sure enough, we were allowed through the barricades. It continued to snow as we made our way along the winding roads, occasionally sliding a bit in the icy spots. Our guide kept us safe and entertained us with facts & fiction over the several hours drive. We also stopped for some short hikes to see waterfalls and beautiful valley views like the one in this photo. Not many people were willing to make the trip to the Sound that day, so we pretty much had it to ourselves. It was cold but so beautiful and well worth the effort to get there!