Milford Sound

After two days of cancellations, we woke up crossing our fingers really hard, and called in to check on the flights. We were informed that the flight was on, but we would probably not be able to land for our boat ride. This was a little disappointing, but better something than nothing; we got our acts together and headed towards the airport, minus the lunches we’d planned for the longer trip. On arrival, we were informed that landing was back on the table! We also found out that cancellations are not at all unusual; conditions are only suitable about half the time. We were herded onto a tiny plane (check out Andrew’s knees!), and took off for our scenic flight over the mountains.

And scenic it turned out to be! The mountain tops outside Queenstown had just received a fresh dusting of snow, and as we progressed into the pass, the tips got whiter and more jagged.

The descent took us directly down into the sound, and we watched the mountains come disconcertingly close through the front windows.

Queenstown had been cold, but when we landed in Milford, we found it was… still very cold, actually. So we remained bundled up as we made our way onto the waiting tour boat and started our brief cruise.

There are a number of boats, all on pretty much the same track, so as we headed out towards the ocean, we passed others stopped at the waterfalls we would later visit ourselves.

There is a resident pod of dolphins near the mouth of the sound, and they showed off for us a bit, though they seemed mostly to be busy hunting. We also passed a couple of fur seals, hanging out and warming themselves on a convenient rock.

When the ship brought us back to land, we took the short bus ride back to the airport and got back on the plane. The pilot took us back via a different route, so we were treated to a different set of stunning views. Also notable, as we got near town, we flew over a field of deer! Absolutely wild to see these things farmed, instead of, you know, wild.

We took an utterly absurd number of photos, and even after throwing most of them away we’re left with more than really fit in a post. We’ve extracted some highlights above, but here’s the whole trip in one big gallery, best viewed fullscreen.

One comment

  1. Stunning photos–and you had sunshine! It was windy and rainy when we were there, but still breathtaking!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.