Amazing Milford Sound in New Zealand
Brimming with natural beauty and housing an impressive variety of wildlife, New Zealand’s Milford Sound is one of the country’s most appreciated tourist destinations and one of the most beautiful fjords in the world. The fjord is a part of the Milford Sound Marine Reserve, the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site and Fiordland National Park.
Running 9.3 miles inland from the Tasman Sea, this narrow inlet is surrounded by magnificent rock formations, some soaring up to heights of 3,900 feet. Some examples include The Lion that rises up to an altitude of 4,272 feet, as well as The Elephant that can be found at 4,977 feet. Other attractions include two splendid and permanent waterfalls named Stirling Falls and Lady Bowen Falls as well as a series of smaller, non-permanent waterfalls that are fed by rainwater and last only for a few days. Speaking of rainfall, you might want to bring a raincoat with you during your visit, since this place is widely known as one of the wettest in the world, boasting rainfall of 268 inches in 182 days a year.
Nonetheless, you will also have to bring your camera along as this fjord flaunts absolutely exquisite panoramas as well as a generous list of wildlife species including penguins, white seals, dolphins and even whales. Furthermore, if you are passionate about scuba diving you will have a chance to explore the vast and spectacular world that can be found underneath the fjord’s waters. The rocks that surround the fjord plummet down to depths ranging between 328 and 1,476 feet, while a great number of deep-sea creatures call these waters their home. You could also pay a visit to the Milford Deep Underwater Observatory if you don’t want to get your clothes wet while viewing dark coral as well as the aforementioned attractions up close. You could also practice tramping and canoeing during your stay at the fjord, even though accommodation options are quite scarce so you might want to consider staying as dry as possible for the duration of your visit.
Regarding the history of this corner of paradise, we can tell you that it was generally overlooked by sailing ship captains such as James Cook, mainly because its narrow entrance did not hold the promise of a large, open interior bay but also because of its proximity to the mountains. Cook actually named the fjord the Doubtful Sound, since he thought it doubtful that he might escape back into the sea once he ventured within its waters. The first European citizen to discover Milford Sound was Captain John Grono in 1812, and he named it Milford Haven, while Captain John Lort Stokes later bestowed it with the named we know today.