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Once declared as the eighth world wonder by British novelist, Rudyard Kipling, Milford Sound is one of the most beautiful sights which New Zealand has to offer. Located in the Fiordland National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Milford Sound is a fiord which attracts lots of tourists annually. Below is all you need to know when planning a trip to Milford Sound.
Places to Visit
One of the wettest places in the world, Milford Sound is home to several lakes and water bodies which you should see when you go visiting. Some of these places are highlighted below.
- Mitre Peak: Mitre Peak is a breathtaking mountain which every tourist to Milford Sound should see in its full beauty. There are a few options available to you when it comes to seeing the Mitre Peak. You can go on a kayak tour, go on a day cruise or even hike to the top.
- Gertrude Saddle: While it takes six hours of hiking to reach, the experience when you get to the top of the Gertrude Saddle is unmatched. From atop the Gertrude Saddle, you get a full view of most of Milford Sound as well as the valleys below.
- Lake Gunn: Getting to the Lake Gunn, is the easiest among all the locations discussed, as it takes about forty-five-minute walk to reach. Asides the beautiful scenery, you get to see the Pekapeka and the endangered birds of Milford Sound at Lake Gunn. From Lake Gunn, you can gaze on the Eglinton Mountains, famous for being a filming location for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
- Lake Marian: Lake Marian is another place you must not miss when you visit Milford Sound. The alpine lake which has some of the best views you will see in Milford Sound, is formed by glacial action. Get your camera ready, as there are a lot of stunning pictures to be taken at this site.
- Monkey Creek: The Monkey Creek is a nice site situated in the Hollyford Valley. One of the lovely views you encounter when going into Milford Sound, be sure to take look out for the Kea and Rare Whio. Both are wildlife native to New Zealand, the Kea is the only alpine parrot in the world, while Rare Whio is a blue duck.
Things to Do in Milford Sound
- Visit the Milford Sound Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory: Learning a bit about the history of any destination you visit is one of the best parts of every travel. The Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory serves this purpose in Milford Sound. Find your way down to Harrison Cove where it is located to discover the history of Milford Sound. You will learn all there is to know about how Milford Sound came to be, how the Homer Tunnel was built, the Maori explorers as well as the Europeans that settled in the region. There is also a large underground room, which is nothing like you have ever seen. From this underground room, which is 10 metres below sea level, you can look at aquatic creatures moving in their natural habitat.
- Go on Boat Cruises: Going on a boat cruise is something you must do while in Milford Sound. Boat cruises which you a kind of wholesome experience which is unmatched. You get to see all that Milford Sound has to offer in one ride. Boat cruises is a great bonding activity, one that you can enjoy with your significant other.
- Go on A Day Tour: Go on a day tour on a coach or bus to see all that Milford Sound has to offer. Day tours do not come with physical exhaustion and you can take some nice pictures along the way.
- Go Kayaking: Kayaking provides you with a similar experience to boat cruises, only that it is a more personal experience. You get to paddle yourself over the waters enjoying the views at your own pace. All you need is your kayaking skills and gear, which you can get around.
- Take a Scenic Flight: What is better than taking in the views up-close? Looking at it from above. You should take a scenic flight from a plane or helicopter in Milford Sound to have wonderful view of the waterways, mountain peaks and the valleys.
Best Time to Visit Milford Sound
There are a few things to consider when planning the best time to visit Milford Sound. The best time for hiking is the period between December and February. These months make up the New Zealand summer, and the temperature usually between 18-20 degrees Celsius usually make for safe hiking during this period.
If you want to avoid navigating through a large crowd, March to April, and the month of December is the best time to visit. With the temperate periods in these months, you get to see New Zealand wildlife. Make sure to book ahead when planning a visit to avoid last minute inconveniences.
Tips to Enjoy Your Trip to Milford Sound
- Clothing: You should wear comfortable clothes, to give you full freedom to move. Sneakers is the best choice of footwear as it enables you to move around faster. Make sure to have a jacket handy, as the weather can get very cold. Sunglasses and hats should also be part of your luggage.
- Ensure to have a bottle of water with you when going on your tours and cruises. The last thing you want is getting dehydrated on Mitre Peak. Some snacks will also come handy should you get hungry.
- You should keep it in mind that there is poor cell phone coverage in most part of the site. Make sure to plan accordingly, to avoid any issues.
A trip to Milford Sound is something you should experience at least once in your life. There are some many astonishing sights in one place, with the cool weather keeping you as comfortable as possible. There is so much to see and enjoy, and following these tips above will ensure you have a memorable trip.
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