Milford Sound, really a fjord in geographical terms, but they have never renamed it. I had gone back and forth on whether or not I wanted to visit the Sound. It was supposedly a must see, but it also required a 5 hour bus ride there and back! Then, I met a gal who had flown there. A 40 minute flight AND scenic views? It sounded like a plan. I was picked up from my hostel and driven to the airport. There, our pilot Ben, me and five others walked over to a small single engine plane. Ben happens to be an Eagles fan despite being from New Zealand He enjoyed giving me some BS about the last game.
Ben asked if anyone wanted to ride co-pilot. My hand shot up a little too quickly. In my defense, there were no kids and I was told he would ask this question. So, we boarded the plane, me in the co-pilot seat. He told us to get our cameras ready and take as many pictures as we want. Therefore making it sociably acceptable to ask the guy behind me to take my picture practicing as my new role, co-pilot.
We set off, it was a very smooth ride, the weather was ideal. Well, for flying. I took clothing suggestions from some friends who had done the bus tour. The group who arrives 5 hours after me when the sun is hot. This is a time where I actually would have bought a sweatshirt from a gift shop that said Milford Sound on it. Oh well!
The views from above…amazing! You fly SO close to all of the mountain peaks and can observe all the different changes in landscape. Slowly creeping from dry, to cold to green. I looked all around and took in the views and occasionally snapped a photo.
We arrived at a small airport and I successfully landed the plane. Kidding, just seeing if anyone read this far. Our group boarded a ferry and promptly ate a large breakfast before heading to the open top deck. It was an hour cruise down the sound and an hour back. On the way we saw large rock formations covered in greenery on either side of us. They were covered in small and sometimes large waterfalls with rainbows reflecting off the water. There were deep cracks in the mountains made from fault lines. Occasionally, we saw seals sun bathing on the rocks’ edge. We reached the end of the sound, where the water path opens up to the sea. Normally its very uneven water but it was perfectly still. If you turn a back around you almost don’t notice that it opens up to a connecting path. It was actually missed twice by discoverers who thought it was just a bay that didn’t connect to anything.
The trip was beautiful, but I must admit I’m glad I took the flight option. It would have been a long day for a short cruise down the sound. However, if you’ve never seen a fjord before, than it absolutely would have been worth it.