Milford Sound


New Zealand’s Milford Sound. This is a magical, almost other worldly place. The Sound is really mis-labeled. A sound is a general term for a body of water easily swam across, which could be true of the Milford if not for the extremely vertical walls on either side and the present day boat traffic. The peak in the center of this image is Pembroke Peak and it rises quickly out of the water to a height of 6,710′.

The Milford is really a fjord and it is found in the very large, remote, and more aptly named Fjordlands National Park. A fjord is a sea inlet that was originally carved out by a glacier. It has a shallow entrance from the sea where the glacier deposited the rubble that it scrapped from the land, but it’s usually very deep inside the inlet. The glacier carved a deep U-shape trench that caused the walls of a fjord to be steep above and below the surface of the water. The Milford Sound rises to the before mentioned height of 6,710′ but it also sharply descends to a depth of 1,680′.

The Milford Sound has only two permanent waterfalls, but when it rains the area is covered with over 1,000 falls cascading from the cliffs above. This place gets a lot of rain. According to our guide it rains two out of every three days. On average it receives about 250″ per year making it one of the wettest places on the planet.

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