Ever since I read about and saw pictures of Milford Sound, I added it to the top of my list of things to do in New Zealand. Since we were there during winter and didn’t want to deal with driving on icy roads or the possibility of an avalanche, we decided to book a tour through Trips and Tramps. I honestly LOVED the tour! Our guide was a very safe driver, stopped at a lot of the popular scenic stops along the way to Milford Sound, and told us all about what we were seeing.
One of our stops was to Mirror Lake. There were a few ducks swimming in the water that kept making ripples, but I almost got a completely still mirror picture!
We stopped along the road to see a few mounds and witnessed a smaller avalanche on one of the surrounding mountains!!! Luckily it wasn’t close enough to us, but it was incredible to see the ice and snow racing down the mountain!
While stopped for a short tea and biscuit break, we admired the surrounding mountains, scenery, and a little friend that came to visit us!
A KEA!!! This little guy wanted some food, but we were told not to feed him because he could get very sick and die. They are also known as an alpine parrot!
Good thing the avalanche hazard was low while we visited!
The drive was absolutely incredible!
AVALANCHE! It was a smaller one, but still neat to see the snow falling down the side of a mountain.
On the other side of the tunnel, we had a very winding drive back down to the valley floor.
We stopped at the Chasm on our way. I wasn’t quite sure what a Chasm was, but we got to a crazy waterfall with water rushing down creating a path in the stone. I remember thinking, “this must be the Chasm”, haha.
We also stopped to check out the Tutoko mountain, an old bridge, and this river.
This is the Tutoko mountain.
Once we made it to Milford Sound, we boarded a ship and cruised the sound. The views were spectacular!
There were sooo many waterfalls rushing down the side of the mountains surrounding the sound.
The ship got super close to this waterfall so we could feel the mist coming off of it. A few people in the very front may have gotten a bit wet, haha.
A leopard seal!!! We were told this was the first leopard seal sighting in years. Though the sighting was very exciting, our guide mentioned this means there probably won’t be many penguins. And if there were, the leopard seal would most likely snack on them!
We left the sound for a few minutes, just to get out to open ocean. The water was much more rough and I started feeling queasy, but there was a very nice view.
Seal rock! These guys aren’t leopard seals, but they’re still pretty neat!
One of the wider waterfalls we saw!
On the drive home, we waited on the other side of the tunnel and enjoyed watching the snow cascade down the side of the mountain.
After our day in Milford Sound, we were dropped off in Te Anau to pick up our rental van, and headed back to Queenstown for the night. We were rewarded with beautiful views of the sky on the way.
I still dream about the winter wonderland we drove through to get to Milford Sound and the many waterfalls we saw while cruising the sound!
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