On February 16th, on the road to go to Milford Sound after a night spent in Manapouri.
We were 15 km from the arrival, and the temperature gauge of our car engine climbed dangerously, we heard a weird noise… So we stopped immediatly. An engine overheat, great! We waited for the car to cool down, Jérémy put some water in the expansion tank… And went back slowly to Manapouri, where we went to a mechanic.
3 days later and a lighter wallet, we made a second attempt and this time we arrived without any trouble.
On February 20th, we went on a boat to visit Milford Sound. We chose the company Southern Discoveries, and took the 9am ‘Scenic Cruise’, for 59$ per person (minus 10%, thanks to a discount found in an AA magazine). With a breakfast buffet please (we did not go without quantities!).
The Milford Sound is a fiord. It is incorrectly named, as a sound is in fact a large sea or ocean inlet larger than a bay, deeper than a bight, and wider than a fiord, while Milford Sound is formed by the actions of glaciers.
The mountains around can reach a 1200 meters difference in height, Mitre Peak rises 1692 meters above the Sound.
The Māori named the sound Piopiotahi after the thrush-like piopio bird, now extinct.
Captain John Grono discovered it in 1812 and named it Milford Haven after his homeland in Wales. Captain John Lort Stokes later renamed Milford Haven as Milford Sound.
With between 550000 and one million tourists per year, Milford Sound is one of the most visited tourist spots in New Zealand, despite its remote location.
The place is amazing. Obviously, it is better to visit it when the weather is nice, but under the rain, the scenery most certainly have a mystical side that must be intriguing.
On our way back, quick stop at the Mirror Lakes.