March 31, 2018
December 6, 2017
To say that I was looking forward to seeing Milford Sound is an understatement. Before and while traveling through New Zealand, we made a rough plan of what we wanted to see based on recommendations from the Lonely Planet and from a few friends and family members who travelled and lived (or still live) here. They all had various tips for what to see and do, and the ONE thing these recommendations had in common was to go see Milford Sound. So my expectations and excitement for it were, to put it mildly, rather high.
We arrived in Milford Sound in the evening, to not so great weather. We had booked a spot in the only campground that is close to the sound, so that the next day, early in the morning, both Daniel and I could explore the sound in our preferred ways: I had booked myself on a two-hour cruise, while Daniel was doing a six-hour dive trip into the sound.
But, on the morning of our planned activities, we woke up to miserable weather. It was foggy and raining
and you could barely see 20 m in front of you, let alone be able to admire the mountains surrounding the sound. I had already paid for my cruise, and I couldn’t cancel it without losing all the money. Daniel didn’t want to cancel, as he figured out that, for seeing stuff under water, the weather above the water is not that important.
I had booked myself on the first cruise of the day, going out at 9 AM. Since at 8.30 you could see almost nothing through the fog, I tried to salvage what I could and rebooked myself on the next cruise, which was going out at 11.15, in the hope that the weather would improve. This cruise was more expensive, but hey, you pay for hope. By 11.00, the weather still wasn’t any better, so I rebooked myself again on a later cruise, in the same hope. And again the ticket was more expensive. To make a long story short, I ended up paying double for my cruise ticket and still seeing almost nothing. The one good thing though was that the waterfalls in the sound had a lot of water, so they were pretty impressive to see. Here is what the cruise looked like:
Daniel had a much better time on his dive trip. He saw interesting fish, corals, and the rock walls of the mountains under water. But of course, he also didn’t see anything of the supposedly impressive landscape in the sound.
That being the situation, we decided to give it a second chance on the next day. We couldn’t stay the night in the same campground, as it was booked out, so we drove about an hour away from the sound until we found a campground with available places. And the next morning we woke up to better weather, so we decided to drive back to the sound and hope for better views of it.
This time, the hope was justified. The weather turned out very good and we could still get tickets for a cruise later that day. And this time, the sound lived up to its reputation: