The Milford Sound Cruise offered by Jucy Cruises proved to be an exceptional sightseeing experience in one of the most beautiful places in not only New Zealand, but in all the world. In fact, Milford Sound has been considered a number of times, as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’.
Though the waterway is referred to as a sound, this is actually a common mistake because it is technically a fiord. The area itself has a very particular climate, shrouded in fog, with the occasional sunshine seeping through on a good weather day. Journeying to Milford Sound takes some time because it is located quite a way from other towns.
From nearby Te Anau, perhaps the closest significant town, the drive takes a little less than two hours. What makes the journey so fascinating is that the climate and landscape change dramatically once you get closer to the Sound. One moment you are in the countryside and the next, you have descended into an all-encompassing rainforest, vast and humid in its entirety. There is a great deal of interesting stops along this route, all designated by helpful signs with yellow writing. There are a variety of impressive scenic points, including a large, natural chasm that can be walked across. These natural sights seem to increase in number as you get closer to Milford Sound, though it is, of course, the most beautiful and incredible of them all.
Seeing the Sound itself is a massive and humbling experience, you sail in between a number of renowned, beautiful mountains and it really does take your breath away. One such mountain, named Mitre Peak for its resemblance to the headgear worn by the Catholic Pope, is the single most photographed in all of New Zealand. Guests are also treated to a view of many breathtaking waterfalls, some of which have been flowing for hundreds of years, and some of which just begin flowing after a heavy rainfall!
For a few hours, we took in views of the Sound and caught sights of lazy, adorable seals lounging on rocks and beautiful dolphins playing around our boat. Our tour guide explained all of the unique aspects of the area and had an exceptional grasp on the history of the Sound. His knowledge was thoroughly impressive and we felt he was one of the best tour guides we’d had on our trip. We were also brought incredibly close to one of the most famous falls on the Sound, an unforgettable moment for everyone aboard as those who chose to stand at the front got absolutely soaking wet from head to toe but enjoyed themselves nonetheless!
The tour also included lunch, that guests were able to design themselves and were made to order and served aboard. The food was great, the pita pit was really yum, we can’t recommend them enough! The tour lasted about two and a half hours altogether, which we felt was the perfect amount of time to see the fiord in its entirety.
Taking in the Milford Sound was a beautiful experience overall and one that we highly recommend if you’re visiting the South Island, as it really feels like you are visiting a wonder of the world!