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Seal Rock in Milford Sound at Fiordland, New Zealand

A visual treat is watching New Zealand fur seals basking in the sunshine on Seal Rock. Are they lazy? No. They rest at a haul out site like this after spending a week or more fishing in the ocean. Males average eight feet long and can top the scales at over 300 pounds. Females are […]

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Sightseeing in Milford Sound at Fiordland, New Zealand

Despite its remote location along New Zealand’s southwest coast, nearly one million people annually visit Milford Sound. Nearly all tourists are thrilled during their sightseeing cruise. Options range from a scenic boat ride lasting less than an hour up to two hours. Also available are more extensive excursions including other sounds and overnight cruises. The […]

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Mitre Peak in Milford Sound at Fiordland, New Zealand

Milford Sound is encircled with enormous mountains. The most famous and photographed summit at 5,551 feet is not the tallest. What elevated this mount to iconic status are the five points resembling a bishop’s ceremonial headgear. The Māori name is Rahotu. The first person to call it Mitre Peak was Captain John Lort Stokes while […]

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New Zealand Flag in Milford Sound at Fiordland, New Zealand

Dutchman Abel Tasman discovered New Zealand in 1642. Yet the British were the first to circumnavigate and mapped it (Captain Cook beginning in 1769), settle it (James Busby first resident in 1833), purchase land (Treaty of Waitangi in 1840), create the Colony of New Zealand (1841) and form the self-governing Dominion of New Zealand (1907). […]

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Lady Bowen Falls in Milford Sound at Fiordland, New Zealand

Bowen River is sourced at the 7,300 foot elevation of Mount Grave. It then flows six miles before gushing 531 feet over a cliff near the end of Milford Sound. Lady Elizabeth Bowen Falls is named for the wife of George Bowen. He was successively the governor of Queensland, New Zealand, Victoria, Mauritius (French Island […]

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Four Sisters in Milford Sound at Fiordland, New Zealand

Milford Sound’s most famous falls are constantly on display. Yet their intensity of cascading water will vary depending on the season and weather. Following a torrential rain, the cliffs become a symphony of waterfalls. Such is the case with the Four Sisters. They are nearly identical ribbons of water tumbling in a parallel formation. Two […]

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Glacier Etched Rocks in Milford Sound at Fiordland, New Zealand

It is easy to get mesmerized by the sheer cliffs encircling Milford Sound. But a close inspection of the rock reveals scars and polishing from the fjord’s formation. Milford Sound was created during 20 glacial periods dating back to the Ross Glaciation 2.5 million years ago. The incredible power of these glaciers moved an estimated […]

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History of Milford Sound at Fiordland, New Zealand

Milford Sound was used by generations of Māori for fishing. During the earliest European circumnavigation voyages, the fjord was unexplored because its narrow entrance was easy to miss. Plus the shallow water of 88 feet at the mouth seemed unpromising and potentially dangerous. In 1812, the ship Governor Bligh captained by seal hunter John Grono […]

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Flying to Milford Sound at Fiordland, New Zealand

Milford Sound is the only one of Fiordland’s sounds accessible by road. The drive from Queenstown is 179 miles (over four hours – longer with frequent photo stops) and 75 miles from Te Anau (about two hours). The scenery is gorgeous along the way but exhausting during a one-day round trip. Most people prefer to […]

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Bottlenose Dolphins in Milford Sound at Fiordland, New Zealand

There is a pod of 60 resident bottlenose dolphins in Milford Sound. They love putting on a show for visitors. So keep your camera poised as their hooked dorsal fins approach. Soon you will be delighted by their acrobatic antics in the wake of your boat. Then they will race along the side in a […]