In truth, it’s the action of glaciers that carved these razor-edge cliffs. Scoured into the bare rock are pathways from tree avalanches, where entangled roots dragged whole forests down into darkly glittering water. When rain comes (and that’s often), dozens of temporary waterfalls curtain the cliffs. Stirling and Lady Bowen Falls gush on in fine weather, with rainbows bouncing from their mists when sunlight strikes just right.
By 2019, Milford Sound will receive an estimated one million annual visitors – an almighty challenge to keep its beauty pristine. But out on the water, all human activity – cruise ships, divers, kayakers – seems dwarfed into insignificance.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||San Francisco International Airport|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.|
Run by Southern Discoveries, this small observatory is NZ’s only floating underwater observatory, with displays on the unique natural environment of the fiord. The centre offers a chance to view corals, tube anemones and bottom-dwelling sea perch from 10m below the waterline. It’s only accessible on a cruise by any of the operators – some include a visit (such as Southern Discoveries’ Scenic Cruise, from $90/55 per adult/child), others offer it as an add-on; check when you book.
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