We spent St. Patrick’s Day in Milford Sound. For being the holiday lover that I am, I cannot believe I forgot all about it until we were buying our tickets and they had a special promo going on for St. Patrick’s Day. None of us wore green and in fact, the only festive thing we did was eat spinach pasta that night for dinner.
Nonetheless, we were still pretty lucky to get to spend the day admiring spectacular sights at Milford Sound. The drive in and of itself was immaculate and we could have pulled over numerous times for photos.
Funny story, my uncle Steve had recommended we stop at The Chasm on the way. We were nearing the Sound and had not seen a sign for that yet, so when we came upon a sign saying “The Divide” we thought maybe that was what he meant. So we pulled off and after asking around, we found out it was a 2 hour hike. I have a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out) so I was all for it, but Brandon wanted to remind me that we had a long day ahead of us and he didn’t want all of us to be worn out from the hike that we couldn’t enjoy the boat tour. So I walked the trail for the first 10 minutes to see what the hype was all about.
While it was a gorgeous trail, Brandon was right. We needed to keep going. We stopped a few more times just because the view was amazing. And then we got to stop for 4 minutes to wait for our turn through the tunnel. Check it out!
We drove through the tunnel for 4 minutes and it was crazy to think we were driving through a mountain. As soon as we got through the tunnel, this was our drive going down to Milford Sound. How amazing is it that a road is even created through this kind of terrain!
Soon after, we saw a sign for, “The Chasm” and we immediately started laughing. Silly me for thinking the Divide was the Chasm. We were so glad we didn’t spend our time on the hike when it wasn’t even what my uncle was referring to. But we did stop at the Chasm and holy cow, was a sight to see. (I know I am saying that a lot, but the natural wonders were so incredible.)
We took a short hike and then saw this:
The clear aqua water was beautiful and we could see a canyon. Cool, right? But as we went a little further to the upper portion, we knew why this was a must-see.
This current in this river has churned rocks in such a way that over thousands of years, the water has carved the canyon that now looks like this:
^The swirl of the rocks has created all these geometric features.
^green wall for St. Patty’s day!
^Just driving along. And yes, on the left side.
And finally, we reached Milford Sound! It’s technically Fjord, can’t remember why it’s called Sound. Here we are waiting at for the boat with the famous Mitre Peak in the back:
The good news is the weather was warmer than we had anticipated. I had heard it was super cold so I had bought some beanies at the Op Shop (thrift store), but we didn’t end up needing them. The bad news was that because it wasn’t raining, we didn’t get to see as many waterfalls as there usually is when it’s raining.
But wow, it was spectacular. These photos don’t do justice.
^We lucked out and got seats on top, but there were a few times it was super windy and we had to hold on tight!
^Blake really enjoyed this boat ride. He was so intrigued by everything.
Just one of the waterfalls we saw. In the rain, they are a lot bigger.
We saw some seals!
^The super nice boat attendant made some hot chocolate for Blake and Evelyn to warm up inside.
^The kids got a bit restless towards the end. It was a 2 hour tour afterall, but they did pretty well!
^View of Sterling Falls- it’s taller than Niagara Falls!
The boat took us right up to this waterfall and we all got soaked!
This was definitely a highlight for us! We drove back to Te Anau, made dinner in the communal kitchen and then went to bed. We were all tired!