Milford Sound is a glacier carved fjord in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island. The beauty of its landscape draws a million visitors to the site annually making it one of the most visited destinations in the world and New Zealand’s key tourist attraction. Located in Fjordland National Park and Milford Sound Marine Reserve, Milford Sound is part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site. The Sound is 15 km inland from the Tasman Sea and is marked by steep cliffs rising 1,200 meters and more straight out of the water. Other features that are such a big draw are waterfalls cascading more than 1,000 meters, mountain peaks in the shape of various animals, a very special show of several hundred temporary waterfalls cascading mistily down the hillsides on rainy days, lush rainforests clinging to the sides of the steep mountainsides and seals, penguins, dolphins and even whales cavorting in the waters. It is also identified as an important bird breeding site. As one of the wettest spots on earth it receives 250 mm of rainfall within 24 hours.
Most tourists make the journey to this renowned beauty spot to enjoy the isolation, pristine natural conditions and stark beauty of the landscape. The best way to see the fjord is from the water and this is what almost all visitors do, take short cruises round the sound. Backpacking, canoeing and diving are some of the other ways to enjoy a close encounter with one of the world’s most amazing wildernesses. Milford Sound is also famous for its black coral, unusually found close to the surface. This and other amazing marine life such as eleven legged sea stars and sea anemones can be viewed from the Deep Underwater Observatory at Harrison Cove. Many believe that Milford sound has to be seen both on a sunny day and during rain to really appreciate the contrast and wonderful scenery under different conditions.
Access to Milford Sound is by road and air. The over land access through the Southern Alps, through Fjordland National Park is the only road access to the Sound. It is one of the most scenic and highest highways in New Zealand with the highest point being 940 meters above sea level.
As one of the biggest hotel operators in the country, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels New Zealand has several properties in some of the most idyllic and convenient locations, offering comfortable accommodation, a range of amenities and services and easy access to great wilderness areas, sporting and other important and interesting destinations. As a prominent group of New Zealand hotels guests are offered some of the best New Zealand hotel deals to celebrate festivals, events and seasons that include great getaways and breaks with many added extras.
Umanga Kahandawaarachchi is a passionate travel writer who writes under the pen name, Maggie Tulliver. Her field of writing covers a wide array of content and articles related to travel and hospitality industry.