“So much water”: Our trips up Milford Road

It rained on and off all day today and yesterday. Both days we enjoyed a drive up the Milford-Te Anau Road, billed as one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

Along the way both days we packed picnic lunches, as well as short walks and photos at the Mirror Lakes and Eglinton Valley lookout.

As we drove up the road to Piopiotahi (Milford Sound in Maori), the sun intermittently showed through the clouds and then there would be another downpour. The rain overnight and throughout the day created stunning, riotous waterfalls.

Milford Sound is actually a fiord, formed by five glaciers. It is a unique place and UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as the centerpiece of the largest national park in New Zealand.

It’s a place made by water–in the form of ice, fresh water, rain water, and sea water. Milford Sound is actually known as the wettest inhabited place in New Zealand, receiving more than 252 inches of rain per year!

Thankfully, we picked the better of the two days to go on a cruise out on the fiord. We drove through heavy rain to get there and then the rain abated right as we got on the boat. It cleared pretty well through the course of our two hour cruise and started up again soon after.

The boat captain shared that one of the major waterfalls we saw goes down by 90% volume within two hours of rainfall ceasing. So it was pretty awesome to be there right after heavy rains because it meant that the torrents of water were truly dramatic!

Lake Te Anau under stormy skies.
Poncho-ed kids excitedly waiting to board our 3:15pm cruise.
Last time I was here I was pregnant with Evelyn!
Calvin initially hated his poncho but quickly realized it would keep him dry. He warmed to it.
Stirling Falls, one of only two permanent (not rain dependent) waterfalls in Milford Sound.
Happy to be back.
The view out through the fiord.
Enjoying some complimentary coffee, tea, and seats.
Fur seals!
Us in front of the Tasman Sea.
Back toward the docks.
Amazing waterfalls.
The man in blue is James! He’s out on the front deck getting drenched by a waterfall.
Look at that sunshine!
Photo by James.
Eglinton Valley on Day 1.
Evelyn and Charlotte just hanging around Milford Sound. This day we did the Milford Foreshore walk but not the boat cruise.
I thought for a minute that the DOC was falling down on the job with not repairing this “broken” sign… 
Flowers with waterfalls, Milford-Te Anau Road near the Homer Tunnel, Day 1.
Sun over the Mirror Lakes. This was after on our way back to Te Anau on our second day in a row up at Milford Sound.
James and Charlotte at the Mirror Lakes
The Chasm, an amazing series of waterfalls and rock runs just 9 kms from Milford Sound, was even more dramatic because of the heavy rainfall of the previous few hours. We all got soaked.
Soaked and happy.



4 thoughts on ““So much water”: Our trips up Milford Road

  1. Unbelievable photos and scenery! And you all look so great! The children are really growing. Will you be assembling a hardback photograph book upon your return home? 🙂 It could become a popular coffee table book for many would be adventurers!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s