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!