You’ve been looking forward to visiting Milford Sound, but the weather forecast says it’s going to rain! Should you change your plans? No! In fact, your day just got even better.
We know it can be disappointing after all that planning to find out that you won’t have clear blue skies and uninterrupted views on your trip to New Zealand’s most beautiful place.
But of course, if you’ve done your research you will have realised there was always a good chance of rain in the wettest place in New Zealand. Even if you’re visiting Milford Sound in summer, even if it’s a beautiful day in Queenstown, the rains can still come with a vengeance.
The good news is, locals reckon a rainy day is the best time to visit Milford Sound anyway, for one simple reason.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of waterfalls.
Large parts of the Milford Road, as well as the fiord itself, are bounded by immense rocky cliffs, carved out by slow-marching glaciers tens of thousands of years ago. High above, the Southern Alps loom, with glacier-fed rivers all coursing their way downwards. For this reason, waterfalls are one of the highlights of both your trip to Milford Sound as well any Milford Sound cruise.
There are several permanent waterfalls in Milford Sound, and in wet weather the rain amplifies and intensifies them. It’s a compelling reminder of the awesome power of nature to watch these falls gush down rocky cliffs high above you and tumble into the fiord.
But the rain also creates even more waterfalls. They are everywhere: snaking sinuously down the walls of the fiord, appearing as if by magic at the top of glacial valleys, crisscrossing sheer rocky cliffs and trickling their way to sea level.
Some of these waterfalls start so high up in the mountains that their stream never reaches the sea below – the water simply disperses into a mist and drifts away, carried off by the wind into nothingness.
This moody world of grey skies, soft cloud, ethereal sprays and cascading streams is pure magic. Coupled with the remote nature of this place, it’s easy to believe you’ve been transported back in time to some primeval era.
So if you’re feeling blue at the thought of a rainy day in Milford Sound, don’t despair. You’re going to see the world-famous fiord in one of its most attractive forms.
Just don’t forget your raincoat.