Next week we’ll finish up with Milford Sound and move onto Doubtful Sound and some very playful dolphins. Until then:
Just to recap, it’s March 2020 aboard Royal Caribbean’s ship Radiance of the Seas, and we’re plying the same waters we did a year before aboard Princess Cruise Lines’ Majestic Princess. We are cruising Milford Sound inside New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park. On this day the approach to Milford Sound appeared gloomy, and the weather was obviously not going to cooperate:
Fortunately, those limitations in no way impacted photography until later in the day when, in Doubtful Sound, the drizzle eventually had me sitting beneath shelter in the stern. That tended to limit my photography, but as for Milford precipitation was for the most part holding off nicely.
Indeed, the low clouds gave a nice contrast to the previous year’s good weather photos. The peak-hugging fog added quite a bit of drama:
At the far end of Milford Sound is a small marina:
And just a short distance from that marina are the impressive Lady Bowen Falls, which is the tallest of the two permanently flowing waterfall in Milford Sound. This waterfall cascades 531 feet/162 meters from the Bowen River into the sound below. For an overview of waterfalls in this area, see: Top 6 Waterfalls to see in Milford Sound.
Here’s a view of Milford Sound in the wake of the Radiance of the Seas:
The other permanent waterfall within Milford Sound is Stirling Falls. While not quite as tall as Bowen, it’s actually considered the more impressive of the two falls because of the shear drop. This waterfall drops 495 feet/151 meters. If this fall looks familiar, you may recognize it from the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This is the waterfall from which Hugh Jackman’s character jumps to escape a bad situation.
I’ll leave you today with these final two images from Milford Sound:
In March 2020, after our circumnavigation of Australia aboard Royal Caribbean’s ship Radiance of the Seas, we returned to Fiordland National Park. You’ll recall from the past two weeks that we made a similar journey through Fiordland aboard Majestic Princess, but under much better weather conditions.
We arrived very early in the morning at the first of two fiords we would travel this day, so the low sunlight hidden behind inclimate weather only added to the sense of dreariness.
But fortunately, dreariness does not mean the absence of drama or interest. While the images captured this day had a different mood, they were no less interesting that those taken twelve months earlier. And in some ways the low clouds actually added to some of the imagery.
Before entering the fiord the water was just a tad on the choppy side, with waves crashing along the distant shoreline:
But once we entered Milford Sound the waters calmed to the nearly glass-like conditions we experienced in 2019 aboard Majestic Princess:
Milford Sound extends deeply into the South Island of New Zealand. The fiord is 9.4 miles/15.1 kilometers long, and at it’s widest point extends over 1.2 miles/2 kilometers. The maximum depth is 955 feet/291 meters, and the surrounding mountains rise to nearly 4,800 feet/1,520 meters.
But this day was mostly about the peaks and the clouds topping them: