Tag Archives: Fiordland National Park

Circumnavigating New Zealand — Fiordland 2020; Cruising Milford Sound


Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

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:

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

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.

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

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:

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

At the far end of Milford Sound is a small marina:

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

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.

Lady Bowen Falls, Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

Here’s a view of Milford Sound in the wake of the Radiance of the Seas:

Retreating from Lady Bowen Falls (left), Milford Sound

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.

Stirling Falls, Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park

I’ll leave you today with these final two images from Milford Sound:

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

 

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Circumnavigating New Zealand — Fiordland 2020; Entering Milford Sound


Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

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.

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

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.

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

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.

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

Our first fiord this day was Milford Sound, which English writer Rudyard Kipling proclaimed as his choice for the Eighth Wonder of the World. On this day it was easy to see why he thought that.

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

Before entering the fiord the water was just a tad on the choppy side, with waves crashing along the distant shoreline:

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

But once we entered Milford Sound the waters calmed to the nearly glass-like conditions we experienced in 2019 aboard Majestic Princess:

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

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.

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

But this day was mostly about the peaks and the clouds topping them:

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

Milford Sound, Fiordland Nat’l Park, New Zealand

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Fun Photo Friday — Circumnavigating New Zealand; Fiordland Part 2


In the Wake of the Majestic Princess

This week’s Fun Photo Friday brings to you a last look of our 2019 voyage into Fiordland National Park. Next week we’ll return with views from our 2020 cruise under vastly different weather conditions.

Serenity

Twin Falls

Hugging a Crevice

Untouched Skies

Southern Alpine Glory

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