Posted by Shannon Higgs - Flying Kiwi Tour Guide
A drive that no matter how many times you've driven it, it will still amaze you just as much.
I remember the first time i visited Milford Sound, I was blown away with, not only 'Milford Sound' itself, but the whole drive since entering Fiordland National Park. It's like a barrier you cross and giant Native Beech forest instantly towers above you like you've entered a different world. Views are around every corner from grassy plains, mountainous peaks, glacial running rivers and massive glacier carved valleys that disappear off into the distance. You soon find yourself driving towards a mountain range and then realise that right at the bottom is where the famous "Homer Tunnel" lies and that you're about to drive right through it. The tunnel sits at 945m, and Milford sound is at sea level, so it's a long steady downhill until you reach the wharf.
Coming out of the Homer Tunnel was a whole other experience in itself. You are way up high with the road twisting its way beneath you and surrounded by either magical and misty clouds or, on a clear day, looking up at the peaks of these mountains somewhere 1000m above you. As Milford Sound is known for heavy rainfall you are always blessed with amazing waterfalls cascading from the heights above, no matter what the weather. A little more rain and you get extra waterfalls - so it's a win win in either weather situation i feel.
Boarding the boat and beginning the voyage some 15km out to the Tasman sea, You are first greeted by the iconic image of Mitre Peak, standing at 1692m, you start to feel very small in the Fiord surrounded by the sheer cliffs that tower either side.
If you are lucky, you may spot bottle nose dolphins, NZ fur seals, little blue penguins and the Fiordland yellow crested penguin. And if not, then you are still lucky because you are in one of the most beautiful destinations in the country.
As a Tour Guide, I have been into Milford Sound more than i can count on my own hands and toes, I've seen it in all weather conditions - rain, sun and snow, and I've been lucky enough on different occasions to see a range of wild life whilst visiting too.
And even though I have visited so many times, I get the exact same feeling driving in that I had the first time I ever went, which is a memory i will never forget.