What a fantastic day out we have just had - we being myself, my wife and my two teenage sons. Traveling with Real Journeys we have just done a day trip to and on the Milford Sound. This was impeccably organized, with the bus picking us up outside our lodge bang on time at 8am this morning.
The bus itself is brilliantly designed for this trip with big windows, including roof-top windows, angled seats and a front to back elevation making sure that everyone's views are catered for. The driver was the pique of sardonic humor as well and gave an excellent narrative as we winged our way to the Sound. On the way you do a number of stop-offs with Mirror Lake truly magical. As you enter the national park itself the views become breath-taking and every corner brings another gasp of wonder. The pure scale of what is around you is incredible.
When you get to the Sound it is a very short wait before you board your boat. We were on the Milford Mariner for the nature cruise which comes with a microphoned guide. The boat itself is large for the number of tourists and you have plenty of space to get the camera in motion - and I just about wore mine out! Unusually today was dry and sunny, whilst the Sound is famous for what it does in the rain. To be honest, we have had enough rain this week so this gentle cruise down the fiord was just what the doctor ordered. Along the way we saw two colonies of young seals as well - but the boys were disappointed that there were no orcas along the way!
Our tour company booked us a picnics lunch which we picked up on board. It was basic, but of a good standard.
The timings throughout the day were spot on as well, though we would advise getting there earlier than later in the day as it does seem to busy up and you don't want your pictures with too many boats in view.
On the way back the driver took it pretty leisurely and we again had numerous excellent photo stops, as well as chance to drink fresh water - delicious by the way - from one of the mountain streams. The stop at The Chasm, where you do a short bush walk, was something you just need to witness for yourself.
To make a good day the best the driver also took us all the way up the hill to the Fiordland Lodge where we are staying and dropped us at the door where we enjoyed a couple of glasses of Cloudy Bay before we went back to our luxurious log cabin to ready for dinner.
This is the last day of our two week vacation on the South Island, and what a way to finish. I know there are millions of Milford Sound reviews out there but Real Journeys is Really the Best!
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