Despite our long drive the previous day, we still had another two hours of driving to reach Milford Sound. The route, however, was particularly beautiful, even by New Zealand’s high standards! We also had our first glimpse of snow, along with a lot of rain as expected in fjord land.
The best way to see Milford Sound is by boat, so we booked a cruise with Mitre Peak Cruises. We were lucky to visit during the quiet season. The cruises tend to be criticised for being too touristy, but we had only a handful of people on our boat. No doubt the rain also put a lot of people off, though apparently this is one of the best times to visit. Not only does the rain bring all of the waterfalls to life, it also makes the mountains seem more majestic. As well as the breathtaking scenery, we also saw plenty of seals and, very briefly, a couple of penguins.
We then reversed the route we had driven in the morning, passing back through Mossman and arriving in Queenstown by the evening. We stayed overnight in the Frankton Rotary car park, a free campsite just outside the town.