The locals were relieved when we said that we were booked on a tour to Milford Sound. They said that we should leave the driving to someone else, too many tourists had died while gawking at the scenery on the narrow winding road.
We had booked ourselves on a Juicy Zest (yes, that’s the company name!) small group bus and boat tour of Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park. However, it was starting to rain when the bus picked us up. You know, one of those days that make you want to stay in bed with a book and mug of hot chocolate. We were afraid that the rain would obscure all of the views. After all, Milford Sound gets 21 feet (yes, feet!) of rain per year. I guess we should have known….
So, we got on the bus thinking “what a waste of money” until our tour guide and driver, Simon, said “what a great day, we are going to see waterfalls that many people never see and the forest will be glowing in the muted light.” We liked him immediately and found that his knowledge of the flora, fauna, and local culture was extensive.
We went on short hikes in the rain with our rain coats and big umbrellas, stopped at all of the view points, and were gobsmacked by the spectacular waterfalls cascading down the tall vertical cliffs.
And then, we got to the sound. The boat ride was foggy, moody, and just as spectacular as the canyons we drove through to get there.
We were treated to sightings of penguins and fur seals.
The rain stopped about the time we were dropped off at our hotel, but we really didn’t care. It had been a spectacular day.