“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
NORWEGIAN JEWEL NEW ZEALAND CRUISE – DUSKY SOUND – DOUBTFUL SOUND – MILFORD SOUND
Our first sight of Dusky Sound was so magical and we were out on deck in the mist to view this beautiful area of our world. One of the most complex fjords on New Zealand’s southern coast, Dusky Sound is a place of serene beauty, accessible today only by sea or air. Dusky Sound is a fjord on the south west corner of New Zealand, in Fiordland National Park. It is also one of the largest, 40 kilometres in length and eight kilometres wide at its widest point. To the north of its mouth is the large Resolution Island, whose Five Fingers Peninsula shelters the mouth of the sound from the northwest. Along the east coast of the island, Acheron passage connects Dusky Sound with Breaksea Sound, to the north. Several large islands lie in the sound, notably Anchor Island, Long Island, and Cooper Island. Sightseeing highlights include the hundreds of waterfalls cascading into the sound during the rainy season, seals and dolphins
After leaving Dusky we headed into Doubtful. New Zealand’s deepest and second-longest sound, Doubtful Sound is a fiord home to spectacular waterfalls, wildlife and otherworldly landscapes. It’s often called the ‘Sound of Silence’ due to its serenity and the fact that it remains so untouched by the modern world. Exploring Doubtful Sound means adventuring into pure, untouched New Zealand wilderness. Doubtful Sound is a haven for the unique flora and fauna that call this place home. Visitors are never left wanting for a more vibrant spectacle with untouched forests that sprawl from mountain top to sea level and rare marine and birdlife that abound. Playful Bottlenose Dolphins frequently dance the bow wake of boats and New Zealand Fur Seals bask on the rocks along the shoreline. Rare Fiordland Crested Penguins are also a special sight here.
Known for its pristine beauty and wildlife, Doubtful Sound is the second largest of the 14 fiords in Fiordland National Park and is three times longer and 10 times larger than Milford Sound. It is home to bottle-nose dolphins and fur seals – both of which are often seen. In season, you may also catch a glimpse of the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin.
“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”In Maori legend, this colossal fjord was created by the godly figure Tu Te Raki Whanoa. Four young sea gods assisted him by carving the fiord’s long, sheltered arms. Today, Doubtful Sound remains an unspoiled wilderness of many moods; one minute clear blue and sun-drenched, the next mysterious and mist-cloaked.
Milford Sound is by far the best known of all of the fiords and the only one that can be accessed by road. Wet or fine, Milford Sound is incredibly grand. Mitre Peak magnetises photographers, and the fiord’s sheer cliffs excite both admiration and apprehension. Visitors to Milford Sound will not be disappointed – it is truly spectacular, with scenery that has remained unchanged throughout the ages. There is no denying that Milford Sound should make it onto your New Zealand itinerary. Although at times it can be overrun with tourists, it’s obvious to see why. The views over this spectacular Fjord are unique and breathtaking.
As far as the commercialization goes, you still won’t find phone reception, tourist shops or Mcdonalds here. I honestly hope it will stay that way.
Check out the Highlights:
Lady Bowen Falls. This is the tallest waterfall in Milford Sound, measuring 162 metres or 531 feet. Named after the wife of one of New Zealand’s first governors, the Lady Bowen Falls are not only beautiful, but useful too. These falls are the sole provider of electricity and water for the people and businesses based in Milford Sound.
Fairy Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Just some of the magnificent permanent waterfalls on display in Milford Sound. When it rains, of course, even more are created.
Sinbad Gully Opposite the wharf in Milford Sound you’ll see this perfectly U-shaped valley, formed by the slopes of the surrounding mountains (including Mitre Peak). It was within this remote valley that the rare native kakapo bird was discovered in the 1970s, after scientists thought it had become extinct.
Stirling Falls. Another of the most famous waterfalls in Milford Sound, Stirling Falls drops 146 metres or 479 feet from a valley between two imposing mountains.
Highlights: The Lion. Its official name is Mt Kimberley, but you’ll soon see why this mountain peak has gained its animal nickname.
Mitre Peak. The most iconic sight of Milford Sound, Mitre Peak rises 1,692 metres (5,555 feet) directly from the sea floor. Its name comes from the distinctive shape of its summit, like a bishop’s mitre or hat. The shape is actually created by five peaks all together.
Seal Rock. While Milford Sound is regularly visited by wildlife, most of its coastline is made up of sheer vertical cliffs. Seal Rock is one exception, a large rock that the native New Zealand fur seals who live in Milford Sound can clamber upon to rest and bask in the sun.
“And the purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”