Sunday, December 19, 2010

A/NZ - Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park - Day 22

Today, we are visiting Milford Sound, a glacial fiord that is part of New Zealand's Fiordland National Park. Milford is only one of many fiord's on the southwest coast of the South Island but it the most spectacular and most visited one of all. It is 10 miles long and lined with waterfalls and lush green vegetation. The annual rainfall here is 20 feet, making it one of the wettest places on surprise that it was a little rainy when we visited.
The walls of Milford are sheer rock carved by glaciers as recently as 15,000 years ago. The 300 feet of water down the middle of the Sound is plenty deep enough for our ship which, although large, only draws 26 feet of water. Its a weird feeling to be able to squeeze through some of the narrow sections on a cruise ship......sort of like walking among the skyscrapers in New York City. We had to be up early for the photos. The ship entered the Sound at 7:00 am.

There are hard to see, but there are seals on the rocks and swimming in the water.

Although it was cloudy, there is still a mystical beauty to the Sound.

Waves created by the ship, as it slowly cruises the sound, form an interesting pattern in the water.

Multiple shorelines create an abstract picture.

The tallest point in the photo is Mitre Peak. It juts almost straight up from the water to over a mile high.

More abstract photography. This is turbulence in the water created by the ship's thrusters.

We cruised along the coast the rest of the day as we headed to our next port, Dunedin.

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