Seeing the fiords on the South Island was at the top of my list of things to do in New Zealand. Yesterday we made it happen. The weather forecast predicted rain, but everyone assured us that the fiords in rain were more beautiful because the waterfalls would be flowing. We boarded a bus a short distance from our apartment, and I'm sure Paul was happy to leave the driving to someone else for a day. The interior of the bus was great as it had large windows that even extended over the roof of the bus, and the seats were angled towards the windows.
The drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound took about 2.5 hours. The driver stopped several times for us to get out and take pictures, which was great. I was particularly excited that Mirror Lake was one of the pull off areas as I had read that it was very pretty. It is the first picture below. As you can see from the pictures, we had blue sky with puffy clouds for part of the ride, and the scenery was exceptional.
The closer we got to Milford Sound, the more ominous the sky became. It was not surprising as the area has a mean annual rainfall of 252 inches each year. It is known as the wettest inhabited place in New Zealand, and is located in a cool, temperate rain forest. The sound is actually a fiord, opening to the Tasman Sea. The weather was particularly moody, but the landscape was simply breathtaking. I think it must be amazing in any weather. It was a fantastic day!