A fjord is an inlet carved by a glacier, a sound is more often formed by the ocean or sea. Fun fact from our knowledgeable pilot, Milford Sound is more accurately a fjord.
From Queenstown, you have three options for getting to Milford Sound. You can fly on a plane, go by helicopter, or take an eight-hour bus ride. I took the plane via Air Milford, since this trip has already had a bit too much transit for me (weather conditions in Queenstown delayed our flight a day, which worked out alright since I got to chill in Auckland another day).
The views were spectacular. The plane sat 12 with someone up front beside the pilot, and needed to be front-loaded for safety. It wasn’t as loud as a helicopter would have been, or tiresome as a bus. I’d recommend this option or the helicopter to anyone looking to check out Milford Sound.
To be honest, the cruise along Milford Sound was lovely, but the flight overshadowed it by far. Since we can a few days after the snow, we breezed past unforgettable views of snowcapped mountains and scraggly peaks.
It was such a nice day our cruise captain went further out into sea than normal, but it was just “too good not to.” We saw endangered seals, a penguin, and dolphins while we were out there.
Cost of the return flight, cruise, and (substantial but sub-par) lunch: $499 NZD.
Cost of the birds-eye views from the plane: Priceless. The views from the cruise weren’t bad either 🙂