When I was in Fiordland, I wanted to experience a fiord. However, there were some logistical problems to solve first.
The thing with Fiordland is that it is wet. And I don't mean just a little. For Milford Sound, by far the most popular one, I've read quotes from 6000 to 8000 mm average annual rainfall! That doesn't mean it's always raining, certainly not. There is plenty of sunshine too. However, being on the coast of a big ocean, the weather can change very rapidly, and the rain can be anything from a drizzle to a monsoon-like downpoor.
You can get to Milford Sound by car, on an organized trip, or via the very popular Milford Track
. For this last option, you'll have to book a long, long time ahead if you want to do that. You'll stand a good chance of getting soaked on the Milford Track and still not getting good views for your trouble. I didn't really like those odds.
A much more quiet route leading to a fiord, is the Dusky Track
, to the Dusky Sound, but the odds aren't any better than for the Milford track, plus it's a hard route, very remote and generally not a good idea to do alone.
The solution? I switched my hiking boots for something more comfortable and booked a cruise to Doubtful Sound. The weather was as was to be expected: foggy, rainy, some of it heavy, intermixed with dry periods and a couple of sunny spells thrown in for good measure. As a result, the photos are a real varied lot. I rather like the ones of the seals, basking in the late sun on the many small rock islands around the mouth of the fiord.
Oh, by the way, all these inlets that are called sounds? They really are fiords, as they have been created by glaciers.
The map clearly shows how much water there is. If you want to look around in more detail, click on the link below.
View Larger Topographic Map
The DOC take on fiords
is where I booked my Doubtful Sound cruise.