One of the greatest attractions in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park is Milford Sound. Visitors from all over the world are drawn to it by its amazing beauty, while its remoteness also plays a significant role in its allure. Have you ever heard Rudyard Kipling to Milford Sound? These amazing facts are likely to capture your attention if you’re eager to explore these breathtaking horizons.
The Milford Sound Fiord
Early European immigrants called the region based on its geographical characteristics, although they did it incorrectly. When the sea floods a river valley, a sound is produced. However, this area is a fiord rather than a sound because it was formed by glacier erosion.
The Only Fiord In New Zealand Can Be Reached By Car
But it took a while before Milford Sound could be reached by road. One of the first individuals to survey the area where the road was built was William Henry Homer in 1889. He said at the time that the ideal approach to provide vehicle access to this area would be through a tunnel that went through the mountains. Much later, in 1935, when the government dispatched a team of relief workers to kick things off, construction on this tunnel finally started. A further 19 years, in 1954, saw the completion of the Homer Tunnel.
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Piopiotahi Is The Māori Name For Milford Sound
Piopiotahi, which refers to a long-extinct local bird, means “one single piopio.” It is said that a solitary piopio passed by Milford Sound in sorrow when the mythical Maui passed away while pursuing immortality for humanity.
Milford Sound Explored Several Thousand Years Ago
Mori tribes from the South Island would visit there to go hunting, fishing, and gathering some valuable pounamu (greenstone jade). They frequently began their journeys in the east and traveled along many well-worn routes, including what is now known as the iconic Milford Track and its Mackinnon Pass.
Rudyard Kipling – The Milford Sound’s famous visitors
When the great British author visited Milford Sound in 1891, he dubbed the fjord “the eighth wonder of the world.” Kipling traveled to New Zealand, stopping in Dunedin and Auckland along the way, and was inspired to write a short story by his experiences there.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
One of the four national parks that comprise up Te Whipounamu World Heritage Area in the southwest of the South Island is Fiordland National Park, which is where Milford Sound is located. The other nearby peaks include Westland Tai Poutini, Aoraki/Mount Cook, and Mount Aspiring. Among the characteristics that gave the area its UNESCO heritage designation are rocks, plants, and creatures that can be traced back to Gondwanaland some 80 million years ago.
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One Of The Wettest Places In The World
The West Coast of the South Island is infamous for its prolonged spells of heavy rain. Milford Sound goes one step further than that by being both one of the wettest places on earth and the wettest inhabited area in New Zealand. The region experiences rainfall on average 182 days per year, which frequently results in 24 hours of 250 millimeters (9.84 inches) of water falling from the sky. This is not necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, the frequent, intense downpours are what gives rise to the well-known and beloved strong waterfalls and lush rainforests.
Milford Sound Village Is Pretty Small
This village has about 120 permanent residents, though numbers can change at the busiest travel times. Most locals are employed in the tourism and conservation industries. Milford Sound’s limited amenities include a single lodging option (the Milford Lodge) and an information center with a cafe; because of its tiny size, it lacks both shops and mobile service.
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The Lady Bowen Falls Provides Water and Electricity To The Village
The Lady Bowen Falls is not only the tallest waterfall in Milford Sound, but it also has a significant impact on neighborhood operations. Heavy rains and dry spells can occasionally cause a few problems with water flow, resulting in the sporadic loss of power. This natural treasure can also treble in size during periods of heavy rains. Many believe that Lady Bowen’s stunning looks more than compensate for her infrequent underflow and overflow problems.
This consists of native fur seals, penguins, blue ducks (also called whio), takahe, kakapo, mohua (yellowhead), and kea birds, as well as 60 different species of bottlenose dolphins. People frequently have the opportunity to encounter these New Zealand creatures while on a Milford Sound Cruise, while hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, or even just by going to the neighborhood Underwater Observatory.