Milford Sound was described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the
world’. Carved by glaciers during the ice age, steep rugged cliffs fall almost
vertically into the sound and the drive or flight in is absolutely breath-taking. But
this place gets weather – 7 metres of rainfall a year. So it will most likely rain
while you are here but, when it rains, the scenery is even more spectacular with
waterfalls cascading down every cliff the sea below. This destination is an
absolute must do.
Māori discovered Milford Sound more than 1,000 years ago. Tribes would
travel there to fish and hunt around the fiord, and to collect precious pounamu
or greenstone. In Māori legend, Milford Sound was formed by Tu-te-raki-
whanoa – an atua or godly figure who hacked the sound from the land with his
The Māori name for Milford Sound, Piopiotahi, means “a single piopio”. When
the legendary hero Maui died trying to win immortality for his beloved people,
a piopio (a long-extinct native bird) was said to have flown here in mourning.
Pure Salt, is one of the only operators on this remote piece of coast. Worth it
though if you have time. You can fish, dive and hunt and all three are without
equal in New Zealand.
Take a tour of the sound by boat.
Dive the black coral gardens (less than 30metres below the surface).