We spent day 3 driving towards Milford Sound, enjoying the stunning scenery changing as we headed into Fiordland. We stopped en-route at a couple of places for lunch and for some short walks and eventually arrived at Milford Sound in the evening. Unfortunately, there’s no-where to camp in Milford Sound is itself (which the Lonely Planet unhelpfully fails to mention) so when we arrived in the cafe car-park/Ferry Terminal area, we spent a while debating whether we should ignore the ‘no overnight camping’ signs or drive 70km back to the nearest campsite with spaces… we chose to risk the $400 fine on advice from a helpful bar tender who told us that in the 18 months he’d worked there, the wardens had only moved people out once and without a fine. It turned out to be the right decision as we were able to get the first boat out the next morning which was not only cheaper but also very quiet.
The views were spectacular as you can hopefully see. We were also incredibly fortunate as the weather was unusually dry and sunny. The fjord has an annual rainfall of over 7m and there are over 200 days of rain here per year. As well as that we also saw three different schools of bottlenose Dolphins! If it hadn’t been so cold, I’d have been very tempted to jump in and swim with them- they’re amazing :). We also saw some seals but having been brought up predominantly in Norfolk near Blakeny, they didn’t wow me as much- though they are pretty cool.