Milford Sound was once voted as the "8th wonder in the world" - and it's no surprise why! It is one of the most popular day trips from Queenstown and an absolute New Zealand must do! 

A voice came over the bus speaker "Welcome, us here at Kiwi Experience refer to this hour of the morning as stupid early." I'm not a morning person, especially when I had a few beers at Loco the night before, but as we drove and the sun started to peak it's face over the craggy mountains, my mood began to improve.

I mean how could I stay moody about a little thing like waking up at 6:30 a.m? By this afternoon, we would be cruising through the sheer peaks of Milford Sound, by far one of the coolest sites on the South Island.

milford sound tour group
Some of the group from the bus

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By now the sun was shining over the snow capped mountains, and we decided to have a breakfast stop and see a group of alpacas.

Soon we were all back on the road. One thing that surprised me was that the closer we got to Milford Sound the more stunning the landscape became. Towering mountains reflected in the mirror-like pools, golden valleys stretched off into the horizon, and we stopped at a spring so clean that we could fill up our water bottles. I am no stranger to New Zealand's landscape, so I was not expecting to be shocked. However, the drive to Milford is some of the most awe-inspiring landscape in the entire country.

milford sound
Stunning landscapes

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These epic views sum up the rest of my morning. We stopped the bus on and off for brief backpacker photo ops.

You know what I am talking about, the classic backpacker photos of six people trying to jump in the air at the same time, or a person running aimlessly in a field skipping and jumping around as 20 people take photos of them.

It also let us take in the beauty of this vibrant country which is unparalleled. By one o'clock we arrived at Milford Sound, and jumped on our Jucy Cruize Boat. This is going to sound a bit cliche, but bear with me; Milford Sound is something you have to see to believe. No words can sum up the beauty of this place, but since it is my job as an 'Experience Ambassador' let's take a shot at it.

milford sound boat trip
Leisurely boat cruise to enjoy the spectacular views

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Picture vertical cliffs jutting almost straight up out of the water nearly 1,700 Meters, their sides covered with patches of greenish moss. Now, imagine yourself on a boat surrounded by said cliffs. On either side are waterfalls of all shapes and sizes.

The boat went along at a leisurely pace letting us enjoy the incredible sights.

milford sound
Just take a look at that!

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Many of us had made friends on the bus and as we toured Milford we all enjoyed each others company and took in the experience together. Heading back we were lucky enough to spot some seals playing on the rocks. The captain of the vessel decided to get brave and nosed the ship right up under Sterling Falls, the biggest waterfall in Milford. All I could hear was roaring water as it splashed all around us covering everyone on the deck. Including yours truly.

Milford itself was an unforgettable experience with new friends, stunning cliffs, and a beautiful landscape. It is definitively one of the best experiences in the South Island.

After docking, we all headed back to the bus. Our guide put on some movies for the ride to help us chat and relax for the drive back. In a few hours time, we would be back at Base Queenstown which, of course, means I would soon be at the pool competition at Locos!

Follow Stephen's New Zealand adventure with Base Backpackers at "A Backpacker's Tale" or follow him on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. Images are authors own.

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