If you go to Milford Sound you venture into a touristic part of the South Island. The Sound is accessible by road from Te Anau - 120 km! There are a few stops in between, which are highly frequented by busses, if you reach the area during peak season. I've been there twice, both times well out of the peak season. The first time had been by bus, the second time I drove myself.
In 1994 I've reached the sound when there still was lots of snow, a week earlier and I wouldn't have made it as the road had been closed due to the snow.
1994 Homer Tunnel
1994 Mirror Lakes
1994 Mitre Peak
There has been plan to build a road across the wild life area to link Milford Sound to Queenstown - luckily this plan has been abandoned. Another plan is to build a tunnel - luckily this plan is too expensive. I hope that it stays the way it is as more tourists mean more strain on the landscape.
During the past years most has stayed the way I remember it. But having more time is also having more fun. Though cruising on the sound is done in larger groups.
Still some snowy peaks to be seen
Kea exploring the car
Mitre Peak in the morning (starting early IS rewarding!)
The glaciers did this, not man
Seals in the sun
The only penguin to be seen, but as it has been late forenoon, we were happy to see one at least
Would I visit Milford Sound a third time? By all means, yes!
Other texts on this New Zealand travel:
New Zealand Itinerary with Annotations and Pictures http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/12/blog-new-zealand-itinerary-with.html
Little Blue Penguins at Pohatu Marine Reserve http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2014/01/little-blue-penguins-at-pohatu-marine.html
Penguins at Roaring Bay http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2014/01/penguins-at-roaring-bay.html
Borland Saddle and Human Impact http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2014/01/borland-saddle-and-human-impact.html
New Zealand Haiku First Series: http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2014/01/new-zealand-haiku-first-series.html
New Zealand Haiku Second Series: http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2014/01/new-zealand-haiku-second-series.html