Milford Sound has a rich and varied history and has been a resource for Maori for around 1000 years. The famous English naval commander, Captain Cook passed the entrance to Milford Sound twice and so the European “discovery” of Milford Sound is credited to Welsh adventurer John Grono. Despite modern access by road, sea and air, Milford Sound retains it’s natural beauty and still attracts an abundance of wildlife including dolphins, fur seals, penguins and many different sea birds.
The Fiordland Laughing Owl was officially declared extinct in July 1914. The last recorded bird was found dead at Blue Cliffs, in Canterbury, NZ. However, reports about the Laughing Owl of Fiordland persist.
Speculations about the moa’s undetected existence in the wilderness of Fiordland and South Westland continue to attract curious zoologists and wildlife experts. You never know, a Milford Sound Cruise might be all you need to awaken the wilderness explorer in you.
Today, thousands of people explore Milford Sound every year. Prior to the 21st century, this part of the Fiordland National Park was available by boat to professional explorers and a privileged set. Boat trips through Milford Sound have changed considerably, with day trips now available.
As an area of natural beauty, Milford Sound has captured attention of many painters over the years. Many of these artists found their love for the area during the 19th century, allowing them to create truly stunning images.
Today, dozens of people take photographs of Milford Sound on a daily basis. While they’re certainly beautiful, it takes a step back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries to appreciate the area in its most rustic form.
In the years before thousands of visitors flocked to Milford Sound on an annual basis, Donald Sutherland was the area’s original explorer. After living in the area as a virtual recluse for decades, he eventually married and took his wife back there.
While many head to Milford Sound for its world-famous wildlife, all are still struck by just how diverse it is. From the smallest rocks to the depths of the waters splashing around them, Milford Sound offers an abundance of natural beauty.
Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations today but its European history began quite late into the continent’s period of discovery. Following a chance landing by John Grono, Milford Sound was discovered as the area of marveling beauty we enjoy today.
While Milford Sound as it is known today is often thought of as a European discovery, it has been inhabited by Maori settlers for centuries. Owing to its fruitful waters and plants, Milford Sound became a life source and destination of joy to local Maori.
With a rich geological past, Milford Sound’s stunning landscape comes from a blend of tectonic activity, an ice age, and a little mythology. Convenient series of geological events have created the area as it stands today, and nature isn’t done with its formation yet.