Milford Sound is one the most awe inspiring places I have ever had the good fortune to visit, to be able to see it under the magnificence of a sunset like this was a totally surreal experience.

Milford Sound (Piopiotahi in Māori) is a fjord in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island, within Fiordland National Park and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world’s top travel destination in an international survey, and is acclaimed as New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination. Rudyard Kipling had previously called it the eighth Wonder of the World.

Milford Sound runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) or more on either side. Among the peaks are The Elephant at 1,517 metres (4,977 ft), said to resemble an elephant’s head, The Lion, 1,302 metres (4,272 ft), in the shape of a crouching lion and Mitre Peak, 1,692 metres (5,551 ft), the iconic peak visible in the middle of the sound when looking out from the carpark. Lush rain forests cling precariously to these cliffs, while seals, penguins, and dolphins frequent the waters and whales can be seen sometimes.

With a mean annual rainfall of 6,813 mm on 182 days a year, a high level even for the West Coast, Milford Sound is known as the wettest inhabited place in New Zealand and one of the wettest in the world. Rainfall can reach 250 mm during a span of 24 hours. The rainfall creates dozens of temporary waterfalls (as well as a number of major, more permanent ones) cascading down the cliff faces, some reaching a thousand metres in length. Smaller falls from such heights may never reach the bottom of the sound, drifting away in the wind.

Fuji S3 pro
11-18mm Tamron lens at 11mm
grad grey


nz, new zealand, south island, fiordland, milford sound, national parks, sunset, paul mercer photography, mitre peak, world heritage area


  • David  Hibberd
    David Hibberdabout 4 years ago

    A lovely capture Paul.

  • Cheers Davo, as always your comment is very much appreciated

    – Paul Mercer

  • Monika Fuchs
    Monika Fuchsabout 4 years ago

    What a beautiful shot!

  • Thank you very much Monika

    – Paul Mercer

  • Alistair Wilson
    Alistair Wilsonabout 4 years ago

    magical shot mate, looks like an amazing place. once money permits ill be over this side of the world!

  • Cheers Alistair, if you do come over anytime and want to know some good places to visit dont hesitate to ask.

    – Paul Mercer

  • PhoenixArt
    PhoenixArtabout 4 years ago

    Wow… stunning reflections. And that little bit of mist… magical. Beautiful shot :o)

  • Thanks Tina

    – Paul Mercer

  • mikequigley
    mikequigleyabout 4 years ago

    beautiful work – mq

  • Thanks Mike

    – Paul Mercer

  • Mel Brackstone
    Mel Brackstoneabout 4 years ago

    How beautiful!!!

  • Cheers Mel

    – Paul Mercer

  • John Vandeven
    John Vandevenabout 4 years ago

    Superb shot Paul….Great reflection of the colourful clouds…..

  • Thank you very much John

    – Paul Mercer

  • Christine Oakley
    Christine Oakleyabout 4 years ago

    Congratulations on your Feature on 25 May 2010!

    Keep the great work coming!

  • Thank you very much for the feature Christine

    – Paul Mercer

  • duncandragon
    duncandragonabout 4 years ago

    Beautiful capture!

  • Thanks Duncan

    – Paul Mercer

  • Eugenio
    Eugenioabout 4 years ago

    beautiful work

  • Cheers Eugenio

    – Paul Mercer

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