Milford Sound. South Island. New Zealand. (4) by Ralph de Zilva

Photographic Prints

Available to buy on…

Milford Sound. South Island. New Zealand. (4) by 

Nikon D700 & Nikkor 24-7-mm f/2.8 lens
Gitzo tripod

1204 views, 92 comments, favourited by 25 and 4 features as at 13.01.2014

Challenge Winner in Postcards Destinations on 11.02.2012
Top Ten in the A Paradise Somewhere Challenge on 11.03.2012

Featured in
Landscape Group on 28.05.2014
Shadows & Reflections on 17.01 2914
We Sell Art & Collectables
Postcards Destinations
Paradise Somewhere

Milford Sound is a fjord in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island, within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world’s top travel destination in an international survey (the 2008 Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor) 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 is named after Milford Haven in Wales, while the Cleddau River which flows into the sound is also named for its Welsh namesake. The Māori named the sound Piopiotahi after the thrush-like piopio bird, now extinct. Piopiotahi means “a single piopio”, harking back to the legend of Māui trying to win immortality for mankind – when Maui died in the attempt, a piopio was said to have flown here in mourning.

Milford Sound runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea at Dale Point – the mouth of the fiord – 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, and The Lion, 1,302 metres (4,272 ft), in the shape of a crouching lion. Lush rain forests cling precariously to these cliffs, while seals, penguins, and dolphins frequent the waters and whales can be seen sometimes.

Milford Sound sports two permanent waterfalls all year round, Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. After heavy rain however, many hundreds of temporary waterfalls can be seen running down the steep sided rock faces that line the fiord. They are fed by rain water drenched moss and will last a few days at most once the rain stops.

With a mean annual rainfall of 6,813 mm (268 in) 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 (10 in) 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.

Accumulated rainwater can, at times, cause portions of the rain forest to lose their grip on the sheer cliff faces, resulting in tree avalanches into the sound. The regrowth of the rain forest after these avalanches can be seen in several locations along the sound.



I have always had a love of capturing images and in my early teens took many photographs on my little Kodak camera. I loved the wild open spaces and bird life in particular and longed to be able to be an accomplished photographer. It took ill health and a forced early retirement to re-kindle this love of photography. I am a self-taught amateur photographer who has had no formal training. I take great pride and joy in my work and these days have the time to pursue this wonderful hobby.

View Full Profile


  • Jenny Dean
    Jenny Deanabout 3 years ago

    holy moly this is just stunning Ralph!!

  • Thanks a lot Jenny for the terrific comment. Did you have the time to go Milford Sound when you went back?

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • tim buckley | bodhiimages
    tim buckley | ...about 3 years ago

    beautiful Ralph, hope the sandflies were kind to you….

  • Thanks very much Tim. Actually the sandflies weren’t too bad this time.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Jenny Dean
    Jenny Deanabout 3 years ago

    no that;s the other end of NZ, I live right at the top and have to do all the visiting stuff! family, friends etc!!

  • That’s a shame.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • shortshooter-Al
    shortshooter-Alabout 3 years ago

    A beautiful view Ralph. I love the grasses in the foreground. A fav Mate.

  • Thanks very much Al for your comment and fav.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • calebhill
    calebhillabout 3 years ago

    nice shot mate. Its a beautiful place youhave captured that well

  • Thanks a lot mate.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • gingermegs
    gingermegsabout 3 years ago

    A stunner Ralph! Great work my friend::))

  • Thank you Mary, I’m glad you like it.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • NatureGreeting Cards ©ccwri
    NatureGreeting...about 3 years ago

    June 7, 2011 BEAUTIFUL SCENERY, and artwork. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Banner created by David Barker . Please visit Our Gallery to view featured works.
    Thank you,

  • Thank you very much for that Carolyn, greatly appreciated.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Donna Keevers Driver
    Donna Keevers ...about 3 years ago

    Stunning. What a beautiful place and capture!

  • Thank you so much Donna for your terrific comment.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • vaggypar
    vaggyparabout 3 years ago

    Lovely Work .!!

  • Many thanks for that.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • waxyfrog
    waxyfrogabout 3 years ago

    Wow Ralph this is a beautiful capture. A fave for sure

  • Thanks a lot Barb for your kind comment.

    – Ralph de Zilva

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait