Milford Sound. South Island, New Zealand. (2) by Ralph de Zilva

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Milford Sound. South Island, New Zealand. (2) by 


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Nikon D700 & Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G lens
Gitzo tripod

Featured in
Scenery on 23.11.2012
Landscapes Of Our World on 22.11.2012

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.

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landscape, new zealand

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.

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Comments

  • Julie  White
    Julie Whiteabout 2 years ago

    Stunning Ralph.

  • Thanks very much Julie for the nice comment and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Mike Shell
    Mike Shellabout 2 years ago

    Ralph, a marvelous scene, masterfully composed. The geometry and colrs of this shot are stunning.

  • Thanks very much, Mike for the terrific comment and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Arfan Habib
    Arfan Habibabout 2 years ago

    Very nice Ralph. Superb capture!

  • Many thanks, Arfan.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • julie08
    julie08about 2 years ago

    Awesome :)

  • Thank you, Julie.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Maria1606
    Maria1606about 2 years ago

    Wonderful vista….

  • Thanks a lot, Maria.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Celeste Mookherjee
    Celeste Mookhe...about 2 years ago

    A beautiful scene, excellent feeling of depth

  • Thanks so much, Celeste for the comment and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • NatureGreeting Cards ©ccwri
    NatureGreeting...about 2 years ago

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING…….BEAUTIFUL CAPTURE, AND SCENERY!! ~ <( ;o) ~ Carolyn

  • Thank you so much, Carolyn for the feature and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Terry Everson
    Terry Eversonabout 2 years ago

    An excellent image Ralph, well composed and beautiful colours.

  • Thanks very much, Terry for the comment and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELabout 2 years ago

    Wow Ralph… another excellent capture of our Beautiful country…

  • Many thanks Andrea for the lovely comment.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkeabout 2 years ago

  • Thanks Audrey.

    – Ralph de Zilva

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