Anticipation was high as we drove to catch the cruise ship in Milford Sound. By all accounts, Milford Sound is one of the most spectacularly gorgeous places in the world. We had booked the cruise the night before in Queenstown. That evening on the news I heard a weather reporter casually mention that some much needed rain would hit the southland over night; 150 to 250 millimeters of rain, she said. It was only later that I did the mental math and realized she was talking about 10 inches of rain. It rained 10 inches that night. Milford and the Fjordlands National Park had been unusually dry. Mildford, on average, get seven meters of rain a year; that's 23 feet, 275 inches. Austin gets about 33 inches. As we drove out, it was still raining, the cloud ceiling was low, it was foggy, and we were getting bummed. We had come 6000 miles to see this, and it looked like we weren't going to be able to see anything. We contemplated rescheduling the cruise when we reached the visitors center, but the locals convinced us otherwise.
There are three permanent waterfalls in Milford Sound. But for a few hours after it rains, there are about 500. By the time our cruise ship set sail, the clouds lifted, the fog cleared and the rain stopped. We are such whiny babies.
If you look closely at some of these, you can see a little speck that is actually a pretty large tour boat. The scale of things is, as they say, grand.