“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world.   The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it.   Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness.   In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both.   This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins

Around five o’clock we boarded our ship for the night, the lovely Milford Manner and sailed off into the sparkling blue depths of the world famous Milford Sound.  We felt quite lucky to have such amazing weather and no rain in sight in a place that normally receives rain an average 330 days per year.

View from our ship, the Milford Manor, of the Milford Sound in all her splendor.  

Another small ship paved the way ahead but besides this other ship, we were the only ones around.  

The Milford Sound travels for ten miles/sixteen kilometers before the fiord meets the Tasman Sea.  It is one of the most remote areas of New Zealand in which most of it is impenetrable except the fiord itself and the 34 mile/55 km track which is considered one of the top treks in the world.  

We cruised into the light wind of the Milford Sound and enjoyed some of the most sensational, awe-inspiring views we have ever had in New Zealand.   It was so incredibly peaceful and isolated.  Perhaps this combination is what makes the Milford Sound so unique.  Unlike other places around the world of extreme beauty, the Milford Sound does not have huge crowds of tourists pining to get a glimpse around them.  Instead, we were it and that to me made it all the better.

Paul and I enjoying our first of many glasses of chilled Sav Blanc, New Zealand’s specialty.

From afar is the waterfall we took our picture at just an hour before.  

Slowly we sailed into the horizon and then had an unexpected surprise…

We were greeted by a pod of dolphins who wanted to play!  

There were thirty or so bottleneck dolphins who put on a wonderful display of playfulness and artistic dance alongside our boat.  I had never seen dolphins in the wild before.  It was simply amazing. 

After we were done playing with the dolphins it was time for us to play!  The boat crew pulled out the kayaks and we each got a shot at trolling around the Milford Sound.  It was the first time I’d ever been kayaking and thankfully there were no big waves to tip me over!  It was very calm and serene.

I am smiling huge now!  I’m loving this day!

I took my camera with me on the Kayak, hoping I wouldn’t tip, but willing to take the chance so I could grab this photo of the waterfall and our boat.

It was certainly a day full of nature. Here is a seal sunning himself on a rock.


As the sun began to set, we sailed out to the Tasman Sea where we got a look before heading back into calmer waters for the night.  

The sun is setting and the waters are turning different shades of blue.

I love this picture!  It reminds me why I love New Zealand so incredibly much.  The nature is so pure and so real.  Extraordinary. 

We had a nice meal down below on the boat followed by many glasses of New Zealand wine and lots of laughs with our fellow guests.  After dinner we went to explore an underwater aquarium at the foot of the Sound which gave us a unique view from below the waters.  By the time we got back to the ship, we were all exhausted and needless to say, we slept peaceful and sound in the Milford Sound.  It even started to rain.

Stay tuned…we head back south to the North Island of New Zealand where there is plenty more to explore!   (P.S.  It may be quiet for a few days as my daughter and I are off on a three-generational ski weekend in lovely Taos, New Mexico)….


  1. OMG, Nicole. How breathtaking. The stunning beatuy literally leaves me without words. And, God, that quote at the beginning of this post! How powerful–and TRUE!

    Incredbible post, Nicole!


    1. Thanks! These photos are so old and scanned. I bet someone like you could really capture the place with your photography! I loved your recent Africa posts. You take fabulous pictures of faces and the culture! Truly a delight!

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