The 12 most beautiful places in the world. No. 11: While my fiord gently weeps.

Next up, not far from yesterday’s Oz, we’re in New Zealand, for what Rudyard Kipling called the eighth wonder of the world – and what I call #11 on my Top-12: the fiord that weeps!

No. 11. Milford Sound, New Zealand

This is a fiord, some 15 kilometers in length, that leads to a bay onto the Tasman Sea (the strait between NZ and Oz). And down the steep cliffs either side of it stream, flow, fall and fly below streamlets, streams and waterfalls. As with all the other Top-12ers, breathtaking to behold and marvelous to meditate upon. Looking at it from all different sides highly recommended, as is shouting your head off for the mega-echoes ).

For around 30 kilometers the views from the road that takes you to Milford Sound go like this!:

You can take a boat trip across the water in the fiord, which we sadly didn’t have time for due to bad weather causing some roads to be closed and our having to take long detours getting there. Not to worry; as always: next time!…

I mentioned just now ‘bad weather’. It’s something you really do have to be prepared for. See, if it rains heavily round here, which is does rather a lot, given the shape of the landscape (one huge downward-facing gutter, if you will:) plenty of flooding can occur – including of the long tunnel that runs through the mountain to get to Milford Sound. Once it’s flooded, that’s it: no access to Milford Sound. And you can’t even take a helicopter – also due to the weather. You simply have to wait, or go off to look at something else in the New Zealand countryside and hope in a day or two the flooding will have subsided.

The rain thing: it’s a fine line. If there’s torrential rain, the whole place is… rained off. But if there’s simply a good heavy shower – afterward the water gushes much stronger. And when you’re down below, looking up at the scores of waterfalls performing in concert, it really is something:

A magical place, and one I must get back to – more than once…

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