Milford Sound is a 22-kilometre narrow fiord off the Tasman Sea which is hedged in by cliffs, peaks and waterfalls, on the southwestern edge of New Zealand’s South Island, within Fiordland National Park and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. Milford Sound is acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination and usually tourists are calling this place the eighth Wonder of the World. 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. The colors are fantastic and the waterfalls can be seen falling from everywhere. That’s why the beauty of this landscape draws thousands of visitors each day, with between 550,000 and 1 million visitors in total per year.
Milford Sound runs 15 kilometers inland from the Tasman Sea at Dale Point - the mouth of the fiord - and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 1,200 meters (3,900 ft) or more on either side. Among the peaks are The Elephant at 1,517 meters (4,977 ft), said to resemble an elephant's head and The Lion, 1,302 meters (4,272 ft), in the shape of a crouching lion. Lush rain forests cling precariously to these sheer rock cliffs, while seals, penguin, and dolphins frequent the waters and whales can be seen sometimes.
Milford Sound's natural beauty attracted national and international renown, and led to the discovery of the Mackinnon Pass in 1888, soon to become a part of the new Milford Track, an early walking tourism trail. Milford Track is 55 km long and passes by places capable of take the breath off sharks. This road is considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world, making its way between valleys, with fantastic views to snow peaks. When you reach the highest point you arrive at the Homer Tunnel. The tunnel took 25 years to be finished, carved for about 1 Km long in very hard and cold rock. Also a lot of waterfalls and peaks can be seen just beside the track.
In rainy and stormy days tourists can admire the play of the wind with the numerous waterfalls in Milford Sound. When meeting the cliff face the powerful wind often goes upward and waterfalls with a vertical drop get caught by wind, causing the water to go upwards. In an area often visited by rain, the mountain peaks rising from the waters of Milford Sound are often softened by mist and an air of almost flawless and overpowering mystic calm.