Milford Sound is the wettest place in New Zealand and one of the wettest places in the world! Many visitors are shocked to know that this true world wonder actually measures its rainfall in metres (and not millimetres like most of the world.) In fact, in 2016 Milford Sound received over nine metres of rain!
Milford Sound’s weather can be unpredictable, however, rain does occur more days than not! Milford Sound is the wettest inhabited place in New Zealand and one of the wettest places on earth with an average of 182 rainy days per year. This can cause tourists to anxiously watch the weather forecast trying to choose a day of sunshine for their Milford Sound trip. This is unnecessary as Milford Sound is just as (if not more so) amazing in the rain!
Here are a few of reasons why you should visit Milford Sound in the rain!
The most obvious reason why you should visit Milford Sound when it is raining is because of the many waterfalls. There are only two permanent waterfalls in Milford, so on a sunny day that is all you may see. But on a rainy day, hundreds of waterfalls appear from every cliff edge in sight.
When the rain comes, so do the waterfalls. The permanent waterfalls become more powerful and smaller waterfalls form everywhere you look! The sight of the “mountains crying” as many visitors say, is absolutely astounding. It makes visiting Milford that much more unique and memorable.
Endless waterfalls in Milford Sound after the rain.
Some of the most impressive waterfalls in Milford Sound aren’t actually permanent, so visiting during rain (or at least just after the rain) is necessary to see them! Fairy Falls and the Four Sisters are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Milford but are temporary, so keep your fingers crossed it ‘s raining for your trip to Milford.
Activities suited to the Rain
Once in Milford Sound, the different activities you can choose to do are all perfect in the rain! Boat cruises have sheltered viewing platforms and indoor seating areas, so if you want to avoid the rain you can!
That being said, one of the highlights of our Milford Sound cruises is getting a “glacial facial” or in other words, getting showered beneath Stirling Falls! But this, of course, is purely optional and if you want to stay dry you are more than welcome to do so inside with a hot drink in hand!
Getting ready for a glacial facial under Stirling Falls.
Kayaking is also another popular Milford Sound activity that is amazing in the rain. On a kayak, you will be able to explore Milford Sound’s coastline more closely and as a result, get closer to some of the many non-permanent waterfalls that appear during the rain!
Kayaking in Milford Sound on a rainy day.
Milford Underwater Observatory is another great thing to do in Milford Sound. Here, you descend 10 meters down a spiral staircase to a viewing area where you can see what lives underneath the water’s surface through windows. This activity is completely inside and undisturbed by the rain!
The rain adds to the mood of Milford making it look more dramatic and interesting. Milford Sound on a rainy day showcases peaks towering above thick sections of cloud and waterfalls draping over cliff edges. Low clouds wind their way through Milford’s many valleys and only add to Milford’s prehistoric feeling.
Moody Milford in the rain.
On a rainy day in Milford, you are sure to be blown away by the views. If you love photography, then a rainy day in Milford is especially for you!
The rain is part of the Milford experience
The rain is partly what makes Milford Sound, well, Milford Sound! The rain is a crucial part of the ecosystems around Milford Sound. The wildlife as well as the plant life here rely on Milford’s rainfall to survive. So visiting during the rain is one of the ways to truly experience this ancient fiord.
The truth is, visiting Milford Sound on a rainy day is all part of the experience. This is the weather that this environment thrives in, and part of what makes it so gorgeous. So, embrace the rain and experience the beauty of Milford Sound for yourself – you won’t be disappointed!
The four sisters after heavy rainfall.