Milford Sound

(click on a picture to get the large version)

Milford Sound isn't actually a sound, it's a fjord. I was told this enough times that it's obviously a very important lesson, so, even though I put it in my log, I'll include the explanation here as well. A sound is created by water, but a fjord is created by glaciers. When you see the incredibly steep cliffs, you can appreciate the difference.

Views around the fjord.
The tall peak to the left is Mitre Peak. Supposedly it's the tallest peak to rise straight from the water. Sometimes I think people try too hard to come up with superlatives.
We were told that the view is better on a rainy day because there are more waterfalls. Here's some of the bounty we saw due to the lousy weather.
Some of the steep cliffs we saw.
The vegetation has a very tenuous hold on the cliff-sides. The roots intertwine with their neighbors to keep everybody in place, which is all fine and dandy until somebody falls. When a couple trees from high up go down, they can end up taking out everything below them also. The bare vertical stripes on these rocks were caused by such 'treevalanches.' (Hey, I didn't make up that word - don't blame me.)
The dock at Milford Sound isn't allowed to get any bigger and they're not allowed to build anything else, so there won't ever be any more boats there than this.
The boat I was on traveled just outside the fjord so we could look back in. This gave us an appreciation for how the mouth of the fjord keeps the inner water relatively calm.
They have an underwater observatory in the fjord. Due to details I discussed in my log, this gives a unique view of the life underwater.
This black coral is one such animal (yes, it's an animal, not a plant, and yes, it's supposed to be white). Normally this coral lives too deep for recreational divers to see, let alone someone in jeans and a t-shirt.