Milford Sound is essentially a small airport, one motel, a pub, a tourist information desk, a coffee shop and a harbor for tour boats.
The only reason to come here is to experience nature essentially untouched by the hand of man! The sound is actually a Fiord in that it was carved out by the action of a glacier, not the flowing water of a river!
Scars on the walls of the surrounding cliffs show where the glaciers scraped the mountains. Milford sound is almost 500 meters deep and is surrounded by mountains as high as 1695 meters high! The inlet is only about 500 meters wide and apparently quite a site on a clear day! The surrounding area has been designated a World Wildlife Reserve which means that absolutely no human alteration of the environment is allowed, ever! Even marked hiking trails are prohibited. The area is perfectly untouched and is nature in the raw! Milford gets 7 meters of rainfall a year and is one of the wettest places on earth!
It rains 2 out of every 3 days and our stay was no different. Visiting the area in the rain is considered preferable as many of the waterfalls are rain dependent and will dry up 8 hours after the rain stops. Therefore, you want to visit this area during the rain if you want to see all the falls running. Most of the falls are over 100 feet high with the highest being over 115 meters tall!