Journey Beyond the Screen

Alien in Milford Sound

We took a cruise on New Zealand's most famous sound - recent film location for Alien - Covenant.

Alien in Milford Sound

By Pennie Hunt

We made the trip here to see where the new Alien - Covenant was filmed. But it turns out that the real alien in Milford Sound was me.

Let me qualify that statement: I pride myself on having been to most places in New Zealand. From Cape Reinga to Bluff, from the East Cape to the West, I've seen a lot. But one place I'd never been is Milford Sound. I know, I know... but you'd be surprised how few New Zealanders make it to our most iconic scenic location.

Milford Sound shrouded in wispy cloud. You can check out the actual filming location here.

Milford Sound shrouded in wispy cloud. You can check out the actual filming location here.

Although we set off from our accommodation at Gunn's Camp first thing in the morning, the expansive carpark at Milford was already packed with vehicles, it was literally one rental after another. Another giant parking place was awaiting the dozens of tourist busses that make the 5 - 6 hour location from Queenstown to Milford on a daily basis. And it's no wonder. Even back in 1891 Rudyard Kipling described the sound (which is actually a fjord) as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World'. If I'd come here from abroad it would probably be on my to-do list as well.

So, where are all the locals?

Back in 2006 New Zealand's Automobile Association (AA) launched their hugely successful campaign 101 Must-Do's for Kiwis - an inspirational list voted by New Zealanders - to inspire us to get us out and about in our own backyard. Back then, Milford Sound was deemed the country's number one top attraction, these days it hasn't even made the list. Granted there are a lot of fantastic things to see and do in New Zealand, but dare I say it... I think the international tourists might know something a lot of us don't. Namely - Milford Sound really is a must see.

One of the many waterfalls streaming down the 100 metre cliffs of the fjord.

One of the many waterfalls streaming down the 100 metre cliffs of the fjord.

So feeling like a lone ambassador for my country, I hopped on board Real Locations' Nature Cruise along with the rest of the world - my German husband (who, of course, has been here many times before!) was leading the way. We stood up on the bow of the ship as it cruised out into the sound and simply marvelled. I guess it's like visiting the Grand Canyon, the pictures can't capture the scale and grandeur of the experience. It was beautiful and humbling to feel so small against the power of nature.

Huge boats are simply dwarfed in this landscape.

Huge boats are simply dwarfed in this landscape.

I honestly think Milford Sound is one of the truly great New Zealand road trips. Even the drive (which, if you're driving yourself, is worth allowing plenty of time for) is spectacular.

We stopped to admire the mighty Tutoko river and the primordial forest...

We stopped to admire the mighty Tutoko river and the primordial forest...

...and stretched our legs on the walk to the famous Chasm.

...and stretched our legs on the walk to the famous Chasm.

The beginning of the waterfall known as the Chasm.

The beginning of the waterfall known as the Chasm.

The stunning roadside lookout called Pop's view provides a view up the lush Hollyford Valley.

The stunning roadside lookout called Pop's view provides a view up the lush Hollyford Valley.

Our thanks to Real Locations for hosting this alien on the cruise through Milford Sound.

Share this on:

Alien in Milford Sound

Share your story

http://www.filmquest.co/stories/alien-in-milford-sound/
/stories/alien-in-milford-sound