New Zealand: Alien - CovenantMilford Sound: Spaceship Crash Site
The scenery of the 15 kilometre-long Milford Sound is simply spectacular. Vertical walls of rock, some of them over a kilometre high, dwarf even the cruise ships that frequently visit this part of New Zealand's Fiordland National Park. Milford Sound is amongst the country's top attractions, with a myriad of tour operators offering boat tours and flightseeing options.
However, it is a very remote location. The nearest settlement, Te Anau, is a two hour drive away (without stops), and there are very limited accommodation options in the sound itself.
But even if you are on a tight schedule, it would be a shame not to take the time and appreciate the location into Milford, which in our opinion, must be one of the world's most spectacular routes.
At least, plan to stop at the following points of interest: Eglinton Valley lookout (53 km from Te Anau), Mirror Lakes (57 km), Pop's View lookout into the Hollyford valley (86 km), before the entrance to the Homer Tunnel for some kea spotting (99 km), and for the 20-minute walk to the Chasm (108 km).
From there, it's another 10 kilometres before you reach the sound. Based on our own personal experience, we can only encourage you to hop on a cruise through the sound. It's simply spectacular.
The New Zealand Department of Conservation has a pretty comprehensive site with plenty of practical information about the Milford Road.
In this new Alien installment, the space ship Covenant is sent on a mission to survey a remote planet believed to be an uninhabited paradise.
But as the crew finds out soon enough, they are not alone. They race back to the space ship, when...
The trailer footage showcases Milford Sound and the surrounding landscape of the Fiordland National Park, but in a very broody way, which is in stark contrast to the images we are usually presented with by the tourism industry. Mind you, the way it is depicted in the film is actually much closer to the truth: the mounatins around the sound see a mean annual rainfall of 6,412 mm.
Once you've parked your car at the terminal car park, walk back along the road to the start of the Piopiotahi Milford Foreshore Walk, an easy stroll through regenerative rainforest. Follow the track for about 10 minutes towards the shoreline and you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.
For the viewpoint, step off the track and make your way towards the water. The coordinates for the viewpoint are S44° 40' 12" / W167° 55' 19" or -44.67 / 167.921944.
For the best Milford experience, leave Te Anau either early in the morning or after lunch. That way, you will avoid most of the coaches. Or even better, try to pre-organise accommodation closer to the sound.
A great place to stay is Gunn's Camp in the Hollyford valley. Accommodation is fairly basic but the location is unbeatable. You will stay in workers huts built in the 1930s. Heating for the cabin is provided via a wood-fired oven, as is the communal shower (so don't be in longer than 5 minutes!). There is no cell phone reception, and electricity only comes on for a few hours in the morning and in the evening. Digital detox at its best.