We took a cruise on New Zealand's most famous sound - recent film location for Alien - Covenant.
Alien in Milford Sound
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.
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 journey 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.
So feeling like a lone ambassador for my country, I hopped on board Real Journey's 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.
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.
Our thanks to Real Journeys for hosting this alien on the cruise through Milford Sound.