It's a 10 minute walk round from the carpark to the Milford Sound quay. We sauntered to the cafe on the other side of the carpark for a pre-cruise lunch.
There are lots of cruise options - small boats, big boats; red boats, blue boats, white boats; boats that that have sailing masts but few sails; eco-specialists; overnight experiences or 2 hour experiences; stop-offs at the underwater observatory or not ...
The day was calm and we went for the small white boat option - the nimble Mitre Peak Cruises boat seemed to offer pretty much all we wanted in a 2 hour no-frills $NZ68 experience.
We set off with the spectaular Bridal Falls on our right, oops, to starboard. Soon we are right up close to the base of Mitre Peak as its shear face descends 5,550ft (1,692m) into the sea almost an arms length away.
Like big slothsome slugs, seals are revealed reclining in the afternoon sun on rocky outcrops accessible from the sea.
As we slow we slow down passed a little rocky beach our pilot proves he knows his patch. At first there seems to be nothing to see. Then out from the crevices hops a pair of penguins, right on cue. Are they real or were they made in Weta Studios and programmed to appear as boats glide by?
We shadow one of our competitor boats.
It's a big one but is still dwarfed by the scale of the fiords thousands of feet above.
With all the majesty around it is easy to forget about Mitre Peak. All the peaks look BIG from sea level. I think the pictures above are of her?
We travel right out to the mouth of the Sound and the Tasman Sea. There is one small recreational fishing party in their boat near the Ocean. Not sure if the fish are biting today.
Our pilot takes us up to and right under waterfalls on the way. Quite refreshing really - at least in the summertime.
We cruise back past the underwater observatory. Our voyage doesn't include a stop here but you can select one that does if you wish.
Our two hours have gone quickly. We've shot 184 photos and are safely back at the quay.
One last look from the top deck - was it worth the effort?
(And we get to enjoy going back on the Milford Road again)