Winter reflections at Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park

Milford Sound is one of the wettest places in New Zealand, with an average annual rainfall of almost seven metres. This phenomenal rainfall is one of the most memorable aspects of Fiordland’s environment and the sight of hundreds of waterfalls erupting from sheer mountain faces after a rainstorm is rarely forgotten by anyone who experiences it. Not surprisingly, the mere mention of the name "Milford Sound" conjures up images of rain, rain and more rain to many of those who have been there.

Despite its soggy reputation, Fiordland can turn on some stunningly clear days too. This is especially so in midwinter when cold fronts bring outbreaks of particularly cold, dry southerly air in their wake. If the wind behind the front comes from the south or southeast, the northwest-facing coast of Fiordland becomes a lee coast and can be dry and almost cloudless when many other parts of the South Island are experiencing rain or snow. Such was the case when this photograph was taken, just a day after heavy rain had swept through here ahead of a cold southeast change.

Milford Sound, Fiordland

Alligator Head, outer Marlborough Sounds

Katiki Beach, Otago

Wanganui River mouth, Westland

Granite boulders, Fiordland

Moeraki Boulders at sunrise

Rock stacks, South Westland

Sand dune, Farewell Spit

South Westland coastline

Scotts Beach, Kahurangi National Park

Alligator Head, Marlborough Sounds

Purakaunui River mouth, The Catlins

Curio Bay, Southland

Sunset, Bruce Bay

Estuarine channel, Nelson Haven

Low tide near Kaka Point