Fiordland National Park
Fiordland National Park including Milford Sound with Mitre Peak, and Doubtful Sound with Commander Peak is a unique area in the South Island of New Zealand and a massively popular area for tourists and photographers alike.
Over an hour from Lake Te Anau the drive alone is worth the trip to Milford Sound. The scenery is breathtaking with several worthy stops along the way. There are a couple of highly reflective lakes on route that are worth stopping at. The first Mirror Lake (more like a pond) is sheltered by the surrounding vegetation and always great for photos. The other is Lake Gunn, which under the right conditions is the most dramatic. If you get here early morning (camping permitted) before the wind has picked up and the lake is at its most reflective with stunning views perfectly reflected in its waters.
I’ve visited this area a couple times now, the first time to take photos and go on the boat tour. It is very calming being out on the water in the fiord which acts as a natural wind break. Seals line the shores beneath the massive stone mountains carved out by repeated ice ages. I find the light is different in New Zealand when compared to Australia, you don’t always have to wait for the ‘magic hour’ (sunset and sunrise) for moments of beauty.
The best view of Milford Sound and Mitre Peak is actually from the car park and the surrounding marsh land, not from the Sound itself. The marsh land is scattered with drift wood, shells, moss covers rocks and swarms of sand flies.