A rare and very special visitor has made an appearance at stunning Milford Sound this week, captured on camera by Southern Discoveries’ Nature Guide David Newman.
A Southern Right Whale spent the day patrolling the waters of Milford Sound in New Zealand’s South Island, much to the delight of visitors on a Southern Discoveries’ Encounter Nature Cruise and other cruises throughout the day.
Initially spotted from the Milford Sound wharf, the whale, which appeared to be no more than 6m to 7m long, suggesting it was a juvenile, finally left Milford Sound at about 4.20pm, heading north past Dale Point out into the Tasman Sea.
It is two years since a Southern Right Whale was last spotted at the entrance to Milford Sound.
“It’s only the second time I’ve personally seen a Southern Right in Milford Sound, so getting the chance to see one for a second time made me feel extremely excited and also very lucky,” said Nature Guide David Newman.
“I take my camera to work every day in the hope of coming across a whale again, and it certainly paid off this time.
“Conditions were perfect, with the region having had very little rain over the past couple of weeks, so the waters of the fiord were crystal clear allowing us to see the whale in all its glory.
“When we announced the whale was there, the majority of our customers whipped out their cameras to get some photos and video footage.
“Both customers and crew were very excited to see the whale because it’s so rare to see one within the fiord itself. I saw it leaving the Sound as well, which is certainly not a bad way to end your day as a nature guide!”
Mr Newman said the whale did not seem to be fazed by the sightseeing and Nature Cruise vessels, surfacing very close to them on a number of occasions.