Sutherland Falls, among the world's highest, comprise three spectacular leaps totalling 1,904 ft, and are fed by a small cirque lake, named Lake Quill. The lake occupies a small rock basin that was formed by ice-action during the Ice Age, and spills almost directly over the lip and down a near-vertical mountain-wall into a valley carved by ice. The falls owe part of their impressiveness to the leaping action of the water from the two main ledges on the mountain wall. They are named after Donald Sutherland who, with J. McKay and J. Malcolm, settled at Milford Sound between 1887–80. Sutherland, who discovered the falls, explored much of the surrounding country in search of a new route to Lake Wakatipu.
by Bryce Leslie Wood, M.SC., New Zealand Geological Survey, Dunedin.