Milford Sound

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Top 5 ways to experience Milford Sound

New Zealand's breathtaking fjord is one of the world's top destinations. Rudyard Kipling once described it as the 8th Wonder of the World, and he hadn't even seen it in all the ways available to you! Which of these takes your fancy?

  • Boat

    1. Boat

    From Mitre Peak to the waterfalls and rainforest, a scenic cruise of the fjord is the best way to capture its magnificence on camera!

  • Kayak

    2. Kayak

    Kayak tours are great for exploring the nooks and crannies that bigger boats can't reach. Perfect for seeing dolphins, seals, and even penguins!

  • Hike

    3. Hike

    Milford Sound is rife with hiking trails for all ability levels, so anyone can discover its mountainous panoramas and lush vegetation for themselves!

  • Flight

    4. Flight

    Not the cheapest options of course, but light plane and helicopter tours reveal the time-sculpted landscape at its most awe-inspiring!

  • Dive

    5. Dive

    Milford Sound is arguably the most beautiful place on earth, and that's only above the water! Hire a diving instructor to help reveal the dazzling secrets beneath it!

Planning Your Visit

  • Best time to visit?

    Peak Season is around the new year when New Zealand's South Island is at its warmest. It never gets hot per se, but if your priority is avoiding the crowds and high prices then go in fall between March and May. Beware though, Milford Sound is one of the wettest inhabited places in the world, and the rain can be freezing in spring and fall, even on warm days!

  • What to wear?

    Be sure to bring a good rain coat and sturdy, waterproof walking boots, even if you're not going on a hike. Remember that rain is part of the experience! Wrap up warm if you're going on a cruise. If you're not, it's worth packing a few extra layers anyway just in case the temperatures drop suddenly.

  • What to bring?

    We recommend that you pack light, but bring a water bottle, protection against the sun, and most importantly, insect repellant. You should probably take your camera too!

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Always open.
  • Is it expensive?
    Ticket prices vary based on the type of activities possible, like kayaking, boating and flying.
  • Will I need a guide?
    A guided tour of the area is a great idea and there are many options and activities available!
  • How to get there
    Milford Sound is 295km from Queenstown and 121km from Te Anau. It is a 5-hour journey from Queenstown and can be challenging to get to at times, so taking a tour is recommended.
  • Additional information

    • Be prepared for rapid changes in weather, insects and sun exposure!

    • Pack light, but make sure you have water and a couple layers of clothing.

Other Sightseeing Options in Milford Sound

Want to discover all there is to do in Milford Sound? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Milford Sound

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,722 reviews

We had a wonderful time in the Milford Sound bus tour and cruise with Southern Discoveries. Even though it was raining, our guide and driver, Brad, made sure we stopped for photos along the drive and kept us entertained with useful and interesting knowledge about the area. Due to high winds,however, we had to turn back from going on the cruise around the Milford Sound. Our guide was sincerely apologetic about the cancellation and I reckon he felt worse than we did! So we re-booked to go on the tour again the next day (complimentary passes) to a lovely clear day and were thoroughly mesmerized by the scenery of the road trip to the Sound and the Sound itself! It was 2 tours for the price of 1! We truly live in God's country and many thanks to Brad for sharing his inexhaustible knowledge and genuine love of the South Island with us. His recommendations on eateries and places to visit was also spot on. We will certainly be back! Thank you very much for making our trip so memorable!

The trip was excellent. Our driver was fantastic. He had great local knowledge but was also very entertaining. His dinner recommendation at Flame was also excellent. I highly recommend this tour!!

It was amazing. Guide was friendly and managed to give us so many facts and stories about the surroundings which I never knew. It was a superb experience overall.

Love the cruise, learn a lot about Milford Sound(Fiordland). Captain and crew are super friendly and helpful. Highlight definitely being under the waterfall.

Staff were excellent and very informative 10/10.It was the highlight of our trip as kiwis.We have an amazing country.