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.

What people are saying about Milford Sound

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,366 reviews

Wonderful guide who feed us so much local geographical and historical information, as well as Maori mythology, flora, fauna, bird life, plus weather patterns and effects etc. Descriptions of the different walks were accurately explained so that the correct choice of a tramp could be made based upon one's physical ability. Obviously Milford itself lived up to all our hopes and expectations. Would highly recommend exploring with Trips and Tramps.

Yes I've done that many times with tour groups, mostly on the Sovereign. It was the usual tour with the same jokes. There is a lot more that could be talked about. Looks like each nature guide learns the same old stuff from the previous one. I was astonished that the guide though the pattern on the glacial-scraped rocks was due to the rock melting?? Really? A moving sheet of ice generates thousands of degrees?

Although, the weather wasn't the best, the views from the boat were beautiful. You could stay cozy and warm indoors, drinking a hot drink or walk outside and be one with the elements. The captain gave a commentary of things to look for. We drove ourselves to Milford from Manapouri, with the rain there were numerous waterfalls flowing down the mountains, my kids and l stopped numerous times to look.

Wonderful day and night spent on the Milford Mariner in amongst what is some of the most spectacular scenery NZ has to offer. The team onboard the boat made you feel at home and with meals, kayaking and a swim in the sounds all part of it it really is great value for money. Highly recommend to all!

The driver we had was amazing very helpful and friendly. The bus ride was great and everything was amazing great way to spend our new years day. I will be booking this company again for sure Thank you so very much for one amazing day my daughter and I just loved it