Milford Sound: Cruise, Underwater Observatory, and Lunch

4.7 / 5

257 Reviews

Milford Sound: Cruise, Underwater Observatory, and Lunch

From US$ 71.07 per person

Go further, get closer, and discover more on this up-to-3-hour tour of Milford Sound. See it all on your cruise, including the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory. Enjoy either a picnic lunch or a hot buffet lunch.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
COVID-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 3 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Audio guide/headphones
German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Russian


  • Luxuriate in the beauty of Milford Sound on one of the longest daytime experiences available in the fiord
  • Immerse yourself in a mysterious undersea world at the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory
  • Listen to lively and informative commentary on the fiord’s history, geology, and wildlife from a specialist nature guide
  • Savor a delicious picnic or hot buffet lunch onboard or feel free to bring your own
  • Taste pure glacial water straight from the waterfalls and stand under Stirling Falls
Full description
Explore the beauty of the fiord on a vessel that’s purpose-built for the best daytime viewing. Set off on a day-trip that includes a delicious lunch, complimentary tea and coffee, and a visit to the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory. Climb aboard a purpose-built catamaran at the Milford Sound Cruise Terminal to discover more of the fiord on an authentic and insightful experience. Get within touching distance of impressive rock walls and waterfalls. Join the skipper in the open wheelhouse and say hello to the native seals basking on the rocks as you pass them by. Knowledgeable local nature guides will ensure you discover the wildlife, nature, and history of this remarkable sanctuary. Enjoy a delicious picnic or hot buffet lunch onboard.  Visit the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory, New Zealand's only floating underwater observatory for an experience unlike any other. Hidden under the surface in Harrison Cove in the middle of Piopiotahi Marine Reserve, the Observatory enables you to experience a different perspective of the fiord. Descend 64 steps (10-metres) underwater into a large, fully air-conditioned viewing area and peer out through large windows at the deep underwater haven. Unlike an aquarium, the fish are free to come and go; it’s the people who are contained.
  • Milford Sound cruise
  • Milford Sound Underwater Observatory
  • Picnic or hot buffet lunch (if option selected)
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Access to top deck for viewing and panoramic photo opportunities
  • Large viewing windows and covered seating area
    COVID-19 precautions
    Safety measures in place
    • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
    • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
    Traveler requirements
    • Customers must bring their own headphones
    • Customers are required to bring and wear masks

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    Prepare for the activity

    Meeting point

    Milford Sound Visitor Centre, Freshwater Basin, Milford Sound, New Zealand. Be sure to allow 5 hours driving time from Queenstown and just over 2 hours from Te Anau or opt for a coach and cruise option departing from Queenstown or Te Anau (available to book on GetYourGuide).

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    Important information

    Know before you go

    • Always be prepared to enjoy some rainfall
    • All vessels are fully licensed with a range of beverages plus a selection of snack foods. Note that smoking is not permitted on any of the vessels.
    • Timetables, cruise departures and vessels may vary. In the interest of your safety, the local operator may cancel any cruise at any time due to unsafe weather conditions or boat maintenance.
    •  Car parking in Milford Sound costs $10 per hour. There are a limited number of free parking spaces just outside of Milford Sound in Deepwater Basin, which include a complimentary shuttle service to the terminal. If you choose to self-drive, it is recommended to arrive into Milford Sound at least 1 hour prior to your scheduled cruise departure time to allow sufficient time to get to the terminal. For further information about car parking, please visit
    • The underwater observatory is closed for routine maintenance between the 20th July 2020 and November 2020
    Customer reviews

    Overall rating

    4.7 / 5

    based on 257 reviews

    Review summary

    • Service
      4.7 / 5
    • Organization
      4.8 / 5
    • Value for money
      4.5 / 5
    • Safety
      4.8 / 5
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    Cruise was great even if the weather was wild - $10/hr parking not.

    Cruise was great even with a wild and windy day. Certainly made the waterfalls (waterclimbs?) easy to see. Observatory was fun but I'm a fisher/diver/ecologist - don't expect an aquarium experience. Was pretty annoyed to get charged $10/hr to park in an area I'm sure the NZ taxpayer built/paid for now under the concessionaires control. $40-50 to park while spending money there already....just not on. And not many other options. Rip off guys.

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    21 October 2019

    It was great. The tour guides showed a lot of enthusiasm and energy, and were quite entertaining. We had prefect weather, so I can’t complain at that, not sure what it would have been like if rainy or windy, I’m sure still beautiful, but just different. I’m not great on boats, a bit scared, but it was quite a secure feeling boat.

    22 September 2019

    Excellent Cruise. The commentary was great. The guide at the Underwater (Usker) I think his name was, was hilarious. Even tho the road from Te Anau was closed and we had to wait 4 hours for it to re-open It was well worth it. Because of the road closure, hundreds of people arrived at almost the same time yet the staff had everyone on their boats and away in very little time with very little fuss. Well done.

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    14 September 2019

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    Product ID: 23807