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

4.8 / 5

based on 2,520 reviews

We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Andrew,our friendly,informative guide at Trips and Tramps made sure everything went seamlessly, personalising our trip to make the most of the day. This included a walk up to Key Summit on the way back which was a highlight for us both, and we really appreciated being able to benefit from his local knowledge and enthusiasm throughout the day. The well organised Mitre Peak Cruise on Milford Sound included interesting commentary and personalised service. A great value, memorable day!

I was lucky to have jucy glass top bus with an awesome driver who did funny but knowledgeable commentary. He knew his job completely. On jucy cruise crew members were really awesome and careful about passengers. Showed us amazing views and waterfalls. Lunch and complementary tea coffee was delicious.

Highlight of our holiday! Jill our bus driver was amazing, so knowledgeable and she made it her mission to make our trip fabulous. The sounds are a definite 'must do'...simply spectacular ! Love Te Anau a true gem of the south island❤

Our bus driver was full of knowledge and passionate about the area, also hilarious at times. Bus was very comfortable. The cruise was amazing, food was nice and commentary informative. Nature at its absolute best.

This was an excellent day trip, a highlight of our trip. Geoff the guide was interesting and passionate about the local area, he had lots of interesting stories and info to share