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 2,484 reviews

In my opinion this is a "must do" experience when visiting Queenstown. The whole package including pick up from our hotel to our drop off was seamless. The staff at the check in and especially our pilot Dean were helpful and very personable. The flight to Milford is a truly unique experience. Flying between mountain ranges and up beautiful and majestic valleys is a lifetime experience. The cruise on the Milford is also memorable. We are experienced boaties however this cruise showed us something a little different about our amazing coastline. The skipper was very informative without being obtrusive and gave us some amazing experiences. I fully recommend this tour. It was very good value for money.

Despite having to wear masks in the bus, the day was awesome. Gary was really interesting and went to extra mile. There were only three of us, so thank you for letting the tour go ahead anyway. Great choice of vineyards. A wonderful day.

Just amazing. So great to take this trip from Te Anau: more time to stop at different places of interest and beauty, great local knowledge, small vehicle, smart guide, and time to take an amazing walk to Key Summit after the cruise.

This is a fabulous option for those wanting to do Milford sound without having to spend hours in a coach..very professional..fabulous pilot..great experience.

Really enjoyed the experience. Super comfortable bed. Food was excellent and plentiful. Loved going kayaking and husband and daughter went for a quick swim.