Milford Sound Travel Guide

  • Moody and forbidding...
    Moody and forbidding...
    by Martialsk
  • The tide is out...
    The tide is out...
    by Martialsk
  • Mirror Lakes
    Mirror Lakes
    by DSwede

Milford Sound Highlights

  • Pro
    Kakapo2 profile photo

    Kakapo2 says…

     Forever magic 

  • Con
    imstress profile photo

    imstress says…

     Sandflies 

  • In a nutshell
    worldkiwi profile photo

    worldkiwi says…

     Right at the top of the must see list for any visit to NZ. 

Milford Sound Things to Do

  • On the way to Milford

    Heading to the Fjord there's a lot of nice place to see, going with your own vehicle is much easier and stop anytime you want

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  • Milford Sound Scenic Cruise

    The journey to Milford Sound is just as spectacular as the destination itself, Unforgettable journey the most beautiful place on earth! the cliffs rise vertically from the dark waters, the mirror lake. It was very cold during our visit to Milford.We overnight in Te Anau, drove to Milford early in the morning, there's a lot to see on the way...

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  • The Chasm

    The Chasm is a natural rock feature caused by the waters of the Cleddau river rushing over the rocks. The force is such as to cut holes in the rock to create a waterfall into a huge chasm.The Chasm is reached by a 20 minute easy walk from the car park through temperate rainforest. Footbridges over the river let you see the force of the water close...

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  • On the road to Milford Sound

    The drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound takes you through some amazing scenery - lakes, waterfalls, streams and mountains. It seems as though every bend in the road brings another photo stop.

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  • Cruise Milford Sound

    There ae a variety of companies offering cruises on Milford Sound - some offer a buffet lunch for an extra cost. Regardless which boat you use you will enjoy your trip. The fjord is spectacular in all weather.

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  • The Homer Tunnel

    The Homer Tunnel, opened in 1954, allows New Zealand State Highway 94 to pass under the Homer Saddle, linking Milford Sound to Te Anau and Queenstown. It the Eglinton and Cleddau valleys. The tunnel is straight and the road now sealed although the walls remain unlined granite. It is about 1300metres long and has a 1 in 10 gradient down to the west.

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  • Mirror Lakes

    Mirror Lakes is a set of small lakes on the road from Te Anau to Milford Sound. They are in the Eglinton Valley in Fiordland National Park.The lakes are set back from the road but there is a well maintained track. If you are not aware of them it is easy to overlook the stop.

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  • Milford Sound Cruise

    There are few cruises to choose, whether you take it during summer or winter and how long is the cruise. I took the scenic Milford Sound Cruise which is NZ$76 (adult) and NZ$16 (child) for 1 hour 45 minutes which include of buffet lunch and the cruise start at 11am. Milford Sound has natural beauty and the waterway running 15km from the Tasman Sea...

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  • Heli Ride

    There are a few of helicopters services round the area of Milford Sound. The prices are variable as it depands whether you want to take a short or long ride up the mountain. I took the 35 minutes Alpine snow landing and i paid for NZ$295. The pilot is very skillful and experienced, some more he explained in details from the start. If you can afford...

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Milford Sound Restaurants

  • Coffee, Cakes & Bar Food with a splendid...

    Staff at the cruise terminal told us the fare at the café is not of outstanding flavour. From what we could see it was not fresh but kept warm on buffet facilities, so I can imagine that pasta gets a little muddy by the time. The hot lunchtime fare is more for the hungry than for gourmets. Also sandwiches, pies and filled rolls were available. We...

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  • Grab a Picnic Pack

    The Picnic Pack offered by the onboard cafe packs a good variety of small munches. The portions aren't very big but more than filling. Fulfills the hunger pangs that you might have if you did not fly over in record timing and yet does not leaves you too full and tired to enjoy the scenary. Definitely the Apple and Cold Cuts. Fresh seafood +...

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  • "International" Buffet

    A selection of hot and cold dishes... mushroom salad, vegetable salad, potato salad, tossed green salad, noodles, steamed / fried rice, chicken dish, seafood, lamb or beef dish, pork dish, hot potato dish, fresh steamed veges, fresh bread, fresh fruit, ice cream... and also complimentary tea and coffee.YOUR PICK!! Don't keep eating and missed the...

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Milford Sound Nightlife

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    Blue Duck Bar

    by DSwede Written Sep 29, 2010

    The Blue Duck is the only option for eating or drinking in Milford. Well, I guess there is the concession stand in the port building, or the possibility that you prepare your own. But outside of those two, there is nothing else in town.

    The menu is pretty good and there are usually some chalkboard specials. The beer flows freely as there are several choices on tap. For those who have more refined tastes, they do make decent cocktails.

    If you play darts or pool, they do have those also. But if you'd rather sit back and watch the game on TV, they do have a satellite receiver that puts the game on the big screen.

    Its only about 15 minute walk from the Milford Sound Lodge. If you don't want to walk it, and did not drive yourself, pay attention to the time. The bar staff will call the lodge for you for the free shuttle, but they don't typically run after ~8pm.

    Dress Code: Dress code is completely casual.

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Milford Sound Transportation

  • Air Milford

    Milford Sound is 295km's from Queenstown where most of the tour buses to the sound departing from. The drive passes through mountain landscapes before entering the 1.2 km Homer Tunnel.The winding mountain road is very prone to avalanches and is closed during the winter months.We chose to fly in/fly out with Air Milford. They are the only...

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  • How to get to Milford Sound

    -There are three ways to get to Milford Sound: on foot on the Milford Track, by airplane from Queenstown or Te Anau, or by car/coach. The latter is the most common option.The Milford Road, part of SH 94, is the only access road to the fiord. From Te Anau, the trip is 121 kilometres one way, and as it is a winding alpine road with up and downhill...

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  • Bus Connections to Milford Sound

    -You can choose from several bus companies that service Milford Sound. They are also good for your transportation back to Te Anau or even Queenstown if you walk the Milford Track and need a shuttle service back to your base or your next destination.TRACKNET... is Fiordland’s Track Transport Specialist. They operate their passenger service during...

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Milford Sound Local Customs

  • DSwede's Profile Photo

    by DSwede Written Sep 29, 2010

    Milford Sound is a tiny pin point on the map at the end of a 120km road from Te Anau. It is literally unplugged from nearly everything.

    Cell phone coverage is lost just a few kilometers after leaving Te Anau. Only a few pay phones exist, so other options is to ask kindly at the lodge or bar to use their phone.

    Electricity from the national grid also stops not far from Te Anau. Milford Sound gets all of its electricity from a hydro-generator operating from the water in one of the nearby hanging valleys.

    Also, to help protect the environment, there is no local trash disposal. What you bring in, you should bring out. Try to tread lightly to minimize the impact and be kind to dispose of your rubbish properly.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Milford Sound Warnings and Dangers

  • Kea

    In the car park at The Chasm, is a kea, a New Zealnd mountain parrot, just sitting there. I didn't expect it to be so tame. Apparently keas are a real nuisance in New Zealand, as people feed them and they become too tame and mischievous, causing damage in camp grounds and car parks. Keas are thought to number about 3,000 in New Zealand, are a...

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  • Sandflies

    Sandflies are particularly annoying in Milford Sound, their stings are incredibly itchy and may endanger your stay. If you don't have any product to protect you, my advice is to buy some lavender lotion at the ticket counter. It smells really nice (if you like lavender) and it can be also used to prevent mosquito bites, and to treat them.

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  • Winter Conditions: Closures, Avalanches,...

    In winter the road to Milford Sound can be closed occasionally as it is prone to heavy snowfall and avalanches. Always check the weather forecast and get information on the road conditions before your trip, and carry snow chains, just for the case. (Also see: General Tip about the Transit Information Kiosk)Never forget that the Milford Road is an...

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Milford Sound What to Pack

  • Warm Clothes and Sandfly Repellent

    You need warm clothes if you go on a cruise, especially in the morning or late afternoon. Temperatures do not get very high here anyway, and on the water it always feels a bit cooler. Plus, if you are not sailing at midday, the steep and high mountains keep the sun from shining right onto your nose most of the time.Of course, you can watch the...

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  • Keep yourself Warm

    The weather changes very quickly in Milford Sound. Other than cold air during the Autumn and Winter period, you must make preparation for blitzing cold winds when you're on the boatride.Bring along a thick jacket and also wear a couple more layers under that jacket. Bring along your beanie too so that your ears don't fall off due to the freezing...

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  • How to wear your pack

    Tip 1) Dont pack too muchTip 2) If you are taller than 5'5 take the "tall" pack from ultimate hikesTip 3) Clip the bottom clips tightly around your hips (not your waist) you should be taking 90% of the weight on your hips - trust me this makes it a lot easierTip 4) do the clips up tightly across your chest.

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Milford Sound Off The Beaten Path

  • Queenstown

    most travellers take the chance to visit Queenstown on the way to Milford Sound, so did I.....and as I said, not very lucky with the weatheras soon as you leave Queenstown towards Fjordland you drive through the most striking features of a World Heritage Scenery,most of us look at through the car window.taking it all in, stop as often as you...

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  • Rock of a Mountain At Homer Tunnel

    Just at the entrance of Homer Tunnel, there's the Homer Alpine Nature Walk. Lovely, but it looked to be an arduous walk. Do try it if you have the time and energy.

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  • Check Out the Kea

    We spotted these unusual species of alpine parrot that can only be seen in the South Island of New Zealand. These little creatures are really inquisitive and would check out everything possible.See if you can spot one of these creatures as you make your way to Milford Sound. We spotted some of these creatures at the entrance of Homer Tunnel.

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Milford Sound Sports & Outdoors

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    by Kakapo2 Updated May 23, 2009

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have not paddled at Milford Sound myself, just want to let you know that it is possible.

    The latest kayak trips of the day start at 2.30pm - because they return at 7.30pm. Any later start would make you return in the dark. This is far too dangerous for such activities.

    Tour operators:

    www.roscosmilfordkayaks.com
    www.fiordlandseakayak.co.nz

    Related to:
    • Kayaking

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Milford Sound Favorites

  • Sightings of Rare Animals - Whales and...

    Milford Sound is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Obviously there are many hikes and trails to explore and it expected that you treat them kindly to minimize the human impacts.But other than the typical draw to the area such as the mountains, the waterfalls and the landscape panoramas, you should watch with a keen eye for the more...

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  • Get Information and Snow Chains in...

    -Transit New Zealand has an Information Kiosk 8,5 kilometres north of Te Anau, on the way to Milford Sound. It is open during winter when vehicles have to be fitted with chains. According to the info on the Transit website, this happens about 20 times a year between June and November. But be prepared that it could happen at earlier and later dates....

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  • Add Time for the Way from the Carpark to...

    -The carparks for the vehicles of independent travellers are located near the café/restaurant, about 500 metres and more from the cruise terminal. A boardwalk leads to the terminal along the shore. If you want to risk a last minute arrival, you have to add 5 minutes for racing from your car to the terminal and 10 minutes if you walk leisurely. And...

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Explore Deeper into Milford Sound
Cruise Milford Sound
Things to Do
Cruising through the Fjords
Things to Do
The Chasm
Things to Do
Enjoy the Milford Road
Things to Do
Stop at the Mirror Lakes
Things to Do
Take a cruise on the fiord
Things to Do
Air Milford
Things to Do
Do not Feed the Keas
Things to Do
Spectacular Walk to the Key Summit
Things to Do
You will almost certainly see NZ Fur Seals
Things to Do
Mirror Lakes - the standard Stop along the Road
Things to Do
Do not miss the Foreshore Walk
Things to Do
Get Scared in Homer Tunnel
Things to Do
Hanging Valleys
Favorites
Have Fun with the Dolphins
Things to Do
The poor moulting Penguin
Things to Do
Mitre Peak – the Trademark Mountain
Things to Do
Mt. Pembroke - permanently snow-capped
Things to Do
Milford Deep Underwater Observatory
Things to Do
You Can Walk to the Lady Bowen Falls
Things to Do
Waterfalls and Rainbows
Things to Do
Stirling Falls - one of only two Permanent Falls
Things to Do
St. Annes Point - Location of the Lighthouse
Things to Do
The amazing Colours of Copper Point
Things to Do
Diverse Vegetation
Favorites
Long-gone Glaciers and their Landscapes
Favorites
The Weather: Seven metres of Rain per Year
Favorites
Timeline of Human History at Milford Sound
Favorites
History of the Milford Road
Favorites
Milford Track – NZ’s most famous Great Walk
Favorites
Day Walks on the Milford Track from Milford Sound
Favorites
Try to Avoid the Crowds
Favorites
No Petrol Station along the Milford Road
Warnings and Dangers
No Mobile Phone Coverage
Warnings and Dangers
Milford Road: The Journey is the Destination
Things to Do
Cheapest cruise: Cruize Milford
Things to Do
Milford Sound Cruise
Things to Do
Rossco
Things to Do
Know the timings of the Boat Tour
Warnings and Dangers
On The Road Again
Off The Beaten Path
Map of Milford Sound

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