Cruise, fly or drive to Milford Sound

Visiting Milford Sound is a must-do experience when you travel to New Zealand’s South Island.

Milford Sound's spectacular beauty is internationally renowned and the picturesque landscape, in the Fiordland National Park, is classified as a World Heritage Area.

Visiting Milford Sound is a visual feast – and the journey there from Queenstown is all part of the experience. Whether you’re taking a coach, driving or flying to Milford Sound, you’ll be blown away by the scenic trip.

The views keep on getting better when you arrive at Milford Sound. Jump on one of the cruises that depart from the Milford Sound Terminal and prepare to be blown away by the towering mountains that rise up straight out of the sea, the giant waterfalls, the seals basking on the rocks, dolphins and cheeky penguins.

Getting there is easy – there is a range of options that offer daily return trips from Queenstown.

You’ll need to allow an entire day for your Milford Sound excursion.

Go there by coach

Comfortable coaches pick you up from your hotel in the morning and take you south, winding along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and across farmland before reaching Te Anau. From there you venture deeper into the Fiordland National Park – with plenty of photo stops along the way – till you reach the Milford Sound Terminal. Once your cruise is complete, the coach will take you safely back to your hotel, allowing for a dinner stop in Te Anau. A one-way trip usually takes about five hours. Cruize Milford, ECO Tours and Kiwi Discovery are companies that offer good Milford Sound coach-cruise package deals.

Go there by scenic flight

Flying to Milford Sound is an experience in itself. You get the thrill of soaring above snow-capped mountains and glaciers, capturing some of Mt Aspiring National Park before flying over more glaciated valleys, alpine tarns and cascading waterfalls in Fiordland National Park. Your friendly pilot can take you a different route on the return trip, including flying over Glenorchy and Paradise before touching down in Queenstown. Flights, which are weather-dependant, depart from Frankton, in Queenstown, and normally take about 1.5 hours one way. Some flights depart from Te Anau, if you’d prefer to fly from there.

I recommend Air Wakatipu, Glenorchy Air or Fly Fiordland, which all offer good fly-cruise-fly package deals.

Cruising Milford Sound

There are several operators that provide Milford Sound scenic cruises. Spacious vessels take you the full length of the Sound right out to the Tasman Sea, and you get to soak up the incredible vistas on the peaceful trip. Boats provide commentary along the way and stop at plenty of locations so you can capture moments by giant waterfalls, or of the native wildlife. Some operators offer a hot lunch on board for an extra fee. With cruises lasting about 1.5 hours, it’s the perfect way to unwind and be wowed by nature. Cruise operators include Southern Discoveries, Real Journeys, Jucy Cruise and Fiordland Explorer.

For more information, and to find great discounts and deals to discover Milford Sound, check out

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