Queenstown to Milford Sound Itinerary

3 DAYS

575 km

Highlights

  • Queenstown
  • Milford Sound
  • Te Anau

Proximity

CAR-FREE TRAVEL OPTIONS

Driving times and conditions may vary greatly in winter.

The road to Milford Sound is as much a scenic experience as the fiord itself. Get your camera ready for this world-renowned journey through breathtaking, out-of-this-world landscapes.

Note: If you choose to drive the route yourself, be sure to give yourself plenty of time as conditions can vary greatly on this route, particularly in winter.

Day 1: Queenstown to Te Anau

Fiordland
Bicycle trails near Lake Te Anau, Fiordland

By M Silvia

Fiordland

FIORDLAND

One of New Zealand's most breathtaking regions

Highlights

  • Fiordland National Park
  • Stunning hiking & cycling trails
  • Wildlife encounters

Proximity

  • By car: 2 h 10 min | 173 km via SH6 & SH94
  • By bus: 2 h 50 min | by Intercity
  • By : Visit Queenstown iSITE for day trips & tours

From Queenstown, follow the road to Te Anau as it winds around the gentle curves of Lake Wakatipu.

The scenery here is stunning - lakeside vistas are framed by the rugged face of a magnificent mountain range appropriately named The Remarkables. Easy rolling countryside soon leads you to the shores of Lake Te Anau, the biggest of the South Island’s many lakes. On the western side, the long arms of the lake disappear into the looming, densely forested Murchison Mountains. 

The picturesque township of Te Anau is the main visitor base for exploring Fiordland National Park and the perfect stopover on the way to Milford Sound. Spend a night here and check out the town's many attractions.

Day 2: Overnight Boat Cruise, Milford Sound

Fiordland
Milford Sound Cruise, Fiordland

By Tourism New Zealand

Highlights

  • Overnight cruise
  • Penguins, seals and dolphins
  • Stunning waterfalls

Proximity

  • By car: 1 h 40 min | 118 km to Milford Sound via SH94
  • By bus: 1 h 50 min | by Great Sights
  • By : Visit Fiordland iSITE for tour information

EXPLORE MILFORD SOUND

Breathtaking in any weather with a fusion of spectacular natural features.

Read more

The spectacular geography and wildlife of Milford Sound is best experienced on an overnight boat cruise.

Get up close to steep cliffs rising out of the deep blue water and watch fur seals sunbathing on rocks. Visit the 160-metre high Bowen Falls or the Stirling Falls, which cascade into the fiord, like a giant shower. Some boats have underwater viewing observatories. Look out for penguins and dolphins, as well as whales – the occasional one makes it all the way into the fiords.

Overnight cruises usually begin mid-morning and can include activities like kayaking, swimming with dolphins or diving. Or if you'd rather, choose a day cruise with a return coach to Te Anau.

Day 3: Milford Sound to Queenstown

Queenstown
Queenstown's Shotover Jetboat, Queenstown

By First Light Travel

Queenstown

QUEENSTOWN

The adventure capital of New Zealand

Highlights

  • Jet boats, bungy and skydiving
  • Stunning hiking trails
  • World-class food and wine

Proximity

  • By car: 3 h 45 min | 287 km (one way) via SH94 & SH6
  • By : Driving times may vary during winter
  • By bus: 4 h 30 min | by Great Sights

Disembark from your boat cruise and take some to exploring the surrounding area. Slowly head back along the same road to Queenstown, making sure you stock up on photos on the way.

Finish your journey by indulging in one of Queenstown's many adventure activities, scenic sights or luxury experiences.

Driving in New Zealand

Important things you need to know about driving in New Zealand.

View the route below

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