Top things to do in Milford Sound, New Zealand
Milford Sound is undoubtedly worth visiting: from the remarkable wildlife to stunning sound cruises. Located in the Fiordland National Park, it is known for towering mountains and waterfalls plummeting down its sheer sides. Find below the top things to do for a day trip to Milford (and don’t forget your camera!).
If you are interested to learn more about how to get to Milford Sound, click here.
Things to do in Milford Sound:
Milford Sound should be discovered by boat – only then can you get close to the wild waterfalls, see Milford’s dolphins, and watch the seals sunbathing on abandoned cliffs. There are day cruises as well as overnight cruises. We took the day cruise, which was entirely sufficient. Because we wanted to be on a smaller boat with fewer people, we booked the Southern Discovery nature cruise combined with the Underwater Observatory.
Another spectacular way to experience Milford Sound is by helicopter. It will allow you to see not only the lake but also grasp the beauty of the larger, remote Fiordland National Park. Seeing the white-capped Southern Alps, the gushing waterfalls, and the deep blue lakes will create unforgettable memories. Do take note, that the scenic flights are weather dependent but most operators will provide a refund or transfer to another date if your flight is cancelled.
Go kayaking for a more personal experience. You won’t see as much of Milford Sound compared to a cruise but you’ll be paddling over pitch dark waters and get very close to the crystal-clear waterfalls! Amazing!
There are a couple of shorter walks you can enjoy in Milford Sound. Click here for more information for Milford Sound Walks.
Top tips to note:
- Book your cruise ticket in advance to make sure that you are not driving all the way to Milford Sound to learn that all cruises are booked.
- There are no coffee shops or dining options on the road to Milford Sound. The next opportunity to get a coffee or meal is at the boat terminal.
- Watch out for sandflies! Their bites are 10x more itchy than normal mosquito bites.
- Head to the Fiordland Cinema in Te Anau if you are interested in Milford Sound. Every day the cinema screens a 30 minutes film about the Fiordland. The documentary, called Ata Whenua, was filmed from a helicopter across the extremes of season, climate and terrain. It will take you on a beautiful journey through one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on earth.