With dramatic cliffs, unique marine life and hundreds of waterfalls, it’s no surprise that Milford Sound is one of NZ’s most visited sites.
Standing majestically over the Sound is the conical shaped Mitre Peak. Surely one of New Zealand’s most photographed mountains, it is simply breath-taking. Rudyard Kipling referred to Mitre Peak and Milford Sound as the Eighth Wonder of the World when he visited at the turn of the 20th Century; however it wasn’t until 1954 when the 1.2km long Homer Tunnel was opened so that tourists could easily access the fiord. Today the narrow single-lane tunnel is a highlight of the scenic road journey into Milford Sound, made by coach tours operating daily from both Te Anau and Queenstown, as well as private vehicles.
Once through the tunnel, the jaw-dropping vista of the fiord spreads out in front of you. After snapping some photos it’s time to head out on the water. Boat cruises venturing out onto the 16km long fiord provide informative commentaries and the opportunity to get up close (and sometimes underneath) the fine waterfalls that cascade down Milford Sound’s sheer rock walls.
To get a different perspective on the unique ecosystem of Milford Sound, Southern Discoveries operates New Zealand’s only floating underwater observatory, giving visitors the opportunity to descend 10 metres underwater while staying dry. The same company offers three different cruise options, including their excellent Encounter Nature Cruise. For an adventure with no experience needed you can kayak the sound’s crystal clear waters with an experienced guide.
Southern Discoveries coach and cruise
Real Journeys’ distinctive custom built coaches come complete with a glass roof so you won’t miss a thing on your way to Milford Sound. Once there, choose from a Scenic Cruise, Nature Cruise, or join an Overnight Cruise on a traditionally designed scow.
Jucy Cruise Milford Sound offers an affordable cruise option on a large, 300 seat catamaran or go all out with a special luxury cruise on their brand new boat, the ‘Gem of the Sound’ just launched this year. They also have coach/cruise/coach and coach/cruise/fly packages available.
Mitre Peak Cruises
For the complete Milford Sound experience, Mitre Peak Cruises coach/cruise/fly package allows you to return from Milford on a thrilling scenic flight above the alps.
Whichever option you choose; make sure you have plenty of space on the memory card of your camera for all the photos you’ll bring home.