Situated on the west coast of the South Island, Milford Sound is a fusion of spectacular natural features with amazing visual cues around every corner.
Milford Sound is breathtaking in any weather. The fiord’s cliffs rise vertically from the dark waters, mountain peaks scrape the sky and waterfalls cascade downwards, some as high as 1000 metres. When it rains in Milford Sound, and it often does, those waterfalls multiply with magnificent effect.
Milford is by far the best known of all of the fiords and the only one that can be accessed by road. It is approximately 16km from the head of the fiord to the open sea, which means visitors can comfortably travel the length of the fiord to open ocean and return on one of the many cruise options available in one and a half to two hours cruising time.
The Milford Road
One of the most incredible and frequently overlooked features of Milford Sound is the journey to get there. The Milford Road is a stunning alpine drive. Visitors need to allow plenty of time to stop at the numerous viewing points or short walking opportunities en route, just to get out of the car and drink in the spectacular scenery and the sheer scale of the landscape. From Te Anau allow a minumum 2 hours and 4 1/2 hours from Queenstown to make your way Milford Sound without allowing for stops.
A popular choice is to coach to Milford Sound and then to take a scenic flight back. The flights are very weather dependent so you’ll need to be prepared that your flight may be cancelled and you’ll have to return by coach instead. Relaxig Journeys provide refunds if this occurs.
Boat cruises – during the day or overnight – are an excellent way to experience the Sound. Adventurous types might also like to head out sea kayaking, diving or flightseeing.
Local cafés and restaurants provide a variety of dining options, from fish and chips to fine dining, and the opportunity to sample local Fiordland fare of venison, lobster and other seafood.