Milford Sound

Famously described by Rudyard Kipling as the 'eighth wonder of the world', Piopiotahi Milford Sound is breathtaking in any weather. With its fiord's cliffs, mountainous peaks and waterfalls as high as 1000 metres, when it rains in Milford Sound, and it often does, those waterfalls multiply with magnificent effect. It's not just the astonishing geological formations and gushing waterfalls that casts a spell over all who visit this jewel in Fiordland's crown. Fascinating wildlife and rich Māori legends are also revealed whether you’re exploring by land, sea or air.

There are a number of options for getting to Milford Sound, but only one road providing access. The Milford Road is also known as State Highway 94 and it takes approximately 1.5 - 2 hours to drive from Te Anau Central Backpackers. Although it is best to factor in a little more time, as you will want to stop along the way and take in the spectacular scenery. Care should also be taken when driving as the road is windy and steep in parts. 

For those without their own transport Trips & Tramps can provide coach transport from Te Anau Central Backpackers to Milford Sound and return.

Milford Sound can also be visited by air. Scenic flights to and from Milford Sound offer breathtaking beauty and a unique way to see Fiordland National Park. Helicopter flights are also available. Click here for more information about Fiordland scenic flights.

The fiord is approximately 16km from the 'head' to the open sea, meaning visitors can comfortably travel via one of the cruise operators from the Milford Wharf out to the Tasman Sea and return in only 1.5 to 2 hours. Cruise passengers get the opportunity to view scenic highlights such as Mitre Peak, Pembroke Glacier, Lady Bowen and Stirling Falls. Playing dolphins and fur seals basking on the rocks are a common sight. There are a number of operators offering various Milford Sound Cruises including Southern Discoveries and RealNZ. Alternatively opt for a smaller, more intimate cruise with Cruise Milford.

Many visitors choose to combine their cruise with a visit to Milford Sound Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory. Milford Sound is home to New Zealand’s only floating underwater observatory. Here you can get a unique view of the fascinating underwater environment, without getting wet! Walk down the steps into the large underwater viewing room and find yourself 10 metres below sea level, in air-conditioned comfort. See the colourful sea life up close and discover the species of black coral usually found at depths of 500 metres in the open ocean. Gaze at the fish and other wildlife. It’s just like visiting an aquarium, except the exhibits are roaming free and you’re the one in the enclosure! Available exclusively to Southern Discoveries customers.

For an up close and personal experience, kayaking Milford Sound can’t be beaten. Imagine paddling over its dark waters, beneath imposing cliff faces and right up to crystal-clear waterfalls. There are several companies running Milford Sound kayaking tours, and most offer a range of options that cater to your skill level and the amount of time you have. Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a beginner, you’re sure to find a tour to suit. Tours are mostly run in small groups with an experienced local guide to show you the sights.
Visit RealNZ Milford Kayaks for more information or talk to one of our Te Anau Central Backpackers team.

Fiordland’s underwater environment is one of the most intriguing and unique in the world, and is regarded as a bucket-list dive spot for divers. The pristine fiords are home to the rare black coral, crayfish, fur seals, and more than 150 fish species.
Visit Descend Dive Milford Sound for more information.

For more information and to make a booking for any of the above activities, contact our Te Anau Central Backpackers team who can offer a wealth of advice on Milford Sound attractions.
An immense and dramatic landscape, Milford Sound casts a spell over all who visit. Astonishing geological formations, gushing waterfalls, fascinating wildlife and rich Māori legends are revealed whether you’re exploring by land, sea or air.
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Milford Sound
Te Anau Central BackpackersMilford Sound
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Te Anau Central Backpackers