Place in New Zealand

Milford Sound

Milford Sound, in Fiordland National Park, features dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and Mitre Peak. Explore via boat tours, scenic flights, hikes, and kayaking.

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Tucked within New Zealand's Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is known for its dramatic cliffs and waterfalls. The 1,692-meter-high Mitre Peak is a defining feature, often mirrored in the calm waters below. Boat tours and scenic flights offer the best views of this natural wonder, providing a close look at its lush rainforests and marine life. The underwater observatory at Harrison Cove allows you to see the rich ecosystem beneath the surface.

Boat Tours and Scenic Flights

Milford Sound offers several ways to explore its majestic beauty. Boat tours are popular, guiding you through the fjord to witness towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and marine life such as dolphins and seals. Various operators provide different types of cruises, from short trips to full-day explorations. For a different vantage point, scenic flights from Queenstown offer an aerial perspective of the fjord, showcasing its complex network of cliffs and glacial valleys from above.

Hiking and Trails

If you prefer to experience the landscape on foot, several hiking trails are available. The Milford Track is one of New Zealand's Great Walks, a multi-day trek that ends at Milford Sound. The shorter, yet equally scenic, Key Summit Track provides panoramic views of Fiordland National Park. Another excellent option is the Chasm Walk, a brief but impressive path leading to dramatic rock formations and waterfalls.

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife enthusiasts will find plenty to see in Milford Sound. The fjord's waters are home to various marine animals, including fur seals and bottlenose dolphins. Occasionally, you might spot penguins along the shoreline. Birdwatchers will enjoy sightings of native species like the kea and the blue duck. For an underwater perspective, the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory at Harrison Cove offers a unique glimpse into the underwater ecosystem, accessible via boat tours.


Kayaking offers a more intimate way to explore Milford Sound's waters. Several operators provide guided kayaking tours that allow you to navigate closer to waterfalls and secluded coves that larger boats cannot access. For those interested in diving, specialized operators offer dive tours showcasing underwater walls and marine life unique to the fjord.

How to Get There and Accommodation Options

Reaching Milford Sound typically involves a scenic drive from Te Anau or Queenstown along State Highway 94. The road itself winds through Fiordland National Park, with numerous viewpoints and short walks along the way. There are also coach services and small aircraft flights available. Accommodation options in Milford Sound are limited but include lodges like Milford Sound Lodge, known for its rustic charm and proximity to attractions. Alternatively, many visitors opt to stay in Te Anau or Queenstown, both of which offer a wider range of lodging options and are well-connected by tour operators running day trips to Milford Sound.

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