For as stunning as the Milford Sound scenery can be when viewed above the water, there’s an entire other, underwater world that visitors rarely see. Thankfully, the Milford Sound Discovery and Underwater Observatory allows visitors to journey beneath the waves without even getting their hair wet. After descending over 30 feet beneath the Milford Sound surface, see rare species of black coral and schools of colorful fish, all from the air-conditioned, protected enclosure of the underwater observatory. Aside from simply catching a glimpse of the underwater environment, travelers can also visit the discovery center that’s located above the surface, and hear the ancient Maori history of Milford, or Piopiotahi. There are even videos of terrifying avalanches crashing down on the Milford Road, and documentaries showing the struggles of building the Milford Tunnel.
The Milford Sound Discovery Center and Underwater Observatory are offered as add-ons to Southern Discoveries cruises within the Sound. It’s the only floating structure in the Sound, and accessing the bottom of the underwater observatory requires walking down 64 steps.