The glacial waters, soaring cliffs, and thundering waterfalls of Milford Sound are spectacular from all angles, and this half-day tour takes in all the highlights. Enjoy thrilling aerial views of the Fiordland National Park on a round-trip flight from Queenstown, and marvel at Mitre Peak, Bowen Falls, and Mount Pembroke on a scenic Milford Sound cruise. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
Enjoy round-trip flights from Queenstown to Milford Sound
Live on-board commentary ensures you don’t miss anything
Choice of morning or afternoon departure
Great-value tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off
Why Travellers Choose This Tour
Save time—see the best of Milford Sound in half a day by opting for round-trip flights and a scenic cruise.
Your aerial adventure begins with pick-up from your central Queenstown hotel and a short transfer to the airport in time for departure. After meeting your pilot and receiving a safety briefing, jump aboard your fixed wing aircraft and take off over the city.
Listen to your pilot’s on-board commentary as you soar over the Paradise region, made famous in films such as Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, then fly above the vast Skippers Canyon and the glittering Donne glacier. Enjoy spectacular aerial views of Milford Sound as you come in to land at the edge of the fjord.
Your pilot will escort you to the boat docks for the second part of your adventure—a cruise around Milford Sound. Marvel at the dramatic UNESCO-listed landscapes as you cruise around the fjord and look out for wildlife such as fur seals, dolphins, and Fiordland crested penguins. Along the way, spot natural wonders like the 525-foot (160-meter) high Bowen Falls, the striking hanging valley of Sinbad Gully, and the snow-capped peak of Mitre Peak, one of New Zealand’s most photographed landmarks.
At the end of your cruise, return to the airfield for your return flight and enjoy an alternative route, passing over the Fiordland National Park and taking in dramatic views of the 1,904-foot (580-meter) high Sutherland Falls.
On arrival back in Queenstown, a driver will be waiting to take you back to your hotel.
On arrival that the Air Milford base you will meet your pilot, for a full pre-flight briefing, before embarking on your 35 minuet scenic flight over the Southern Alps, to Milford Sound.
Fly over the Shotover river and Skippers canyon, this is where gold was discovered in the 1860's. This river became the world's 2nd highest gold bearing river in the world, next to the Klondike in Alaska.
Fly over the small settlement of Glenorchy, located at the head of Lake Wakatipu. Here you enjoy wonderful views of two braided river mouths joining the lake. The two rivers are the Dart and the Rees, both glacial fed, display wonderful colors as they mix with the lake.
Fly over the dense beech forest of the Routeburn and Hollyford. valleys. One of new Zealand 'great walks' traverses the Routeburn valley, its a 3-day hike through the valley and over an alpine pass into Fiordland National Park.
Fly over the main divide of the Southern Alps and into Fiordland National park. One of the first sights you will encounter on arrival in Fiordland National Park is Mt Tutoko, at over 8,900ft / 2,700meters it is Fiordland's highest peak. There are two main glaciers to view here, the Donne and the Age.
Fly the full length of the fiord, right out to the Tasman sea where you will turn and descend, before coming into land. This part of the flight really makes you appreciate the sheer size of the towering cliffs of the fiord, which rise over a mile high in some parts!
When your cruise returns, your pilot will meet you and escort you back to the airport. If time allows, the pilot will take you on a short bush walk through the native beech forest. The flight time back to Queenstown is 35 minuets.
On your cruise, numbers are capped at 150 passengers and on this intimate experience, nature guides offer a personal commentary. The boat explores nooks and crannies along the edge of the fiord, nudging into sheer rock faces to examine flora and fauna in detail. The boat traverses the full length of the fiord, right out to the Tasman Sea, allowing guests to relax and take in the stunning scenery.
After taking off in Milford Sound the flight path first takes in another view of the fiord, before tracing south, down the Arthur valley. At the head of this valley, the Sutherland Falls can be viewed, this is New Zealand's highest waterfall, falling impressively 1,900ft / 580 meters to the valley floor below.
During your cruise, view the Bowen Falls, it is one of Milford Sound's two permanent waterfalls and at 530ft / 162 meter is it's highest.
After rainfall, there are hundreds of waterfalls to be viewed in the fiord!
After once again crossing the main divide of the Southern Alps, taking in stunning views of small alpine lakes and jagged snow capped mountains, the route then traverses the densely forested Greenstone and Caples valleys.
After emerging from the Greenstone valley, fly over Lake Wakatipu. Lake Wakatipu is New Zealand's longest lake at 46 miles / 75 kms, it is also incredibly deep, up to 1,250ft / 380 meters at some points!
Queenstown is nestled on the lake's shores, so some great views of the town are enjoyed before landing.
A wonderful afternoon trip to Milford Sound by light aeroplane and cruise. The pilot was very informative during the flight, pointing out the individual mountains and lakes. Likewise, the ship's crew pointed out all interesting viewpoints. The scenery was spectacular and the whole trip a must do.
The views were great from the front seat and side seats. The middle seats shouldn't have been used as they were a waste. You couldn't take pictures or really see anything except from a very narrow window.
This tour was amazing and definitely the highlight of my time in New Zealand, and especially Queenstown- totally worth the money.
I had originally booked for a Monday morning but it was canceled due to weather and re-booked for Tuesday afternoon, which only required some slight shuffling of my plans. The team was very communicative via email regarding the weather cancellation and rescheduling. However, if you're limited on time, you might want to opt for a driving tour to the Sound. With unpredictable weather, this trip isn't 100% confirmed until 15 minutes before departure, which doesn't really provide enough time to find alternate same-day options last minute, especially since the drive is so much longer. I would have hated to have missed Milford Sound completely and luckily was flexible with my time.
This is worth every penny. The views you get from the flight are indescribable. You get to see varied landscapes and learn about New Zealand history and environment from your talented, courteous pilots. The cruise is unlike anything I've done either, getting up close to waterfalls, fur seals, and brilliant mountains beside the fjord. Do it.
Exciting trip despite the difficult weather conditions. Don't believe in the marketing at all, since there is on average bad weather in Milford sound. Therefore, the plane may not land directly there but the Plan B option is probably a very good alternative. You get the best of two worlds: a short flight with great views and a buss ride, which gives you a real flavor of this stunning landscape. The boat cruise is ok, and in a bad weather condition better bring a couple of sweaters...
I literally teared up on the flight to Milford Sound - you get to see so much amazing beauty from a wonderful perspective. The cruise part was great too - they take moments to stop by a couple key photo-op spots to make sure you have a chance to get the picture you want.