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How to Spend 3 Days in Fiordland & Milford Sound

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How to Spend 3 Days in Fiordland & Milford Sound
With three days in Fiordland, you can explore seal colonies, hike into the rain forest, and soar above the mountains and coast at Fiordland National Park; enjoy outdoor adventures in Milford Sound; and still have time to take a day trip to remote Doubtful Sound. Here’s how to make the most of your time.
 
Day 1: Flying Over Fiordland
To get your bearings and take in the full scale of this oversize landscape, take a flight above Fiordland National Park from Te Anau or Queenstown and see tumbling waterfalls, remote glaciers, stony mountain peaks, and hidden lakes. When Milford Sound finally comes into view, touch down to see the magnificent fjord from water level and try to spot fur seals and dolphins. After you take in Milford Sound’s wildlife and scenery, board the plane for a return trip to Te Anau or Queenstown, or add on a Milford Sound cruise or guided hike for an all-day adventure.
 
Day 2: Active Adventure in Milford Sound
Stretch your legs on your second day with a hike or paddling trip to Milford Sound. If you’ve already flown there, consider traveling from Te Anau by bus, as you’ll get a different perspective on the park, stopping to walk and snap photos along the way. At Milford Sound, kayak trips can take you into tiny coves and inlets too small to see from a full-size sightseeing boat, and hiking is the perfect way to explore the thick forests that flank the fjord. Even if you’re not planning a multi-day trek along the Milford Track, you can get a taste on a day-long trip that begins and ends with a boat ride.

Day 3: Travel to Doubtful Sound
On your last day in Fiordland, set your sights on beautiful Doubtful Sound, far to the southwest of Milford Sound. Here the cliffs are higher, the views are bigger, and the inlet is longer, but the remote location means you’ll share it with far fewer visitors. Day trips from Te Anau combine overland coach travel with a boat trip, since visitors must cross Lake Manapouri to access the road to Doubtful Sound. Once you reach the fjord, watch for penguins and bottlenose dolphins. In addition to the basics—camera, waterproof jacket, and some warm layers—throw a bottle of bug repellent in your bag, since the sandflies in Doubtful Sound can be a nuisance.
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Fiordland & Milford Sound Tours & Activities (8)
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Milford Sound Sightseeing Cruise with Scenic Round-Trip Flight from QueenstownDay Cruises

Milford Sound Sightseeing Cruise with Scenic Round-Trip Flight from Queenstown

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Take a window seat for a scenic round-trip flight from Queenstown to Milford Sound, and see the splendor of Fiordland National Park from the air and sea. Board a cruise and pass dramatic waterfalls and Mitre Peak as you travel to the Tasman Sea. Then soar over the Southern Alps on your return.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$389.90 
From  
US$389.90 
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Milford Sound Fly, Cruise and Helicopter Tour from QueenstownDay Trips

Milford Sound Fly, Cruise and Helicopter Tour from Queenstown

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Take your Milford Sound visit to ‘new heights’ thanks to this half-day adventure trip combining a scenic plane flight, boat cruise, and helicopter ride. Experience the majesty of Fjordland National Park during a scenic plane ride before landing in Milford Sound for a leisurely boat cruise. Cap it all off with a helicopter ride back to Queenstown, including an alpine snow landing.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$653.96 
From  
US$653.96 
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Milford Sound Scenic Flight and Nature CruiseDay Cruises

Milford Sound Scenic Flight and Nature Cruise

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See Milford Sound by air and water, flying round-trip from Queenstown for a small-craft boat cruise through the famous fiord. Save time on this half-day tour as you soar over the World Heritage-listed landscape of Fiordland National Park. Landing at Milford Sound, trade your wings for watercraft and a sightseeing journey with experienced naturalists. Learn about the wildlife and geology of the scenic waterways at one of New Zealand’s top natural wonders. Includes round-trip hotel transfers and a boxed lunch.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$338.36 
From  
US$338.36 
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Milford Sound Sightseeing Cruise Including optional LunchDay Cruises

Milford Sound Sightseeing Cruise Including optional Lunch

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Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take a Milford Sound cruise while visiting UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. Departing from Milford Wharf, this boat cruise glides past snow-capped Mitre Peak and waterfalls cascading down steep-walled mountains that rise straight up from the water. See Bowen Falls, Stirling Falls and Seal Point while searching the deep fiord for marine life including bottlenose dolphins and New Zealand fur seals.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$53.57 
From  
US$53.57 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Doubtful Sound Overnight CruiseNature and Wildlife

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

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This Doubtful Sound overnight cruise takes you over Manapouri Lake to this South Island gem in the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. Board the ‘Fiordland Navigator,’ a 3-mast motorized boat designed on a traditional scow, and cruise past soaring granite peaks in New Zealand’s second-largest fiord. Learn from an onboard nature guide about wildlife such as fur seals, penguins, and bottlenose dolphins. Then spend the night in a comfortable cabin, including a 3-course buffet dinner and breakfast. Join the cruise in Manapouri or include coach transfers from Te Anau or Queenstown.
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  • 2 days
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$202.75 
From  
US$202.75 
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  • 2 days
  • Taking safety measures

Full-Day Milford Sound Walk and Cruise Including Scenic Flights from QueenstownDay Trips

Full-Day Milford Sound Walk and Cruise Including Scenic Flights from Queenstown

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Experience the Milford Sound on foot, by air, and by water on this full-day tour from Queenstown. Soak in the sights of New Zealand as you fly to Milford Sound to meet your guide. Ride the ferry to the Milford Sound track, then hike for two hours to reach the Giant Gate Waterfall. Afterwards, relax on board a scenic Milford Sound boat cruise before returning to Queenstown by air. Includes lunch, transportation, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$542.47 
From  
US$542.47 
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Milford Sound Experience Full Day from Te AnauDay Cruises

Milford Sound Experience Full Day from Te Anau

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Take a cruise on Milford Sound, arguably the most scenic destination on New Zealand’s South Island, during this day trip from Te Anau. En route, you’ll tour the features of Fiordland National Park, home to untouched alpine forest, pristine waterways, glaciers and soaring peaks. Experience sightseeing stops and bush walks before a boat excursion, including a buffet lunch and narration by a well-versed guide. Numbers are limited to ensure a personalized experience.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$142.40 
From  
US$142.40 
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Milford Sound Tour from Te Anau to QueenstownDay Cruises

Milford Sound Tour from Te Anau to Queenstown

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Be mesmerized by Milford Sound on a full-day trip from Te Anau to Queenstown. Travel through World Heritage–listed Fiordland National Park and go sightseeing on a Milford Sound cruise past majestic Mitre Peak. Enjoy a buffet lunch or opt for a Japanese-style bento box (if selected). Includes hotel pickup and drop-off with commentary on board the coach and cruise boat.
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  • 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$150.53 
From  
US$150.53 
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  • 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures


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