How to Get to Milford Sound from Queenstown
The dramatic focal point of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is a popular natural wonder on New Zealand’s South Island. Whether you want to cruise the fjord, soar overhead in a helicopter, or hike through the mountains, these are your options for Milton Sound tours from Queenstown.
Those short on time can take in the highlights on a half-day tour, with options including a combination flight and cruise with round-trip flights from Queenstown landing in the heart of Fiordland National Park. After taking in views from above, set out to cruise Milton Sound, enjoying photo stops at Mitre Peak, Bowen Falls, and Mount Pembroke. Maximize your time by opting for a tour with hotel pickup and drop-off, and pre-book activities in advance.
Full-day tours mean you can spend more time exploring and soak up the scenery on the spectacular drive from Queenstown. Enjoy panoramic views and ample photo opportunities aboard a glass-roofed coach or comfortable minivan as you drive the Milford Road, passing the Remarkables mountain range, Lake Wakatipu, Lake Te Anau, and the Homer Tunnel. Most full-day tours include a range of activities, such as a boat cruise or scenic plane flight.
The sweeping glaciers, rugged mountains, and thundering waterfalls of Milford Sound are dazzling from the air, and helicopter tours offer the ultimate aerial view. Opt for a round-trip private or small-group flight from Queenstown; swoop over the Southern Alps, Lake Wakatipu, and Tasman Sea; and touch down on Tukuko Glacier, Otago's Glacier Basin, or one of the west coast beaches.
Things to Know
Milford Sound is located on the southwest coast of New Zealand’s South Island, about 178 miles (287 kilometers) northwest of Queenstown.
The quickest way to get to Milford Sound is by plane, while by road, it’s at least a 4-hour journey each way.
Day tours from Queenstown typically last between 10 and 13 hours.
Be sure to bring your camera, wear comfortable walking shoes, and dress according to the weather—it can get chilly out at sea.
Full-day tours differ in their inclusions, but many include hotel pickup, lunch, and sometimes extra activities.