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How to Spend 1 Day in Fiordland & Milford Sound

How to Spend 1 Day in Fiordland & Milford Sound

The peaks of the Southern Alps splinter into a dramatic landscape of cliffs, mountains, and waterways in Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose scenic crown jewel is Milford Sound. Whether you’re based in Queensland or Te Anau, you can explore Milford Sound in just one day. Here’s how to plan.

 

Morning: Getting to Milford Sound

Spectacular mountain scenery begins long before you arrive at Milford Sound; Fiordland National Park is one place where the journey is as spectacular as the destination. Bus trips to Milford Sound follow winding mountain roads from Queenstown or Te Anau, often with stops to walk and take photos along the way. For a glimpse of even more-remote places in Fiordland National Park, scenic flights cut right across the park’s roadless interior, giving aerial views of Fiordland’s most isolated peaks and hidden waterfalls. 

Afternoon: Mitre Peak to the Tasman Sea

Once you step off the bus or plane in Milford Sound, leave land behind altogether to discover the narrow fjord by boat. Classic sightseeing cruises of Milford Sound go from the compact harbor to the mouth of the Tasman Sea, passing seal colonies, rain-fed waterfalls, and the towering profile of Mitre Peak. If you’d rather see the sights from the waterline, guided kayak tours let you nose along the shore; while you won’t cover as much distance, the maneuverable boats are perfect for a quieter and more independent experience.

Night: Out of the Fiordlands

Very limited accommodations in Milford Sound mean most travelers leave by late afternoon, but that doesn’t mean the day is over. If you’re headed back by plane, you’ll see evening light glint off the glaciers and waterfalls. With the sun setting in the west, this is a great time for photography from the plane’s viewing windows. Coach trips are just as scenic and mean a mountain twilight on the road back to Te Anau or Queenstown. 

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7 Tours and Activities | All Fiordland & Milford Sound Tours

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

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

star-5
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$274,13
From
US$274,13
Taking safety measures

Milford Sound Coach Tour with Lunch from Queenstown

Milford Sound Coach Tour with Lunch from Queenstown

star-4.5
Upon reaching Milford Sound, board a luxurious catamaran. Peer through panoramic windows of a luxury coach while you travel through the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park with a guide, before a memorable sightseeing cruise by Mitre Peak and the magnificent cliff-side waterfalls of Milford Sound.
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  • 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$129,47
From
US$129,47
Taking safety measures

Milford Sound Scenic Flight and Nature Cruise

Milford Sound Scenic Flight and Nature Cruise

star-5
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
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$288,59
From
US$288,59
Taking safety measures

Cruise Milford NZ Small Boutique Cruise Experience

SPECIAL OFFER

Cruise Milford NZ Small Boutique Cruise Experience

star-5
Escape the crowds on a Milford Sound cruise aboard a spacious boat with a limited number of passengers. Get up-close views of New Zealand fur seals, dolphins and Fiordland-crested penguins from the luxury lounge in the upper cabin, where you can enjoy complimentary coffee, tea and biscuits as you listen to the skipper’s narration. This boutique vessel provides a superior experience with unforgettable memories of highlights like Mitre Peak.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$57,28
US$71,61
US$14,33 savings
From
US$57,28
US$71,61
US$14,33 savings
Taking safety measures

Milford Sound Cruise with Optional Bus Tour

Milford Sound Cruise with Optional Bus Tour

star-4.5
Enjoy uninterrupted views of glacier-carved cliffs on a Milford Sound cruise aboard the Maiden of Milford, a 3-deck vessel. This sightseeing cruise through one of the South Island’s most stunning natural wonders takes you past vivid waterfalls to frolicking dolphins and New Zealand fur seals. Meet at the pier or opt for a round-trip coach tour of UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park from Queenstown, and stop for photographs and some short nature walks en route to Milford Sound.
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  • 2 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$57,14
From
US$57,14
Taking safety measures

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

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

star-5
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$628,54
From
US$628,54
Taking safety measures

Day Safari Sea Kayaking Trip from Te Anau

Day Safari Sea Kayaking Trip from Te Anau

star-5
Experience the majesty of Milford Sound in the clear morning hours with a daybreak kayaking trip from Te Anau. Relax and enjoy the scenery along spectacular Milford Road as your driver approaches the launch point, and then embark on the popular Sunriser Classic kayak tour that highlights the sound’s best waterfalls, wildlife, and peaks.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$122,24
From
US$122,24


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