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Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Milford Sound, New Zealand
Book online or call: (888) 651-9785(888) 651-9785

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icon2 hours 15 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 8 more

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
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See the Eighth Wonder of the World on a Milford Sound cruise, led by a naturalist guide. Gliding past granite walls, glacier-fed waterfalls and stunning Mitre Peak aboard a smaller-sized vessel than most Milford Sound cruises, you’ll have great photo ops of this famous South Island attraction situated within the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. Stay on the water for just over 2 hours, and be on the lookout for Fiordland crested penguins and bottlenose dolphins.
  • Enjoy the atmosphere of a smaller-sized vessel with a naturalist guide
  • Learn about the diverse wildlife and geological formations of Milford Sound
  • Taste water siphoned directly from the glacier-fed waterfalls
  • Choose from several departure times to suit your schedule
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Live commentary on board by specialist Nature Guide
FREE Tea and coffee
Picnic lunch (if option selected)
2+ Hour Nature Cruise
Food and drinks, unless specified
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Alcoholic Beverages
Milford Sound carpark at a fee of $20 for 5 hours

Departure Point

Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Visitor Centre, Freshwater Basin, Milford Sound Highway 94, Milford Sound 9679, New Zealand

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Make your way to the Milford Sound Visitor Centre, where you’re welcomed aboard the vessel by your captain. This Milford Sound cruise boat holds a maximum capacity of just 75 people  — less than half the capacity of the average tour — allowing for a more intimate group. 

Sip a hot cup of coffee or tea, and take advantage of spacious outdoor decks or the warm indoor seating with large viewing windows. Throughout your 2.25-hour cruise, you’ll motor past glacier-carved rock walls, such as the 5,550-foot (1,692-meter) Mitre Peak, jutting up from the fiord. Due to the boat’s smaller size, your captain comes close enough to the tumbling waterfalls to offer a taste of the pure waters from the frothy cascades. 

Search for fur seals, bottlenose dolphins and Fiordland crested penguins as you listen to commentary about this postcard-perfect landscape in the World Heritage–listed Fiordland National Park.

At the end of the cruise, your captain returns you to the Visitor Centre.
Stop At:  
Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Visitor Centre
Your journey starts here, check in with friendly staff at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Fiordland National Park is in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s known for the glacier-carved fiords of Doubtful and Milford sounds. A beech forest trail on the sandy Milford shore offers views of towering Mitre Peak.
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Milford Sound
Whatever the weather, our newly refurbished vessels offer unbeatable views through full height viewing windows. Make the most of out 360º decks which are perfect for that perfect photo. Our specialist nature guides share their knowledge with lively and entertaining commentary. This is the perfect cruise for single travelers, couples and families with plenty of room to take in the views - without the crowds.
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Mitre Peak
Mitre Peak is a beautifully dramatic mountain in the South Island of New Zealand, located on the shore of Milford Sound. It is one of the most photographed mountain peaks in the entire country.
Pass By:  
Bowen Falls
The stunning Lady Bowen Falls is Milford’s highest waterfall. It plunges 162m from a hanging valley into the head of Milford Sound and provides electricity for the Milford Sound township by feeding a small hydroelectric scheme, as well as being the water source for the settlement.
Pass By:  
Sinbad Gully
Nestled behind the world famous Mitre Peak, the Sinbad Gully is characterised by extremely steep glacially carved walls punctuated by near vertical granite cliffs. These walls slowed pest invasion into the gully and as a result a number of unique native species remain in the Sinbad. Southern Discoveries is passionate about preserving Milford Sound’s beauty for future generations which is why it’s a key partner in a major conservation project – the Sinbad Sanctuary Project. The aim is to see the valley of New Zealand’s most photographed mountain (Sinbad Gully is at the base of Mitre Peak) become a sanctuary for native species.
Pass By:  
Stirling Falls
Milford’s second-highest waterfall is the Stirling Falls, a staggering 151m in height – three times the height of Niagara Falls, but the 1,300m mountain behind displaces this incredible height. This is the famous waterfall that Hugh Jackman ‘jumped off’ in the movie Wolverine. The sheer drop of the Stirling Falls allows boats to get right underneath – it’s an incredible feeling to have the power of 151m worth of glacial water falling so close to you.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Please advise of your country of origin at the time of booking
  • Stroller accessible
  • Infant seats available
  • Car Parking: On arrival at Milford Sound you can park at the Milford Sound carpark at a fee of $20 for 5 hours. Please allow 10 minutes to walk from the main carpark to the Milford Wharf Visitor Centre. Alternatively, you can park free of charge at Deepwater Basin Carpark and walk over to Freshwater Basin to the Cruise Terminal. This walk is approximately 30 minutes in duration, so additional time will need to be allocated in order to do this comfortably and arrive at the terminal 15 minutes prior to your cruise for check-in.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 50 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Southern Discoveries

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on sanitization during Milford Sound Nature Cruise?
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Milford Sound Nature Cruise.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Milford Sound Nature Cruise?
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Milford Sound Nature Cruise.
What is the maximum group size during Milford Sound Nature Cruise?
This activity will have a maximum of 50 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Milford Sound Nature Cruise.

Traveler Tips

  • "Going there adds a day to the itinerary as the only option is basically a round trip out of Te Anau." See review
  • "Great fun to drink water from a waterfall, see the Tasman Sea, and have the opportunity to don raincoats and stand under a waterfall." See review


106 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 106 reviews
Milford - great in the rain
, Dec 2020
The staff were friendly and helpful. Great narration by the skipper who obviously knew the region well and made everyone feel welcome. The hot food was also very good after being out on deck. It was a great experience and we really enjoyed it, even in the rain.
, Sep 2020
This is a one in a lifetime experience! Driving into Milford was so breathtaking, surrounded by mountains, and waterfalls. On the cruise It was raining which made it even more beautiful. We seen cheeky Kea, weka bird, NZ furseals, and Fiordland penguin. It was definitely an experience I’d have again! The overnight cruise will be the next one we do.
The boat trip.
, Mar 2020
The bus trip to Milford sound was great and we just had an awesome driver. Very informative and a great sense of humour. Well done Benjamin. The boat trip was just awesome and the commentary was great. It was drizzling a bit which made it more interesting. The waterfalls are amazing. Loved it. Will recommend this trip as a most.
Milford Sound
, Mar 2020
The sound is spectacular, but the boat ride was too short considering how long the bus ride was to get there. Everyone, the bus driver and people on the boat were extremely informative and kind!
Worth the Drive
, Feb 2020
Parking is the Big issue. Some lots charge 22.00 NZ$ per hour to park. There is a free parking lot as you enter Milford Sound which has a shuttle bus running every 15 minutes to take you to reception and return as well. Bring BUG spray.
One of natures wonders left intact
, Jan 2020
We selected the coach rather than driving and were pleased with this as the commentry was Informative and entertaining.
Amazing experience
Lisa B
, Dec 2019
It was a nice small boat with great views. We were able to get right up close to the waterfalls and wildlife
Good experience
Summer L
, Nov 2019
Enjoyed the cruise tour. Captain introduction is great! However the chinese introduction by crew was too soft & short, did not really translate the introduction from captain.
Milford sound nature cruise
, Sep 2019
Such a beautiful place to visit and our cruise was amazing and very informative. Enjoyed the bus trip from Te Anau as well, very picturesque with stops along the way for great photo opportunities. Highly recommend.
Beautiful, but a bit overrated. Sound system on ship was awful.
, May 2019
Milford sound is consistently rated as a 'must see" attraction, and rightly so. The fjords are majestic and beautiful, but not quite up to the hype. Going there adds a day to the itinerary as the only option is basically a round trip out of Te Anau. Fortunately, the drive there can be amazing. We took the time to go to Humbolt Falls, which adds about an hour and a half between the drive (dirt road) and hiking. Stopping at Mirror Lakes is also worth the time. The ship, as advertised, took fewer passengers than its rated capacity which made it uncrowded with plenty of room on the decks. Unfortunately, the sound system on the ship was awful. Even standing below the speakers we could pick out only a few words. The trip would have been more interesting if we had been able to actually hear the descriptions of what we were seeing.

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Product code: 3960NATURE

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