After you’re picked up at your hotel, settle in aboard a comfortable coach with panoramic windows and begin your Milford Sound tour from Queenstown. This day trip departs the shore of Lake Wakatipu, situated against the jagged backdrop of the Remarkables mountain range, and makes a stop in Te Anau for morning tea (own expense).
On arrival at the World Heritage–listed Fiordland National Park, step off the coach at the Mirror Lakes. Snap photos of this natural roadside attraction before passing through the Hollyford Valley. Your coach then enters the Homer Tunnel, emerging above the Cleddau Valley, where you’ll follow a footbridge over the Cleddau River to the Chasm to view the river’s turbulent whirlpools.
Upon reaching Milford Sound, board the luxurious catamaran. Throughout the 1.5-hour sightseeing cruise, listen to expert commentary about the pristine environment and natural landmarks such as Mitre Peak. Rising dramatically to a height of 5,551 feet (1,692 meters) above sea level, it’s one of many towering cliffs carved by a massive glacier in the last ice age.
Pass cascading waterfalls, and search for birdlife and marine mammals including New Zealand fur seals in addition to penguins and pods of dolphins. Gourmet Buffet lunch is included on your cruise, before you’re returned by coach to your Queenstown hotel.