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Milford Sound

Welcome to Milford Sound – a fiord of unparalleled natural beauty and consistently ranked New Zealand’s 1# attraction. Milford Sound is a fiord located deep in the World Heritage listed and utterly stunning Fiordland National Park. Located in the South Island’s wild south-west, Milford Sound lies roughly 290km from Queenstown (about a three and a half hour drive) and 760km from Christchurch (nearly a nine hour drive). Milford Sound is certainly one of New Zealand’s finest crowning jewels and a dazzling experience waiting for you that you will never forget. more

Thousands of visitors visit Milford Sound every day making the fiord one of New Zealand's most visited and most famous tourist attractions. Almost every Milford Sound visitor takes a boat tour to view the amazing scenery and wildlife (fur seals, the endemic Fiordland Penguin, the worlds southernmost population of bottlenose dolphins, many native birds and even the occasional whale – mostly humpback and southern right whales). The fiord is surrounded by lush rainforest and sheer rock faces – including the iconic Mitre Peak (featuring on many Milford Sound postcards), The Elephant (said to resemble the head of an elephant) and The Lion (said to resemble a crouching lion). Milford Sound has two spectacular permanent waterfalls, the Lady Bowen (a 10 minute walk from Milford village) and Stirling Falls. After heavy rain (Milford Sound is the wettest inhabited place in New Zealand) hundreds of temporary waterfalls are created.

Being the wettest inhabited place in New Zealand, Milford Sound receives an incredibly high level of rainfall (with an astonishing 6.5 metres (21ft) falling annually). Come on a dry sunny day and see the fiord lit up before you with unimpeded views of the towering, steep mountain ranges arising abruptly out of the waters. Come on a rainy day and see this moody fiord come alive with hundreds of cascading waterfalls gushing headlong into the fiord all around you. Either way you with be greeted with such dramatic sights you will have to consult a dictionary for new superlatives to describe it.

Choose from a range of transport options to explore this magnificent fiord (the only New Zealand fiord easily accessed by road) – these primarily include; by bus (the most popular method is buses from either Te Anua or Queenstown), by airplane (there are small scenic flights into the into the small airport from Queenstown), by car or even by foot if you hike the world famous Milford Track. If you drive or bus there don’t nap through the drive – the road to Milford Sound is one of the most beautiful alpine drives in the world beset by endless eye-popping views.

Milford Sound owes its existence to the ice ages. During the ice ages, mighty glaciers wound, carved and grinded their way from the mountains chiselling away at the mountain slopes and creating great U-shaped valleys. Over time the planet warmed and the glaciers melted, the sea then flooded in to create what is known as a “fiord” (a flooded glacial valley). The effect of glacial carvings are evident today in the steepness of mountainsides plummeting vertically into the sea, leaving Milford Sound virtually enclosed with a halo of vertical cliff faces.

As the water is very well sheltered in the fiords, the fresh water pouring into the fiord from the towering mountains doesn’t mix with the salt water – instead creating a layer of fresh water sitting on the salt water. This layer of fresh water on salt water gives rise to a distinctive eco system and changes the colour of the sound as it is stained with tannins from the decaying leaves to become a strong tea colour.

The discovery of the 1,140 metre high Mackinnon Pass in 1888 helped open up Milford Sound’s natural beauty to visitors and today this is the passage of the magnificent and world famous Milford Track. The Milford Track is famously dubbed "the finest walk in the world" one of New Zealand’s “great walks”. The exit from the Homer Tunnel is a truly awesome sight to behold – a commanding glacier-cut U-shaped valley awaits at the end of the tunnel still partway up the mountain.

Unfortunately there is only limited accommodation at Milford Sound itself – so if you are looking to stay here you will need to book in advance. Most visitors stay in Te Anau (a one a half hour drive) or Queenstown (a three and a half hour drive) – both of these resort towns are nestled on large pristine lakes surrounded by towering mountains with awe-inspiring views.

Take a moment to send a Fiordland related E-Postcard to your friends.

 

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  • AIR MILFORD - Queenstown

    AIR MILFORD - Queenstown

    Mobile-friendly - Air Milford proudly operates the only brand new Cessna Caravan aircraft. This aircraft offers leather seating, quiet air conditioned comfort and great viewing for all passengers. It is one of the safest aircraft flying today. Eco-tours, aircraft charters, fishing, hunting and personalised tours. Flights to Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, the Southern Alps and Glaciers.

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    +64 3 442 2351
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    0800 462 252 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    1 Tex Smith Lane, Frankton, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand
  • AIR RANGITATA - Mid Canterbury

    AIR RANGITATA - Mid Canterbury

    Scenic flights over the South Island’s spectacular Southern Alps. Our high wing Cessna seats five and provides fantastic viewing and photo opportunities. Enjoy unimpeded views as you fly through a landscape of unbelievable grandeur and beauty. Scenic routes include Mt Cook & West Coast Glaciers and the Rangitata Headwaters. Airport transfers from Christchurch to Queenstown or anywhere in between.

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    +64 3 696 3848
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    +64 27 473 2581
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    372 Rangitata Terrace Road, Ashburton 7775, New Zealand
  • ALPINE HELICOPTERS - Wanaka & Queenstown

    ALPINE HELICOPTERS - Wanaka & Queenstown

    Mobile-friendly - Enjoy a gourmet mountaintop heli picnic, an exhilarating guided mountain bike journey through Wanaka’s most exciting terrain, or soak up the unforgettable scenery during a flight to Mt Aspiring National Park’s glaciers. Alpine Helicopters offer guests a wide range of scenic heli adventures, from half day excursions to Fiordland and the West Coast, to short flights around the region.

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    +64 3 443 4000
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    +64 27 664 7945
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    10 Lloyd Dunn Avenue, SH 6, Wanaka Airport, New Zealand
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  • ASPIRING HELICOPTERS - Wanaka

    ASPIRING HELICOPTERS - Wanaka

    Glacier landings, scenic flights, personalised experiences: Let us take you exploring over Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks giving you the ultimate birds-eye view and unique alpine landings only possible by helicopter. Set foot on an ancient glacier, enjoy the diverse landscape on a Milford Sound flight or simply take in the majestic mountains surrounding Wanaka. Charter flights available.

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    +64 3 443 7152
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    2211 Mt Aspiring Road, Wanaka, New Zealand
  • CRUISE & KAYAK MILFORD SOUND - Milford Sound

    CRUISE & KAYAK MILFORD SOUND - Milford Sound

    Kayaking in Milford Sound is an extraordinary experience where the majesty of the landscape is all that more dramatic from sea level. Our Cruise & Kayak Milford Sound experience includes a Milford Sound cruise, entry to the Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory and one hour of kayaking around serene Harrison Cove.

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    +64 3 441 1137
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    0800 264 536 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    St Omer Wharf, 110 Beach Street, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand
  • FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK - Fiordland (South Island)

    FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK - Fiordland (South Island)

    Fiordland National Park was established in 1952 and contains stunning scenery including fiords, waterfalls and snow capped mountain peaks. Mitre Peak is one of the most photographed features in the park. Old rainforests and lakes are breathtaking and several famous tracks like the Milford, Kelper and Routeburn tracks dissect the park. Don't miss it.

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  • FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK LODGE - Fiordland

    FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK LODGE - Fiordland

    Mobile-friendly - Tranquil location right beside the lake at Te Anau Downs, just 30km north of Te Anau and 91kms from Milford Sound. We are only 600m from the boat departure point for the famous Milford Track. A peaceful area in Fiordland National Park with spectacular views. Three types of accommodation: motel units, lodge or backpacker rooms - linen supplied and ensuites.

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    +64 3 249 7811
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    0800 500 805 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    2681 Milford Sound Highway, Fiordland National Park 9679, New Zealand
  • Fiordland Postcard

    Fiordland Postcard

    E-Postcards are fun to send and receive, and an ideal way to message a friend or family member. This E-Postcard features the beautiful Milford Sound in the Fiordland region of New Zealand.

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  • FISH JET - Waiau River, Te Anau

    FISH JET - Waiau River, Te Anau

    Mobile-friendly - Combine jet boating and fishing in the beautiful Fiordland wilderness - it's the ultimate NZ Must Do. Perfect for friends, couples, families; no previous fishing experience is required and it's so much fun! Drift down the mighty Waiau River fishing for brown and rainbow trout, then speed back up in our purpose-built jet boat. Half or full day bookings available.

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    +64 21 1974 555
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    0800 FISH JET (0800 347 4538) (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Waiau River, Te Anau, New Zealand
  • GO ORANGE - Milford & Doubtful Sounds

    GO ORANGE - Milford & Doubtful Sounds

    Mobile-friendly - Enjoy the longest, least crowded, best valued 2-hour cruise on the Milford Sound or a full-day experience on the more isolated Doubtful Sound. Take in the awesome majesty of mountains, rainforest, unique birds and sea creatures. Or glide right in amongst it in one of our kayaks alongside an experienced guide on your choice of one of 4 kayaking adventures.

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    +64 3 249 8585
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    0800 246 672
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    21 Town Centre, Te Anau 9600, New Zealand
  • GRAY LINE PREMIUM NEW ZEALAND COACH TOURS - Auckland

    GRAY LINE PREMIUM NEW ZEALAND COACH TOURS - Auckland

    Gray Line offer premium coach tours to New Zealand's best tourist destinations including Bay of Islands, Auckland, Rotorua, Waitomo, Queenstown and Milford Sound. But that's not all. Everything we do - from our attraction packed tour itineraries, through to our luxury coaches, fantastic drivers and hosts - has been combined to ensure you really experience New Zealand.

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    +64 9 307 7880
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    0800 698 687 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    781 Great South Road, Penrose, Auckland 1061, New Zealand
  • GREAT WALKS - New Zealand

    GREAT WALKS - New Zealand

    Mobile-friendly - Experience the adventure of a lifetime on New Zealand's premier walking tracks, the Great Walks! Leading you through awe-inspiring landscapes - from strolling along sandy shores to climbing above the clouds - there's something for everyone. Managed by the Department of Conservation, there are nine unforgettable journeys to choose from! Visit our website for a taste of what's on offer.

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    0800 NZGREATWALKS (0800 694 732) (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Lake Waikaremoana Track, Tongariro Northern Circuit, Whanganui Journey, Abel Tasman Coast Track, Heaphy Track, Kepler Track, Milford Track, Routeburn Track and Rakiura Track
  • JUCY CRUISE MILFORD SOUND - Milford Sound

    JUCY CRUISE MILFORD SOUND - Milford Sound

    Mobile-friendly - Join us aboard the Milford Adventurer for your JUCY Cruise Milford Sound boat cruise, where we offer the ideal personal, friendly, small boat experience. Marvel at one of the most stunning places on earth. See seals, dolphins and occasionally the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin and get close enough to feel the spray from the waterfalls.

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    +64 3 442 4196
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    0800 500 121 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Milford Sound Visitors Centre & Wharf, Milford Sound and 26b Shotover Street, Queenstown, New Zealand
  • JUST NEW ZEALAND WALKS - New Zealand Wide

    JUST NEW ZEALAND WALKS - New Zealand Wide

    Mobile-friendly - We create independent walking holidays which include the Great Walks of New Zealand. No longer will you have to visit 3 or 4 different websites. We will plan and organize the walks for you, by pre-booking Department of Conservation huts, pre and post walk accommodation, transfers and our experienced staff will advise the best time to travel and more.

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    +64 3 450 1316
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    0508 687 836 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    57 Shotover Street, Queenstown 9348, New Zealand
  • MILFORD HELICOPTERS - Fiordland

    MILFORD HELICOPTERS - Fiordland

    We were formed in 1988 and are the only aviation firm based at Milford Sound. Milford Helicopters undertakes all types of work including lifting, supply work, passenger transport for fishing and hunting parties, film and photography work. We are experienced pilots operating in a marvellous environment.

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    +64 3 249 8384
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    RD 2, Te Anau, Milford, New Zealand
  • MILFORD SOUND BBQ BUS - Queenstown

    MILFORD SOUND BBQ BUS - Queenstown

    Mobile-friendly - Great value, small group, relaxed, personal tour to Milford Sound, one of the most scenic destinations in New Zealand. Delicious 'kiwi-style' bbq lunch. Access to many areas for sightseeing and photo stops that bigger buses just can’t get to. Travel from Queenstown or Te Anau and enjoy our unique interactive tour. Special Combo Deal for Milford Sound and Queenstown Tour.

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    +64 3 442 1045
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    0800 421 045 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    PO Box 1194, Queenstown, New Zealand
  • MILFORD SOUND CRUISES - Milford Sound

    MILFORD SOUND CRUISES - Milford Sound

    Discover spectacular Milford Sound on a sightseeing day cruise with Southern Discoveries. With cruises to suit every interest and timeframe, the Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory and kayaking tours, Southern Discoveries can deliver the entire Milford Sound experience.

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    +64 3 441 1137
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    0800 264 536 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    St Omer Wharf, 110 Beach Street, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand
  • MILFORD SOUND DISCOVERY TOUR - Queenstown

    MILFORD SOUND DISCOVERY TOUR - Queenstown

    Mobile-friendly - Personalised small group or Private Discovery Tour to the Fiordland wilderness. Experience glaciers, rainforests, waterfalls and wildlife. Highlights and stops include the Mirror Lakes boardwalk, Knobs Flat, The Divide, Hollyford Valley lookout, The Chasm & the Homer Tunnel. At Milford Sound we take a 1.45 hour Scenic Cruise on the fiord with a less crowded small boat personal tour.

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    +64 3 442 2299
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    +64 27 472 7972
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    PO Box 2046, Queenstown, New Zealand
  • MILFORD SOUND LODGE - Milford Sound

    MILFORD SOUND LODGE - Milford Sound

    Mobile-friendly - Experience Milford Sound in a more authentic with an overnight stay. It's just not possible to properly enjoy this incredible place in a day trip. Treat yourself in our luxury chalets, booking early to avoid disappointment. Or stay in our affordable shared and private accommodation. Our Rainforest Campervan Park offers powered sites as well as self-catering facilities. Licensed on-site café.

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    +64 3 249 8071
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    State Highway 94, Milford Sound, New Zealand
  • MILFORD SOUND LOOKOUT TRACK - Milford Sound

    MILFORD SOUND LOOKOUT TRACK - Milford Sound

    Enjoy impressive views of stunning Milford Sound from a lookout on this short, easy walking track. Take sandfly repellent with you!

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  • MILFORD SOUND SELECT - Queenstown

    MILFORD SOUND SELECT - Queenstown

    Take an unforgettable trip in our glass roofed coach from Queenstown to Milford Sound with Milford Sound Select. Discover New Zealand's most dramatic landscapes and the beautiful World Heritage Fiordland National Park. If Safety and Comfort are your priorities, this is the tour for you! Includes a boat cruise on Milford Sound, we also have a scenic helicopter trip option.

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    +64 3 441 4754
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    0800 477 479 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    PO Box 2183, Queenstown, New Zealand
  • MITRE PEAK CRUISES - Milford Sound

    MITRE PEAK CRUISES - Milford Sound

    Experience Milford Sound the way it should be experienced. Up close and personal. Mitre Peak Cruises leads the way in small, scenic cruises of spectacular Milford Sound. We also provide the option of a luxurious, relaxing coach excursion from Queenstown to Milford Sound and return with interesting and informative commentary and plenty of photo stops along the way.

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    +64 3 249 8110
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    0800 744 633 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    PO Box 8, Milford Sound, New Zealand
  • REAL JOURNEYS - Fiordland, Queenstown and Te Anau

    REAL JOURNEYS - Fiordland, Queenstown and Te Anau

    Mobile-friendly - Discover Fiordland, Queenstown and Te Anau with Real Journeys, a local company that has guided excursions into these unique areas for 60 years. Choose day, overnight or coach/cruise options to Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Visit the Te Anau Glowworms Caves, try the Milford Track Guided Day Walk, Queenstown’s iconic TSS Earnslaw Steamship and Walter Peak High Country Farm.

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    +64 3 442 7500
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    0800 656 501 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Real Journeys Visitor Centre, Steamer Wharf, Queenstown, New Zealand
  • REAL JOURNEYS - Milford Sound

    REAL JOURNEYS - Milford Sound

    Mobile-friendly - Locally owned company offering outstanding range of tours in Milford Sound. Both day and overnight cruises that explore this magnificent fiord. Luxury coach transfers from Queenstown and Te Anau and flight connections to/from Milford Sound/Queenstown.

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    +64 3 249 6000
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    0800 656 501 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Lakefront Drive, PO Box 1, Te Anau, New Zealand
  • SCENIC PACIFIC TOURS - Milford Sound, Fiordland

    SCENIC PACIFIC TOURS - Milford Sound, Fiordland

    Mobile-friendly - Tour NZ's spectacular Fiordland National Park and cruise Milford Sound, one of the world's greatest natural wonders. Tours depart daily from Queenstown and Christchurch. Our Milford Sound tours are truly exciting, refreshing and memorable for your trip of a lifetime. Visit the world famous Milford Sound in the Fiordland World Heritage Park and enjoy a spectacular cruise of Milford Sound.

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    +64 3 359 3999
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    0800 500 388 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Milford Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand
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