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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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  • ACTIVE ADVENTURES

    ACTIVE ADVENTURES

    Mobile-friendly - We’re Kiwis, and for 25 years we’ve been adventuring in the stunning New Zealand outdoors with guests from Tauranga to Texas. If you have 2 days or 2 weeks, are after bucket-list destinations or venturing into the back country, we’ll find your perfect adventure. And with our Active Adventure Assurance, date changes and trip switches are easy as.

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    +64 3 450 0414 or Freephone: 1800 661 9073 (USA or Canada); 0808 234 7780 (UK); 1800 661 907 (Australia)
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    Nationwide - based in Queenstown, New Zealand
  • 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. Family owned and operated, with a 100% safety record. 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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    3 Tex Smith Lane, Frankton, Queenstown, New Zealand
  • ALPINE LUXURY TOURS - Queenstown

    ALPINE LUXURY TOURS - Queenstown

    Mobile-friendly - Alpine Luxury Tours specialises in privately guided day tours for sightseeing, wine experiences, ski field transfers, hiking and heli-adventures throughout Queenstown, Fiordland and Mount Cook. We create genuine and unique adventures that give unrivalled access to some of New Zealand's most exclusive destinations. Travel in style and comfort in our fleet of luxurious European vehicles with your personal local guide.

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    +64 27 257 4632
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    Queenstown, New Zealand
  • ALTITUDE TOURS - Queenstown

    ALTITUDE TOURS - Queenstown

    Mobile-friendly - Daily guided wine & craft beer tours from Queenstown to the best Central Otago wineries in our top-of-the-range fleet of luxury Mercedes vehicles. Altitude is not just about wine, we also run half-day scenic tours to Glenorchy from Queenstown. Private charters for families and small groups wanting a more personalised experience. Popular destinations include Te Anau & Milford Sound.

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    +64 3 441 4788
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    106 Gorge Road, Queenstown, New Zealand
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  • ASPIRING HELICOPTERS - Wanaka

    ASPIRING HELICOPTERS - Wanaka

    Mobile-friendly - 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
  • AWARUA GUIDES - South West New Zealand

    AWARUA GUIDES - South West New Zealand

    A wilderness adventure of a lifetime. Enjoy an exceptional helicopter flight, then surf, hike, SUP, kayak, dive & fish for fantastic foods. Stay amongst incredible coastal wilderness, amazing chef & fun local guides to ensure the best possible stay. Our tailored adventures depart from Queenstown, with aditional options from Milford Sound and Haast in South Westland.

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    +64 22 367 7873
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    Queenstown and Haast, South Island, New Zealand
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  • AWESOME TOURS - Dunedin

    AWESOME TOURS - Dunedin

    Mobile-friendly - Experience the awesome sights and beauty of Southern NZ. Showcasing the Heritage and Wildlife capital of NZ - Dunedin. Choose between small-group package tours, daily tours, shore excursion tours or design your own tour. Experienced and knowledgeable driver/guides look after all your needs. Recipient of Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence last 7 years, member of Trip Advisors Hall of Fame.

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    +64 27 431 0989
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    50 The Octagon, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • CHEEKY KEA TOURS - South Island

    CHEEKY KEA TOURS - South Island

    We have an adventure package to suit EVERYONE! Touring isn't just a job for us, it's a lifestyle! We are local, we are fun and we love adventure, so who better to guide you on your epic South Island adventure tour than us!?

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    +64 22 608 8318
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    Christchurch, New Zealand
  • CHEEKY KIWI TRAVEL - Auckland, Queenstown and Christchurch

    CHEEKY KIWI TRAVEL - Auckland, Queenstown and Christchurch

    Mobile-friendly - Experience the best New Zealand has to offer on a small group day tour with Cheeky Kiwi Travel. We offer day trips & multi tours to the most popular destinations around Auckland, Christchurch & Queenstown. Our fully guided small group tours & day trips are run in modern, comfortable minibuses & our guides bring the journey to life.

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    +64 9 390 7380
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    +64 22 076 5058
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    Auckland, Queenstown and Christchurch, New Zealand
  • CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS - South Island

    CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS - South Island

    Take your photography to the next level with expert instructors and Grand Master Photographers: Mike Langford and Jackie Ranken. They offer personalized photographic tuition sessions and photo tour / workshops in the lower South Island of New Zealand. Queenstown, Mount Cook, Fiordland, Otago, South Westland, Stewart Island.

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    +64 27 672 2733
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    +64 27 672 2733
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    3 Dusky Place, Twizel 7901, New Zealand
  • CRUISE & KAYAK MILFORD SOUND - Milford Sound

    CRUISE & KAYAK MILFORD SOUND - Milford Sound

    Mobile-friendly - 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, New Zealand
  • Discover Wanaka - Wanaka & South Island

    Discover Wanaka - Wanaka & South Island

    Mobile-friendly - Through Southern Guides, we offer a number of biking, ski guiding and ski transport options. For something a little more relaxing, how about a Private Guided Tour?

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    +64 21 919 468
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    0800 946 387 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    103 Ardmore Street, Wanaka, 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, New Zealand
  • FIORDLAND OUTDOORS CO. - Te Anau, Fiordland

    FIORDLAND OUTDOORS CO. - Te Anau, Fiordland

    Mobile-friendly - We transport people to nature. From privately guided journeys to no-fuss track transfers, we make it easy to connect with Fiordland. For families, private groups or hikers book with us for heli hiking, fly fishing, jet boat fishing as well as fast and friendly water taxi transfers to Milford Track, Kepler Track, George Sound Track and Lake2Lake Cycle Trail.

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    +64 21 197 4555
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    0800 3474 538 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Cnr Oraka St & Milford Highway, Te Anau, Fiordland National Park
  • 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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  • FIRST LIGHT TRAVEL - New Zealand Wide

    FIRST LIGHT TRAVEL - New Zealand Wide

    Mobile-friendly - An extraordinary selection of unique small group tours. Premier experiences using the most qualified people, personalities, locations and knowledge. Our trips range from guided adventure and dive tours through to educational tours with marine mammals. We are constantly striving to build greater ecological awareness of the highly sensitive and vulnerable nature of the environment.

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    +64 9 281 4481
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    Level 2, 69-71 Beach Road, Auckland, New Zealand
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  • GRAND PACIFIC TOURS - New Zealand

    GRAND PACIFIC TOURS - New Zealand

    Mobile-friendly - Grand Pacific Tours are the New Zealand coach holiday specialists offering a range of all inclusive, value for money holidays. We offer 5 categories of coach tour vacation packages namely; Affordable Coach Tours, Signature Coach Tours, Ultimate Small Group Tours, Cruise & Coach Tours and Special Interest Tours.

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    0800 444 673 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    P.O. Box 25473, St Heliers, Auckland, New Zealand
  • HELI GLENORCHY - Queenstown & Glenorchy

    HELI GLENORCHY - Queenstown & Glenorchy

    Mobile-friendly - Spectacular scenic helicopter flights to Milford Sound, Fiordland, and the Queenstown region. Based in Glenorchy, NZ - the real "Middle Earth", a 45 minute lakeside drive from Queenstown. For an even more exclusive skiing experience, why not try a day of heli-skiing in untouched alpine terrain. Heli Glenorchy offers boutique heli-skiing in the spectacular mountains surrounding Queenstown, Wanaka and Glenorchy.

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    +64 3 442 9971
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    0800 435 449 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    35 Mull St, Glenorchy, New Zealand
  • HELIWORKS QUEENSTOWN - Queenstown

    HELIWORKS QUEENSTOWN - Queenstown

    Heliworks Queenstown is one of Queenstown’s leading helicopter companies. Based in the South Island, New Zealand, Heliworks Queenstown offers incredible scenic helicopter flights and experiences all over the Queenstown-Lakes area. With our highly experienced crew and modern fleet of helicopters, explore Queenstown, Fiordland, Milford Sound, the West Coast or the world-famous Earnslaw Burn from above with us.

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    +64 3 441 4011
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    0800 464 354 (Free call - only within NZ)
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    Queenstown International Airport, Tex Smith Lane, Queenstown, New Zealand
  • MILFORD SOUND CRUISES - Milford Sound

    MILFORD SOUND CRUISES - Milford Sound

    Mobile-friendly - 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, 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 - There has never been a better time to experience Milford Sound overnight. Luxurious chalets overlooking mountains and river; campervan sites underneath the rainforest; and our own Pio Pio restaurant, Milford Sound Lodge is an experience not to be missed. Explore the wonders of our World-Heritage-listed backyard by day and relax at the spectacular riverside lodge by night.

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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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  • MITRE PEAK CRUISES - Milford Sound

    MITRE PEAK CRUISES - Milford Sound

    Mobile-friendly - 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
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Boutique vineyard-stay near the town of Alexandra.