The Milford Sound Tour is a must see if you are visiting New Zealand. It is in Fiordland Nation Park which is about 4-5 hours away if you are driving direct by car. If you don’t feel comfortable driving, then there are many tours that you can take. Everyone that we talked to in New Zealand couldn’t emphasize enough what a must-see the Milford Sound was. We chose the Real Journey tours because they featured glass top luxury coaches with the convenience of wi-fi. You might even get lucky and see a herd of sheep crossing the road.
Milford Sound is in the center of a rain forest, so most days are rainy, but that’s okay because it creates beautiful temporary waterfalls that you wouldn’t get to see on a sunny day. We stopped at many waterfalls along the way, a small park with bird sightings, fields and a lake. It’s so scenic and beautiful out there, that we passed a blockbuster movie set! The rumor was that the movie being filmed was Alien, but no one knows for sure.
Fun fact– Did you know that the Milford Sound is really a fiord instead of a sound? A sound is a ‘V’ shape, whereas a fiord is in the shape of a ‘U’. I love learning something new on all my tours.
Tip- **Bring motion sickness medicine, just in case. There are lots of windy roads up the mountains, and choppy water during the ‘ocean’ part of the cruise tour**
- This is an entire day tour that will pick you up at around 7am, and drop off is around 7pm.
- The first leg took 2 hours to Te Anu, NZ with a rest stop to pick up others and use the restrooms/toilets ($2 NZD).
- Make sure to grab lunch in Te Anu if you didn’t order food on the boat. There’s a popular meat pie shop.
- Then, it’s a 3 hour drive into the mountains with plenty of stops to get off the bus and take photos along the way.
- The final stop is a cruise ride of the Milford Sound that can last anywhere b/w 1.5 hours to 3 hours depending on which boat tour you pick.
- Note that if you take the shorter cruise, you will still have to wait for the others to get back. Everyone on the bus takes the same trip back regardless of length of cruise.
- The trip back is 4 hours total with only one stop in Te Anu for drop off and restroom break. There’s an option to fly back, but this is pricey and dependent on weather.
If you love nature and outdoors, this is a must-see trip for you.