If you wish to see some of New Zealand’s most dramatic scenery in style, consider taking a helicopter to Milford Cruise from Queenstown. While flying is a popular option amongst those who want to reach Milford Sound swiftly, some may wish to add a little more privacy to their experience. Choosing a helicopter ride is the simplest way to do this.
Taking a Helicopter to Milford Sound from Queenstown
When taking a helicopter to Milford sound from Queenstown, you have two options. The first is to save money by booking a ride with another group. You still experience all the benefits of descending on the Fiordlands’ scenery, but you share that experience with others. The second is to book a private helicopter. While this is the more expensive option, it is a great way to make sure special occasions are extra-magical.
Because of the diverse climate at Milford Sound, helicopters usually provide the most access. They are capable of landing on various types of terrain, and they can withstand different forms of weather pressure. This means you not only have the chance to explore more of the area while on the ground, you get to see more of its outstanding beauty as you reach it.
The flight that takes you into Milford Sound is spectacular. Thanks to the high volume of rainfall in the area, vast lakes, lush rainforests, tumbling waterfalls, and glistening glaciers are all visible while you’re in the air. Very few places on earth can offer similar levels of geographic diversity, so take the opportunity to grab some panoramic photos while on-board.
We leave behind Lake Wakatipu, which is the third largest lake in New Zealand. It is shaped like a lightning bolt and because of this unusual shape has a large seiche (standing wave) approximately every 25 minutes. According to Maori legend a huge monster, called Matau, sleeps at the bottom of the lake and it is the rise and fall of his heartbeat that causes the water to rise and fall.
After your amazing Milford Sound water cruise your pilot will escort you back to your helicopter. Make sure that you have plenty of room left on your camera though as you will be flying over dramatic ice shelves and glaciers and even landing on the snow. You will then return to Queenstown.
Taking a Cruise When You Reach Milford Sound
After seeing Milford Sound from the air, you have the chance to take it in from a boat trip. Our tour boats are intimate enough for you to look out from either side, which gives you the best chance of seeing everything Milford Sound has to offer. While on-board, you get to observe a combination of scenery and nature. Amongst the creatures there are dolphins, seals, and penguins, and with the area being so intimate compared to the vast ocean it is ideal for getting plenty of pictures of marine life.
Scenery can include wind blowing waterfalls against their natural direction, cliff faces that will leave you feeling as though you have walked onto the set of Game of Thrones, and rainforests that seem beautifully tropical. After completing your cruise, you have the chance to watch Milford Sound disappear into the horizon, as you enjoy a helicopter ride back to Queenstown.