How to get to Milford Sound

Milford Road Conditions

Road Status

Road Status provided by Transit New Zealand
You can also ring NZTA’s freephone number 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 444 449) available 24/7

Getting to Milford Sound

By Car

Milford Sound By Road

The road to Milford Sound is highly scenic and has many beautiful stops and short walks. If you plan on driving yourself you may like to download our self-drive info sheet and check out some of the amazing spot along the way. As any local will tell you the drive to Milford is as important as the sound itself.

Milford Sound Public Car park
GPS Instructions.

147-157 Milford Sound Highway, Southland, New Zealand, 9679
-44.672314, 167.927994

Car parking at Milford can be in short supply so please allow extra time to find a park in the summer months.

Take an easy 5 minute scenic walk to the terminal building via the raised walkway and check in at 20 minutes before the departure time at the Cruise Milford Desk on your left as you enter through the main entrance.

By Coach from Te Anau

Join the Cruise Milford small coach tour for an amazing journey to Milford Sound. Our extended day trip to Milford Sound from Te Anau ensures that you see all the best bits that Fiordland has on offer. We include extra walks along the way and also your nature cruise on world-famous Milford Sound.

Departing Te Anau at 7.45am the tour takes you along Lake Te Anau to the Fiordland National Park. Our knowledgeable local guides will astound you with jewels of information about the National Park and the people who lived there.
Along the Milford Road we will take you to all the best photo stops and a few special places that only locals know about! With at least 15 stops along the journey you will need plenty of space on your camera. The engineering feat of the Homer Tunnel will amaze as you travel underneath the mountain. The operation of blasting through the rock to make the tunnel is truly staggering.

On arrival at Milford Sound your guide will provide you with our delicious picnic lunches and take you to the wharf ready to board the boutique Cruise Milford vessel. The skipper and crew will give you a warm welcome and will be your personal guide throughout the cruise as they mingle amongst the guests.

Your local driver-guide will meet you after the cruise to continue your journey in the Fiordland National Park. The only tour to visit the Hollyford Valley we will take you to a spectacular cascading waterfall followed by our famous picnic in the park for morning or afternoon tea. If the amazing Fiordland rain makes an appearance, we will take you to the historical Gunns Camp where the log fire will be offering a warm welcome. This is the only remaining camp that was used for the building of the road to Milford Sound. There will be time to explore the museum, camp shop and historical cabins.

On arrival back in Te Anau we will drop you back at your accommodation.

Our coaches are small and comfortable with quality leg room, and numbers are limited to 16. We will guarantee you the best possible day.

Coach and Cruise from Queenstown (Small Boutique Tour)

Join Cheeky Kiwi Travel & Cruise Milford on this fully guided, small group day tour from Queenstown to the world-renowned Milford Sound; the crowning jewel of Fiordland.

Start your day with Cheeky Kiwi Travel in a small group comfortable mini bus for your fully guided tour into Fiordland National Park. Highlights of the drive include Lake Wakatipu, Devil’s Staircase, the truly majestic Darran Mountains, Mirror Lake, The Chasm and Homer Tunnel, with multiple stops along the way for photo opportunities and Kea bird spotting (the world’s only alpine parrot).

We then travel through the mind-blowing Homer Tunnel, emerging as the valley descends sharply down to Milford Sound, with its hundreds of waterfalls cascading into crystal clear waters.

At Milford Sound you board the No.1 rated cruise boat in Milford Sound, Cruise Milford for an intimate cruise on our smaller boat that gets right up close with nature and wildlife.

On board your cruise you will have up-close views of thousands of waterfalls, Mitre Peak and local wildlife, providing you with hundreds of amazing photo opportunities along the way. Your hosts will bring the experience to life with commentary and show you best parts of this natural wonder.

After your cruise we begin the return journey back to Queenstown with Cheeky Kiwi Travel.

At the end of the day your guide will drop you back to your Queenstown accommodation.

Tour Inclusions:

  • Fully guided small group return tour from Queenstown (maximum 16 passengers)
  • Guided Nature Cruise of Milford Sound with Cruise Milford
  • Picnic Lunch
  • Hotel pick ups and drop offs (specified hotels and pickup points only)
  • Regional Highlights Tour including Lake Wakatipu, Devil’s Staircase, Mirror Lake, The Chasm, Mitre Peak, Hollyford River, Darran Mountains and Kea Bird and wildlife spotting
  • Refreshments and snacks whilst driving
  • On screen entertainment in vehicles
  • Multiple stops to purchase food, buy souvenirs or take photos
  • Wifi and charging ports available in vehicle
  • Transport in modern and comfortable 12 or 17 seater minibuses

By Coach from Queenstown (transport option)

This options for transport from Queenstown is operated by the Grayline Coach Service. They operate a 50-seater coach with glass roof and toilet on-board.

Departing Queenstown at 06:45am, we travel along the side of Lake Wakatipu and through the farming region of Southland before making a 30 minute coffee and rest stop at Te Anau. From Te Anau, we travel the Milford Highway, making stops along the way at great photo opportunities like the Mirror Lakes, Knobs Flat, Monkey Creek and The Chasm. You will arrive in Milford to connect with the boutique Cruise Milford vessel.

Following your cruise, your driver will meet you and transfer you back to Te Anau for another short coffee and rest stop and then on to Queenstown arriving back at approximately 8pm. We pick up and drop off at all major downtown Queenstown hotels and bus stations along Frankton Road including the main Frankton bus shelter. If you are staying out of the main area, then please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist with connecting you to one of the bus pick ups points.

By Air

Air Milford operates a fleet of aircraft, and proud to operate the only turbo prop Cessna Caravan’s (with 13 passenger capacity) in the Queenstown area. This state-of-the-art aircraft offers passenger’s excellent views whilst enjoying smooth, quiet air conditioned comfort and luxurious leather seats. Milford Sound Fly Backs: An ideal option for those who have coached to Milford Sound. This way you see it all.

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 among 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.

Milford Sound by Air

helicopter queenstown to milford sound


Our response to Covid-19: What happens when we are in alert level 2

Cruise Milford is looking forward to start operating once New Zealand goes to alert level 2. We are receiving updates from the New Zealand Government daily and will adjust our procedures according to the newest data and recommendations.

Milford Sound Google Map

We firmly believe that the drive to Milford Sound is just as important as the cruise itself. Use our Milford Sound Google Map to explore this unique area.

Fiordland’s 10 Marine Reserves

Piopiotahi Marine Reserve

Fiordland has 10 marine parks sprawling more than 10,000 hectares across southern New Zealand. Hosting a variety of wildlife and made famous by the many movies filmed in the area, Fiordland is often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world.

Fiordland Crested Penguin

Fiordland Crested Penguin

The tawaki, or Fiordland Crested Penguin, is endemic to the rainforests of Fiordland and is the second rarest breed of penguins in the world. Known for their yellow crests that stick out like bushy eyebrows and their bright orange beaks, these little birds are as commonly found amongst the ferns as they are in the sea.

Fiordland Dolphins

Fiordland Dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins from the far south of New Zealand are a common attraction in Doubtful Sound and are among the largest of their kinds. They tend to grow to about 3.5m to 4m compared to their siblings from the tropical climates of Australia who only grow up to 2.5m.

Milford Sound Weather—When is the Best Time to Visit

milford sound weather - when is the best time to visit?

Like the rest of the national park, Milford Sound needs rain to thrive. Knowing more about Milford Sound’s weather patterns and how they can enhance your experience will help you plan your trip.

Where is Milford Sound in New Zealand?

Where is Milford Sound?

Milford Sound nestled in the Fiordland National Park, it is relatively easy to access. Whether you want to hire a car or hop onto a flight, you shouldn’t have a problem getting there.

Bird watching in Fiordland


Follow some of the finest walks in the world. Journey along valleys carved by glaciers, all while on the hunt for New Zealand’s unique native birds.

Planning a Day Trip to Milford Sound

Day Trip to Milford Sound

If you’re planning a day trip to Milford Sound, you have the options of reaching the area by car, plane, or helicopter. Once you get there, a world of beautiful scenery awaits you, with plenty of unmissable photo opportunities.

Fiordland Cruises – What to See and How to Get There

Fiordland National Park

If you want to see the pinnacle of this scenery, you can’t beat a Fiordland cruise. Travelers visiting New Zealand are often enamoured by the country’s unrivalled natural beauty. Moving through areas like Milford Sound, these cruises are easy to access from areas like Queenstown.

Te Anau Accommodation and Activities

Te Anau Activities

As the best town to stay in for those looking to explore Milford Sound, Te Anau has plenty to offer in terms of accommodation and activities. Whether you enjoy going wild on the water or slow explorations, there’s something for you.

Visit Lord of the Rings Locations in Fiordland, New Zealand

lord of the rings fiordland

Thanks to Lord of the Rings that thousands of people descend upon the New Zealand Fiordland every year. Out of all of the Lord of the Rings locations tourists choose to visit, both Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound offer a broad range of filming locations between them.

Milford Sound Tours – Options & Prices

Milford Sound Tours

If you like the idea of a Milford Sound tour, you can arrive by land or air, before taking a cruise or exploring the glaciers and wildlife in the area.

Driving from Te Anau to Milford Sound

Driving from Te Anau to Milford Sound

The drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound is a marvel in itself. Complete with several scenic stops, it is a walker’s and photographer’s paradise.

Driving From Queenstown to Milford Sound – What to See

"Queenstown to Milford Sound Driving

Although the drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound is long, it is incredibly scenic and offers multiple opportunities for adventures and exploration. Knowing a little about the route and how to prepare for it can make your drive more enjoyable.

Bus from Queenstown to Milford Sound

Bus to Milford Sound from Queenstown or Te Anau

Taking a bus from Queenstown to Milford Sound is not only convenient, it is an affordable option for those wanting to visit New Zealand’s most outstanding area of natural beauty.

Helicopter to Milford Sound from Queenstown

helicopter to milford sound

If you wish to see some of New Zealand’s most dramatic scenery in style, consider taking a helicopter from Queenstown to Milford Cruise.

Fly to Milford Sound from Queenstown

Fly to Milford Sound and see the Southern Alps

Flying from Queenstown to Milford Sound shows how this beautiful area of New Zealand has remained wonderfully unchanged over the years. As one of the most popular tourist attractions in New Zealand, it captures the hearts of all who go there. Grabbing a flight from Queenstown to Milford Sound is seriously enticing!

Top movies filmed in Fiordland

Beautiful Scenery - Fiordland

it’s no surprise that many movies have been and continue to be filmed within the scenic passages of Fiordland. Here’s the top 10 movies filmed in Fiordland.

Walking tracks in Fiordland

Kepler Track

Get off of the beaten track on your next Fiordland adventure and enjoy some of the most scenic walks in the world.

Guided walks in Fiordland

This post will look at the different things you should consider when looking for your guided walk operator and how to prepare for the big day.

Walking the Milford Track

Milford Track

If walking the Milford Track has been on your bucket list, it’s time to start planning. One of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks it has long been considered ‘the finest walk in the world.’
Here’s what you need to know to before you set out.

Amazing Astro Photography at Milford Sound

Milford Sound Astro Photography

This blog about Astro Photography shows how landscape photographer, Rob Dickinson captured the most amazing photo of the Milford Sound night sky that we have ever seen!

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