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Travel Guide of Milford Sound in New Zealand by Influencers and Travelers

Milford Sound / Piopiotahi is a fiord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site.

Pictures and Stories of Milford Sound from Influencers

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How to visit Milford Sound ?

To reach Milford Sound, you can take a scenic drive from Queenstown (about 4 hours) or Te Anau (about 2 hours). The road to Milford Sound, known as Milford Road, is an attraction in itself, offering spectacular views and photo opportunities. Alternatively, you can take a bus tour, which typically includes a Milford Sound cruise or even a short flight from Queenstown.

Booking a Milford Sound cruise in advance is highly recommended, especially during the peak season (December to February). This will ensure that you get a spot on the cruise and can enjoy the stunning fiord without any hassle. Additionally, if you plan to hike the famous Milford Track, you will need to book your accommodation and transportation in advance, as the track has limited capacity and is often fully booked.

The costs for visiting Milford Sound vary depending on your chosen activities and accommodations. The basic cruise prices range from NZD 70-150 per person, while the costs for guided tours, kayaking, or flights will be higher. Accommodation and dining options also vary depending on your preferences.

The best things to do in Milford Sound include taking a scenic cruise through the fiord, where you can witness the majestic waterfalls, towering cliffs, and diverse wildlife, such as dolphins, seals, and penguins. Adventurous travelers can also opt for kayaking or hiking on one of the many trails in the area, such as the Milford Track or the Key Summit Track.

For dining, you can try The Blue Duck Café & Bar, which offers a selection of delicious meals and snacks, or head to Milford Sound Lodge's on-site restaurant, Pio Pio, for a more refined dining experience. Keep in mind that dining options in Milford Sound are limited, so it is a good idea to bring some snacks and water with you.

Accommodation options in Milford Sound include the Milford Sound Lodge, which offers a range of accommodations from budget-friendly dorms to luxurious chalets, and the Knobs Flat, located halfway between Te Anau and Milford Sound, which provides self-contained units in a tranquil setting.

Off the beaten path: For an unusual and unforgettable experience, consider taking a scenic flight over Milford Sound, where you can witness the grandeur of the fiord, glaciers, and alpine lakes from a bird's eye view. Additionally, if you can spare the time, embark on the three-day Hollyford Track - a lesser-known but equally stunning hike that showcases the diverse landscapes of Fiordland National Park, including rainforests, waterfalls, and rugged coastlines.

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  Map of Milford Sound

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   More Travel spots to explore around Milford Sound

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Discover more travel spots to explore around Milford Sound

  🏞️‍ Waterfall spots     ❄️ Fjord spots     ⛰️ Highland spots     ⛰️ Hill spots     ⛰️ Hill station spots     ❄️ Glacial landform spots     🛣️ Road trip spots     ⛰️ Summit spots     ⛰️ Cliff spots     🌊‍ Ocean spots     🏞️ River spots     🐾 Wildlife spots     🏞️ Loch spots     🏖️ Shore spots     ❄️ Glacier spots     🌲 Forest spots     🏞️ Waterway spots     🌲 Plain spots  

Learn More about Milford Sound

Milford Sound (New Zealand Maori: Piopiotahi) is a New Zealand fjord in the Southland region of the South Island. One of New Zealand's most visited tourist spots, it is named after the Welsh natural harbour called Milford Haven.

The beauty of Milford Sound makes it one of the major attractions of a trip to New Zealand's South Island. The location of some of the scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, this fjord offers a stark contrast between the huge black rock cliffs and the steep slopes that plunge into the crystal clear water. The Milford Sound route is one of New Zealand's most famous.
To experience the full splendour of the sound and to see the seals, sea lions and dolphins that call the sound home, take a cruise on the fjord.

Milford Sound receives around 550,000 tourists a year, making it one of the most visited places in New Zealand in terms of numbers of visitors, despite the difficulties of access, including the length of the journey from populated areas of the South Island.
These tourists come to enjoy the scenery, take boat or canoe trips on the fjord waters and go hiking. Visitors do not linger long at the site, usually staying less than a day, so there are relatively few services for tourists.
Milford Sound is connected to the rest of the country by road via Highway 94 from Te Anau, by air with the airfield or by the Milford Track after several days of hiking.

Frequently Asked Questions by Travelers planning a trip to Milford Sound

Why is Milford Sound Not a sound ?

Milford Sound is not a sound
Sounds are formed when a river valley is flooded by the sea, whereas Milford Sound was formed by the erosion of ancient glaciers.

At 265 metres deep, most of the sound's water is salty, but the top 10 metres or so is freshwater. It comes from the seven to nine metres of rainfall that the area gets every year, empty into the sound via its many rivers and waterfalls.

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