So, why should you visit Milford Sound? Sure, there are pretty photographs a-plenty online, taken by amateur snappers and professional photographers alike. However, Milford Sound’s true expansive beauty simply cannot be captured on camera. Milford Sound needs to be seen, and it needs to be experienced in real life in order to appreciate the true magic of the place.
Many travellers choose to fly into the region via Queenstown, which can be accessed from New Zealand and Australian airports. From Queenstown, travellers can opt to fly into the much smaller Milford Sound airport, or complete the journey by road, be that driving or hiking the Milford Track.
Around 14,000 people each year arrive in Milford Sound on foot, first taking the short boat ride from Glade Wharf to Te Anau Downs, then following that with a 53 kilometre ancient Maori path, which was developed into the Milford Track by European settlers. The track ends at Sandfly Point, where there’s a 15-minute ferry ride to Milford Sound township.
Offering a moderate-to-difficult-level hike, the track is usually tackled over four days, where hikers tramp around six hours per day. Only 90 walkers can set out on the track each day – 40 independent and 50 guided. By taking a guided walk through the Milford Track, participants are offered hot showers and hot meals in huts each night, as well as numerous photo opportunities along the way.
Visitors who are perhaps a little less adventurous can drive to Milford Sound from Te Anau – a 117-kilometre trip that will usually take a full day, allowing for picturesque stops, short walks and a boat cruise. Alternatively, there are heaps of bus companies offering day tours, perfect for visitors looking for something with an easy itinerary to follow.
To experience the full awesomeness of Milford Sound, you need to see it from the water. Covering almost seven square kilometres, the Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve is best viewed by boat, where cruises offer views of imposing rock faces and cascading waterfalls, as well as seals, dolphins and rare Fiordland crested penguins. For adventure-seekers, check out kayaking and scuba diving options. You won’t regret it!
To experience the true scale and beauty of Milford Sound, be sure to find out more about the scenic flights on offer. With a scenic flight, you can explore the landscape from above, looking down on the vastness of it all. Seeing that spectacular backdrop from high above is an experience you will not forget.
Before you start planning on your trip to Milford Sound, remember to purchase your travel insurance from Probus Travel Insurance to stay protected! Cover is subject to terms, conditions, exclusions and limits.