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Milford Sound Encounter Nature Cruise
from $94 NZD
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PRICE

$94

DEPARTURES

Starts:

Daily 

Ends: Milford Sound

Trip Style

Fitness:
Accommodation:
Vehicle:

WHAT TO BRING

  • Warm, waterproof jacket
  • Light shorts or trousers
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Drink bottle
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellent

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

  • Lunch options
  • Transport connections additional cost

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Please allow 5 hours driving time from Queenstown and just over 2 hours from Te Anau. There is free parking available in Milford Sound located by the Discover Milford Sound Café and is approximately a 10 minute walk from the car park to the Cruise terminal. The last place to get fuel is in Te Anau so make sure you have enough to get you there – 242km return from Te Anau.
  • During the winter months please check the road status at www.milfordroad.co.nz, alternatively you can call 0800 444 449. All vehicles are required by law to carry snow chains for their vehicles between May-September.

Highlights

  • Specialist nature guide on board
  • A whole top deck for viewing and panoramic photo opportunities
  • Feel the full force from the powerful 15,000-year-old Stirling Falls

Tour Map

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Discover the unique wildlife, towering waterfalls and majesty of Mitre Peak on our two hour Nature Cruise.
The relaxing cruise travels down the south side of the fiord, out to the Tasman Sea and returns up the north side. Delve into the history, geology and wildlife of the fiord, even say hello to the local seals basking on the rocks.

Discover the unique wildlife, towering waterfalls and majesty of Mitre Peak on our two hour Nature Cruise. This cruise offers an excellent viewing opportunity of wildlife including seals, dolphins and penguins. Get within touching distance of impressive geological features and close enough to feel the full force from the powerful 15,000-year-old Stirling Falls (we’ve got jackets to keep you dry!)

Why choose a Nature Cruise?

  • Say hello to the seals basking on the rocks
  • Specialist nature guide on board sharing their local knowledge with lively and informative commentary
  • Delve into the history, geology and wildlife of the fiord
  • Purpose built catamaran with large viewing windows and covered seating areas
  • A whole top deck for viewing and panoramic photo opportunities
  • Raincoats provided on board so you can stand on the bow under Stirling Falls
  • Join the skipper in the open wheelhouse
  • Range of lunch options available (must be pre-ordered, at extra cost)
  • Complimentary tea and coffee

Milford Sound 

Where do the Milford Sound cruises leave from?
All cruises leave from the wharf at the Milford Sound Visitor Terminal and return to the wharf following the cruise.

How long does it take to get from Queenstown to Milford?
It takes approximately five hours to get to Milford from Queenstown depending on the time of year and road conditions.

How long does it take to get from Te Anau to Milford?
It takes approximately two hours to get to Milford from Te Anau depending on the time of year and road conditions.

Will I see wildlife?
Milford Sound has an abundance of wildlife and is home to New Zealand fur seals and bottlenose dolphins year round. Rare Dusky dolphins are also known to visit the fiord. The world’s rarest penguin, the Fiordland crested penguin, visits Milford during the breeding season (November) and moulting season (March/April). While there is wildlife in Milford Sound, we can’t guarantee sightings as these are wild animals in their natural habitat. A visit to the Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory offers more wildlife viewing with an abundance of sea life below the surface.

Are there sandflies?
There are sandflies in Milford Sound. To avoid being bitten, bring mosquito spray with you and wear long sleeve clothing and trousers. Mosquito spray is available for purchase from the Blue Duck Café & Bar in Milford Sound.

Do you provide disabled/wheelchair access?
There are disabled parking spaces outside the Milford Sound Visitor Terminal building. The only vessel with wheelchair access is Pride of Milford (Milford Sound Scenic Cruise) where access to the vessel is by ramp. There are no wheelchair accessible toilets onboard the vessel, instead these are located in the cruise terminal building.

What’s the weather like in Milford?
Milford Sound is one of the wettest places in the world with an average annual rainfall of 7 metres per year. Rainfall can reach 250 millimetres in 24 hours and creates dozens of temporary waterfalls (as well as a number of more permanent ones) that cascade down the cliff faces, some reaching a thousand metres in height, and is why it’s renowned for its spectacular waterfalls and rainforest. The temperature in Milford can vary depending on the season and can go from an average high of 19C in summer (Dec – Feb) to 9C in winter (Jun – Aug). All our vessels have spacious indoor areas with comfortable seating for cruising in all weather conditions.

What clothes should I wear/bring?
Due to the changeable nature of the weather in Milford, it’s a good idea to bring a waterproof jacket, warm clothing and wear comfortable shoes. Raincoats are provided for passengers on Encounter Nature Cruises and Discover More Cruises.

Where is the Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory?
The Milford Discovery Centre is located in Harrison Cove, 10 minutes cruise distance from the Milford wharf. It is only accessible by boat and visited in conjunction with a cruise. Vessels drop passengers at the Milford Discovery Centre and continue on to the Milford wharf. The following cruise departure picks up at the Milford Discovery Centre between 30 – 45 minutes later so it’s highly likely you’ll return to the wharf on a different Southern Discoveries vessel.

Do you operate on Christmas Day?
All trips operate 365 days a year.

Is there anywhere to get a coffee and snack in Milford?
The Discover Milford Sound Information Centre & Cafe is located in the Milford Sound village.

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