Mountain and Lake View at Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Legendary British author Rudyard Kipling was the first to describe Milford Sound as “The 8th Wonder of the World”. To this day, the watery wonderland deserves the accolade. Indeed, the much-loved Milford Sound takes the number one spot in any list of Top Ten Things to Do In New Zealand. Many say it forms the crowning jewel in the Mainland New Zealand (as local call the South Island) UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. To many visitors, it is the most beautiful place they have ever seen. It comes as no surprise, then, that this surreal landscape formed the backdrop for several scenes from the iconic “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy. The alluring heart of the Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is truly a sight to behold. 

Take the scenic route on the famous Milford Road

Though the drive to Milford Sound is a lengthy one, the scenery on the way is jaw-dropping. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to pull off and snap some pictures or take a short stroll. Many visitors consider the Milford Road the most scenic drive in New Zealand. The section of State Highway 94 that runs from Te Anau to The Sound provides particularly stunning scenery. There are several favourite stops along the way. For instance, Eglinton Flats is a pleasant valley where you can stretch your legs as you enjoy the view. Then there is the exquisite and appropriately named Mirror Lake. Another must-see stop is Falls Creek. Here you will see magnificent mountains looming in the distance with stunning glaciers peeking through the cracks. With Cheeky Kiwi Travel you can choose from amazing tours to Milford Sound starting from Queenstown or Te Anau

Waterfalls cascading down a green mountain into water
A boat sailing on a lake between mountains

Discover the Sound and surroundings from the water, air or land

Once you get to Milford Sound, the best way to experience the waters is with one of many boat tours on offer. You will see numerous enormous waterfalls cascading off the cliffs. Moreover, you will have an amazing view of the towering Mitre Peak. This dominating mountain famously appears on many a beautiful postcard awe-struck visitors send home. There are two permanent waterfalls in the fjord, Lady Bowen Fall and Stirling Falls. The latter is three times the height of Niagara Falls and a breathtaking sight to behold. Nearby, the adventurous can explore the misty waterfalls of Lake Marian on foot by tramping through the rainforest.

 Witness the marine wildlife of Milford Sound

While cruising through the fiord, you will come across fascinating marine wildlife. For instance, you will see fur seals sunning themselves on the low lying rocks, and perhaps even pods of dolphins, playfully jumping through the clear water. If you are in luck, you might even spot the rare resident penguins on their occasional excursion. Amid the stunning scenery of Milford Sound, this remarkable marine wildlife is another reason to keep your eyes wide open for amazing sights.  

Fur seals lying on rocks in the sun at Milford Sound
Fiordland waterway at Milford Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand

Get a new perspective on the Tasman Sea

A boat cruise of Milford sound provides countless magical sights from the perfect vantage point: the waterways themselves. One of these is an unusual view of the great Tasman Sea that lies beyond the rugged mountains around the Sound. Entering a narrow section of the fjord, you will suddenly find the gorgeous Tasman Sea before you. At this sight, it becomes obvious why Captain Cook’s pioneering crew missed the entrance to the fjord when they first sailed past it in the late 1700s. Do not let possible rain put you off, since the cruise boats offer complete shelter. Moreover, the rain feeds many more waterfalls that spring up, while the existing ones become even more powerful. 

Learn about the Fiordland at Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory

Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory is another interesting place to explore. Among the many fascinating displays, you will find rare views of black coral and other intriguing marine life. The Centre will leave you in awe of the intriguing waters within the spectacular Fiordland. 

A man and woman looking out over a lake with mountains in the background at Milford Sound
Mountain and Lake View with Clouds

Experience Milford Sound, the “8th Wonder of the World” 

Take in the magnificence of Milford Sound on our premium Milford Sound Tour and Cruise with Picnic Lunch departing from Queenstown. Alternatively, enjoy the scenic route on our small group tour from Te Anau.

For an even more personal touch, you can create your very own unique, custom tour with the help of our expert tour guides.

Tours including Milford Sound