Milford Sound Small Group Tour, Cruise and Picnic Lunch from Te Anau
This small group, fully-guided day trip combines the amazing return journey to Milford Sound with a boutique Milford Sound Cruise aboard the No.1 Trip Advisor rated cruise company, Cruise Milford. Led by our famously passionate tour guides, notorious for bringing your journey to life by sharing their stories and rich background knowledge, and run in modern, comfortable minibuses packed with extras ensuring your comfort and safety.
Your tour starts in stunning idyllic town of Te Anau, after maybe meeting some of the local animals or wildlife we continue along the lake. Stopping at Te Anau Downs the starting point for the Milford Track you will be able to hear the stories and admire the views.
Leaving Te Anau and entering Fiordland National Park we stop in Eglinton Valley. With views worthy of Lord of the Rings this valley follows the path of an ancient glacier through Fiordland, one of the first major attractions as you enter the park. It really sets the scene for a journey that only get more impressive the deeper you get.
Our next stop on this epic adventure is Mirror Lakes for a short stroll to see the famous reflections of the Earl Mountains. Get the right day, take a good picture and no one with be able to tell which way is the right way up for the photo.
Continuing along the Milford Road we come across Lake Gunn. Named after a famous explorer and popular for fishing, often we will stop at Lake Gunn for some photos and to enjoy the peace.
A short drive away we start passing the Hollyford River, a gorgeous and powerful river full of large boulders and rapids. Feeding into the river at Falls Creek is the first of our extremely impressive waterfalls of the area, one of many to come.
Climbing in altitude we go deeper into the Darran Mountains where the views require another stop to admire and take photos. We are also entering the area where Kea (the world largest alpine parrot) likes to live. Start keeping an eye out for these large, cheeky and colourful birds that never fail to thrill and entertain when found.
To make our way back down towards the sea we enter the mind-blowing, hand-built Homer Tunnel while hearing the incredible history and stories. Emerging from the tunnel the valley descends sharply down towards Milford Sound and on a rainy-day hundreds of waterfalls can be seen cascading down the mountain side.
Following the valleys to the sea we arrive at Milford Sound where you will board your cruise with Cruise Milford (the No. 1 Cruise operator in Milford Sound on TripAdvisor). The Cruise Milford experience offers a boutique cruise on a smaller boat which is less crowded and a crew that offers a much more informative and personal tour of Milford Sound. The smaller boat means you get closer to the wildlife and nature (including the New Zealand fur seals basking on the rocks), massive rock faces rising for hundreds of meters out of the sea and the waterfalls cascading from the ancient rainforest high in the mountains. This cruise is unbeatable.
While on the boat cruise you will be able to marvel at the awe-inspiring Mitre Peak, the iconic Milford Sound mountain, with its steep triangular peak rising high up above the reflective waters of the Milford Sound.
After your cruise do not fear the adventure is not over, there is the return journey with many more amazing stops. One of the stops during this journey (weather and timing dependent) is The Chasm. A Spectacular bush walk and dramatic views of powerful waterfalls and water sculpted shapes in the rocks.
Next we pull over to admire the elevated amazing views of the divide in the Southern Alps, close to the start of the Routeburn Track. While here the guide will tell you the stories of ancient Maori explorers.
Sadly we must start to head back to Te Anau but your day is not over with a fully guided return trip and many stops and breaks along the way.
While the destinations you will be visiting are truly spectacular, we at Cheeky Kiwi Travel believe it is our small groups, guides, the journey and the little details that set our tours well apart. Secret stops, wildlife viewings, specially designed vehicles, complementary refreshments and many other pleasant surprises ensure our tours are an experience to remember.