Premium Milford Sound & Te Anau Highlights 2 day Combo Small Group Tour from Queenstown
This small group, fully-guided tour not only gives you the best Milford Sound experience but also allows you to enjoy everything Te Anau has to offer, making it the ultimate Fiordland Adventure. 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. This tour is the ultimate way to do the Fiordland region right.
- Milford Sound Cruise with Cruise Milford
- Fiordland National Park
- Te Anau Highlights tour
- Overnight stay in Te Anau
1. Queenstown - Your tour starts in the stunning city of Queenstown. As we drive out of the city your guide will not only set the scene for your adventure today but also point out and guide you past some of the area’s top highlights.
2. Lake Wakatipu – Departing Queenstown we wind our way around Lake Wakatipu to Devils Staircase. This elevated windy part of the road with amazing views of The Remarkables Mountain Range and the lake makes stopping for photos a must.
3. Lake Te Anau – After more amazing mountain, river and farmland views we arrive in Te Anau township for a quick break before continuing along the lake and stopping at Te Anau Downs the starting point for the Milford Track to hear the stories and admire the views.
4. Eglington Valley – 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 gets more impressive the deeper you get.
5. Mirror Lakes – 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 will be able to tell which way is the right way up for the photo.
6. Lake Gunn – 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.
7. Hollyford River & Falls Creek – 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.
8. Darran Mountains – Climbing in altitude we go deeper into the Darran Mountains and these views require another stop to admire and take photos. We are also entering the area where Kea (the world’s 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.
9. Homer Tunnel – 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 towards Milford Sound and on a rainy day you will see hundreds of waterfalls cascading down the mountain side.
10. Milford Sound – 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 metres out of the sea and the waterfalls cascading from ancient rainforest high in the mountains. This cruise is unbeatable.
11. Mitre Peak – 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.12. Pop's View Lookout – After your cruise do not fear the adventure is not over, there is the return journey with many more amazing stops. One stop is Pop’s View Lookout where 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.
13. Te Anau – As day 1 comes to a close we drop you off for your overnight stay in Te Anau early evening so you can enjoy a nice dinner at a local restaurant or maybe take a walk around the lake. 1 night accommodation in Studio Airbnb or 3* hotel included in tour price. Extra charge applies for single share or to upgrade to 4* accommodation, please select in optional extras section while booking
14. Te Anau - Your tour starts again in Te Anau as we pick you up from your hotel and explore the lake edges, visiting one of our favourite spots for a great photos of Lake Te Anau. During your journey and throughout the day our guides will share the stories, history and interesting facts of the area with you, setting the scene for the day.
15. Te Anau Bird Sanctuary - Once you have that perfect shot from the lake we will continue to the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary for a guided tour and to see some of the rarest birds in the country including the Takahe and Kaka. You will learn about these animals and local environment while exploring this Te Anau asset.
16. Dead Marshes - Our journey continues to our first famous Lord of the Rings attraction, a viewpoint looking over The Dead Marshes from an elevated position. From here you can see where Frodo and Sam waded their way through the mud trying to get to Mordor. We will tell you the stories and let you imagination the rest.
17. Rainbow Reach – Moving on, we visit a sight loved by hikers, Lord of the Rings fans and locals alike, Rainbow Reach. A cable bridged over the stunning Waiau River (known as The River Anduin in LOTR) leads us to the start of the Kepler Track and one of the beautiful forests of Fiordland National Park. Here we will hear some of the LOTR stories as well as learn about some of the amazing biodiversity we have in the park.
18. Lake Manapouri – We follow the river from Rainbow Reach to one of New Zealand most famous lakes, Lake Manapouri, the gateway to the Doubtful Sounds. We will spend some time exploring the shores of this crystal-clear lake and hearing about its history including the construction of the Manapouri hydro dam, the largest in the country. Once we have had a look around, we take time for a quick break at one of the local coffee shops.
19. Mavora Lakes - Departing Manapouri we make our way to one of the most famous LOTR sites and hidden gems of the region, Mavora Lakes. Here you will find amazing landscapes but also several famous LOTR filming locations including two locations of Orc battles, where Pippin & Merry enter Fangorn Forest to escape the Orcs, and where Frodo and Sam leave the Fellowship and cross the lake. This spot is paradise for nature lovers and LOTR fans alike so while here we will enjoy some free time to explore, eat lunch (additional extra or self-supplied) or maybe use some of our props and recreate some of the movie scenes!
20. Te Anau - Sadly the highlights section of your tour is coming to an end as we make our way back to Te Anau town centre but your Te Anau adventure should not finish there. Why not add one of the amazing Te Anau activities as an additional optional extra to complete your day? (See Te Anau Highlights & Lord of the Ring Small Group Tour for options)
21. Queenstown – After activities or free time in Te Anau you will be picked up early evening for a fully guided tour back to Queenstown and the end of your Fiordland adventure.
- Small Group & Fully Guided Tour
- Cruise entry
- Picnic Lunch (Day 1)
- Bottled Water & Snacks
- Refer to activities in Te Anau Highlights &
Lord of the Rings Tour options
- Faith of Fiordland
- Fiordland Jet
- Wings & Water
- Te Anau Glowworms
- Scenic Helicopter Flight
- Upgrade to 4* accommodation
- Single share accommodation
While the destinations you will be visiting are truly spectacular, we at Cheeky Kiwi Travel believe it is our small groups, our 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.