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Milford Sound (Piopiotahi)

Make sure to take a cruise on the fiord!

Milford Sound , New Zealand

First of all, iconic Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) isn’t a sound; it’s a fiord, carved out by glacial ice. Whatever! - it sure is magnificent, and chances are, you’ve been looking at images of it and Mitre Peak (1694m) all the way here.

It’s 16km from the Visitor Centre & Boat Terminal (this entry’s map location) at Milford out to the Tasman Sea and it would be a major miss not to take a cruise. There are plenty of options from massive boats run by big operators down to small, more personal experiences with the little guys. Avoid the 12.30-2pm period for cruise departures if you can - buses arrive on datytrips from Queenstown in this period, disgorging huge numbers of passengers on 13-hour daytrips from Queenstown.

Accommodation, cruises & services

If you’re planning on staying, the only accommodation is at Milford Sound Lodge. A number of companies run overnight cruises. There are no shops or gas stations at Milford, so come prepared.

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Milford Sound

Fiordland National Park

Length of NZ Classic

4 weeks driving the length of NZ

South Island Loop

Circle the island in 3 weeks

Text © Craig McLachlan

Image by John Morton