Top 10 free things to do in Milford Sound


1.Wake up at dawn to listen to the Bellbird chorus

Nothing starts the day off like hearing the beautiful Bellbird’s call to its mate at dawn. The clarity of note is one-of-a kind and there really is no better alarm clock to start the day.

2. Watch the first light hit the Fjord from the foreshore

Wake up long before the cruise boats depart and be the first to watch the morning sun gently light the Fjord from an uninterrupted view at the foreshore.

Free things to do in Milford Sound Lake

3. Fill your water bottle with some of NZ’s best water from the Cleddau River

Go straight to the source and quench your thirst with some of the purest water in New Zealand. Feel free to cast a line if you fancy some Rainbow Trout for supper.

Free things to do in Milford Sound river

4. Adventure through thick, untouched rainforest in the Tutoko Valley

Take a walk in Fiordland’s pristine temperate rainforest and feel nature breathe. Clamber over trees, jump through puddles and look out for rare and wonderful wildlife.

5. Hike in glacier-carved valleys and gape at the mountain-tops and waterfalls

Walk up the Cleddau Valley and try to get your head around the scale of the landscape. Mountains have their heads in the clouds and mile-high waterfalls appear and disappear by the hour.

Free things to do in Milford Sound Glacier

6. Have fun with the rare & mischievous Keas

Fiordland is home to one of New Zealand’s most rare and most endangered birds, the Kea. The worlds only mountain parrot, they do like to come and say hi, or rather, ‘Keeeeeaaaaaaaaaa’. They’re twelve times as rare than Kiwis and at least twelve times as fun.

Free things to do in Milford Sound kea

7. Join a free evening nature walk and learn about what makes Fiordland so special

Take a relaxed stroll with the nature guide at Milford Sound Lodge and learn about some of the amazing stories, plants and animals that make up this World Heritage Site.

Free things to do in Milford Sound walk

8. Watch the sunset in the Arthur Valley

Head down to Deep Water Basin for the best place to watch the sun dip behind the mountains. Watch the sky turn from blue to crimson to orange and every hue in between.

Free things to do in Milford Sound sunset

9. Gaze at our resident Glow-worms, lighting up the trees.

As visitors go to bed, the night has just begun for our Glow-worms. Admire the beautiful, soft light that these animals emit.

10. Lie outside under the stars and see the Milkyway, Southern Cross and Shooting Stars light up the sky.

No shops, no town, no light pollution! Get comfortable under a blanket and stare up into one of the darkest (and therefore most star-filled) skies in New Zealand. Absolutely stunning.

Free things to do in Rotorua stars

Photo taken by William Patino Photography

By Barton Matthews, Milford Sound Lodge Team Member