What things are there to do in Milford Sound?

If you’re planning on visiting Milford Sound you’re probably going to want to know the things you can do here. To truly take in how awesome this place is, you need to slow down, relax and enjoy everything at your own pace.

So what things are there to do in Milford Sound? Here are a few of our favourites!

Explore Milford Road

Although seeing Milford Sound by water is pretty amazing, there are plenty of hidden gems dotted along the Milford Road, en route.

Think ‘bite-sized’ adventures like the three-hour hike to Key Summit – whose end reward offers unrivalled, 360 degree sea to lake views of Fiordland. Key Summit is a part of the Routeburn Track, one of NZ’s great walks.

Shorter walks dotted along the road include a stroll through the Mirror Lakes, housed in the shelter of a beech forest that offers reflective views of the Earl Mountains. A selfie or iconic “jumping” photo in the Eglinton Valley – made famous by the Lord of the Rings – is a must-do. Savour passing through the Homer Tunnel, before you descend into Milford itself – this 1.2km tunnel took nearly 20 years to build.

Spot dolphins and get up close to waterfalls by kayak tour

Exploring by kayak in a place this grand is really something. Huge peaks tower overhead, really putting everything into perspective as you glide along the open water. Look out for local marine life like whales, dolphins and even the odd  whale. One of the things we love most about kayaking is the silence – there’s barely any noise, apart from the odd bird call and bubbles ‘whooshing’ under the boat.

Beginners can enjoy a leisurely guided paddle of inner Milford Sound, while the more experienced can get up close and personal with the world-famous Sterling Falls, a thundering 151m high waterfall.

If you’re brave enough, paddle as close as you dare – until you’re ejected back to reality thanks to the falls’ intense power. Or set off on a remarkable journey paddling the length of Milford Sound (returning by water taxi) for a truly unforgettable sea-kayaking experience!

Take to the skies on a scenic flight

While experiencing Milford Sound by land and sea is one of the most unforgettable experiences you’ll ever have, the landscape takes on an otherworldly quality when seen from the skies.

A scenic flight over Milford Sound gives you a true appreciation of the size and beauty of the ancient rainforest and thundering waterfalls, left untouched by the hands of time.

Things to do in Milford Sound - Scenic Flight

A scenic flight over Milford Sound is a pretty special experience

Flights can include a Grand Tour of Milford or a flight over the iconic Mitre Peak before landing for an extreme photo opportunity on Pembroke Glacier – a flight we’re sure you will never forget!

Cruise sheer cliffs and inky water by boat

If you’re looking for an iconic tour of Milford Sound – whatever the weather – then a boat cruise is the most popular choice as it allows you to explore the diversity of Milford Sound, its coves and cliffs, the local wildlife and the rare types of flora and fora that thrives in this wilderness.

A visit to the Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory – offering a glimpse into the inner workings of Milford Sound from below – can also be experienced as part of a cruise. And the best thing, if you are planning on staying a night or two in Milford Sound, we’d recommend a morning or late afternoon cruise – a quieter and more personal experience with less people.

Day walk the Milford Track

There’s a reason that throwing on a pair of walking boots and heading out into our wilderness on foot is one of the most popular things to do in Milford Sound – that’s because it’s one of the best ways to explore the wilderness we’ve got here! The main attraction is obviously the Milford Track – a four day hike known globally as one of the best walks in the world, which ends in Milford itself. You can take a guided day walk on the trail if you’re short of time – just as spectacular, and you’ll see the thundering Giant Gate Falls.

Whatever ideas you’ve got for enjoying Milford Sound, the team at the lodge has got you covered. We live and breathe this epic backyard, and we can help recommend the best activities and packages to suit the adventure you’re after.