What to pack for your Milford Sound winter holiday?


Milford Sound will open up to you if you let yourself experience its remote beauty and adventure — entirely — and, during winter, that means getting outside despite the cold. With the right gear, this shouldn’t be too hard. Here is a checklist of things to pack for your Milford Sound winter holiday.

Warm & Wet weather clothing

Pack lots of layers of clothes. It will be cold, but layered up in your winter threads you can keep warm and toasty. Invest in some good thermals – merino fabric is great; it’s warm and light to travel around with. Fiordland is one of the wettest regions in the world. So expect rain and pack in a waterproof jacket and pants. Jeans may be a fantastic travel partner anywhere, but not in the winters of Fiordland – if they get wet and soggy, they will stick to you and are difficult to dry.

Snow chains

Often overseas drivers forget how dangerous the beautiful Milford Road can be, especially in winters when it is wet and slippery with ice. Snow chains are an absolute essential if you plan to drive in yourself. Make sure you know how to use them – your rental car company will be happy to show you.

Milford Sound winter holiday

Take Snow chains when travelling the Milford Road in winter


Milford Sound is a photographer’s mecca. While Smartphone cameras can be great, if you’re a keen photographer, bring you best camera and gear to capture this place in the best way possible. Trust us – you won’t regret it!

Food supplies

Shop for groceries at Te Anau if you plan to cook in our shared kitchen. There is no grocery store in Milford Sound – the remoteness is deliberate and part of Milford Sound’s appeal! If you don’t want to cook, we have a café/restaurant on site offering delicious food that is open year-round.

Fuel for a return trip to Te Anau

If you are driving yourself into Milford Sound please ensure you have enough fuel to get here and back to Te Anau; there is currently no fuel available in Milford Sound.

Insect repellent

There is no escaping the sandflies, even in winter. Stay protected by keeping your arms and legs covered, especially at dawn and dusk, and bring insect repellent.

Milford Sound winter holiday

If the thought of snow chains is too much, you could always helicopter in from Queenstown!


Even in winter, prolonged exposure to the New Zealand sun can burn your skin. And because we are right under a hole in the Ozone layer, protection from the sun is a must.

Day walking gear

You’ve come all the way to paradise. Don’t let rain or cold put you off experiencing what makes this place legendary – its beautiful nature walks. We’re not suggesting you go off on multi-hikes walks (don’t attempt these in winter unless you’re a pro!), but there are plenty of short walks that are quite stunning. With the right clothes and gear, exploring on foot can be very rewarding during winter. Key Summit, Lake Marian and the Tutoko are usually safe year-round.

A sense of adventure

Enough said!