Treading lightly at Milford Sound Lodge – perfect for the eco-conscious traveller
When you stand surrounded by the best Gondwana-like forests in the world and you feel as if you’ve been transported back to a prehistoric supercontinent, something inside you clicks.
Milford Sound is known for its unspoilt natural beauty and rests within Fiordland National Park – part of Te Wahipounamu, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Carved from the rock by prehistoric glaciers, Milford Sound is actually a fiord (not a sound) and is the only fiord in New Zealand accessible by road.
Which means its remote location really does feel like you’ve journeyed to the ends of the earth. And when you finally arrive, you can’t help but be blown away by the pristine natural environment – along with the quietness and stillness that embraces you here, like you want to whisper and not break the spell.
Surrounded by sheer rocky valleys, you stand humbled before these towering cliffs – often resembling weeping giants with waterfalls cascading down a granite face. In an instant you realise how small you are in the scheme of things and that we are all just visitors here passing by.
If you believe in treading lightly and see yourself as an eco-conscious traveller, here’s a few good reasons why Milford Sound Lodge is the perfect haven for you.
You can dine on-site at Milford Sound Lodge’s Pio Pio Café which offers a variety of local cuisine such as a Fiordland saffron, Stewart Island salmon, Fiordland meats and Fiordland wines. The Chalets also have available the must-watch short film on Fiordland, Ata Whenua – Shadowland, providing deeper insight into why the wilderness before you undoubtedly deserves its UNESCO World Heritage status. Travellers can even book a complimentary shuttle to and from the Freshwater Basin Boat Terminal to Milford Sound Lodge, so you can arrive effortlessly by sharing a ride.
Powered by nature
The majestic 162 meters Lady Bowen Falls a few kilometres down the road serves as a water source with hydroelectric power a supporting energy source for the Milford Sound settlement. Sustainable energy allows Milford Sound Lodge to keep its environmental footprint to a minimum and preserve the natural resources of this UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll also find solar powered torches available for stargazing expeditions, prominent recycling bins in all communal spaces and other helpful tips on the efficient use of facilities throughout the lodge.
There’s a newly opened track that allows you to visit Lady Bowen Falls. You can purchase tickets from an automated machine at the Freshwater Basin Terminal, just $10 return. The trip includes a small boat ride across the harbour to a newly built jetty, just a few minutes’ walk from the base of the falls.
Designed in tune with nature
Beautiful minimalist design combined with natural wooden features, Milford Sound Lodge is in true harmony with its surrounds. Located riverside with majestic mountain views, this is a true wilderness experience infused with the comforts of home. From using eco-friendly products, limiting chemical cleaning agents to repurposing food waste for a pig farm further afield in Fiordland and coffee grinds as fertiliser for a local school veggie garden, Milford Sound Lodge lives and breathe environmental sustainability.
All Milford Sound Lodge staff live on-site. During induction and team training sessions, there is a focus on educating staff on everyday efforts that can be made to live more sustainably. The Green Project is something every Milford Sound Lodge team member actively takes part in and is all about coming up with ways to minimise our impact on the local environment.
Go well guidelines
Unplug and disconnect. Isn’t that why you came all the way out to this big beautiful wilderness in the first place? With no phone reception and minimal internet connection via satellite, it’s a much-needed detox from the hustle and bustle of our modern everyday lives. So give in and let go of the constant virtual connectivity. Become more connected to your immediate surrounds and let your senses guide you to your next adventure. Milford Sound Lodge is the only accommodation provider in Milford Sound and is a true wilderness experience that deserves your undivided attention and will stay with you long after you’ve gone.