Visiting Milford Sound: FAQ
What would you like to know about visiting us at Milford Lodge?
Where is the Lodge located?
The Milford Sound Lodge is located on State Highway 94. We are approximately 1.5km from the Boat/Bus Terminal, just before the small township.
How Far is the Lodge from the Boat Terminal?
We are about 1.5 km from the Boat Terminal, about 30 – 35 minutes walk.
Note: We offer scheduled shuttles that can drop you off and pick you up from the cafe and boat terminal in the summer. In the winter this service is offered on an ‘on demand’ basis and you will need to ask our staff to arrange a shuttle.
When do I need to book the Activities I want to do?
Why not arrange your time in Milford Sound the easy way? We are more than happy to book your activities now and encourage you to choose one of our packages.
Cruises: Morning and late afternoon cruises usually have space available; however, the daytime boats fill up early. You can book your cruise anytime, when you come in or in advance online. Please ask one of our team members and we are more than happy to assist you with any queries and bookings.
Kayaking: We suggest you book Kayaking trips at least 2-3 weeks in advance, as spaces on these trips are limited. Booking is essential especially during the summer period.
Flights: If you want to see the Fiord from the air – by plane or helicopter – it is a good idea to book on the day itself. The weather in Milford Sound can be very changeable and this can affect visibility and flight schedules.
How long does it take to Milford from…?
Your journey time will depend on how many stops you make but you should allow for driving time approximately:
- 2 hours from Te Anau
- 5 hours from Queenstown
- 6 hours from Wanaka
- 4 hours from Invercargill
But we’d encourage you to allow a lot longer and enjoy some of the many attractions along the Milford Road.
What are the road conditions like?
It is always a good idea to check the road conditions before you leave Te Anau, the last town before Milford Sound. Information centers and petrol stations have information on road conditions, road closures and snow chain requirements.
As the Milford Highway is a very remote and in some places very narrow we suggest you take care driving to Milford Sound.
Please obey all signs placed by road workers; they are placed for everyone’s safety.
Get the latest road info from the New Zealand transport authority.
What if the road is closed on the day of my booking?
If you have a booking with us on a day when the road is closed, we will cancel your booking for you at no charge.
If you are flying into Milford Sound, it is a good idea to ring us and let us know you’re still coming in.
What kind of internet facilities are available at the lodge?
Internet is available for purchase. Please do be aware that because of our remote location, we run a satellite system that can be slow and unreliable, depending on environmental factors. This means you’re unlikely to be able to run Skype, upload files etc. We’re lucky enough to be located deep within one of the country’s most beautiful national parks – limited access to internet offers a rare chance for guests to disconnect from busy lives and embrace the wilderness experience that Milford offers.
What do I need to bring?
- Wet weather gear and warm clothing — Milford Sound is in a rainforest, it is a good idea to bring wet weather gear, and some warm clothing.
- Day walk gear — If you plan to walk any of the walking tracks accessible from the Milford road, it is advisable you have a good pair of walking shoes, sunblock, an appropriate amount of food and water for the length of your walk, and, of course, your camera.
- Sleeping bag for Multi Day Walks — A good sleeping bag will be necessary if you are doing an overnight walk.
- Fuel for a return trip from 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.
- Food supplies — We have a cafe on site at the Lodge which is open year-round, or if you prefer to cook for yourself in our guest kitchen, please ensure you bring your own supplies as there are no grocery supplies available in Milford Sound.
What facilities does the Milford Sound Lodge provide?
When you stay at our lodge you can use our cozy lounge, hot showers, communal kitchen, cooking and dining facilities. We have coin operated washing machines, dryers and limited satellite internet facilities.
(See the full range of facilities you will enjoy at the lodge.)
Is there backpacker style accommodation at Milford Sound Lodge?
Sorry, from 1st July 2019 we no longer offer dormitory accommodation at Milford Sound Lodge. The closest budget style accommodation located to Milford Sound is:
- Knobs Flat – approx 1 hours drive
- Fiordland National Park Lodge – approx 1.5 hours drive
- Township of Te Anau – 2 hours drive
How can I make a booking and what about your payment terms?
Online bookings can be made here. In order to process your booking online we require full payment at the time of booking via our online secure payments page. The amount to be debited will be displayed on the booking page prior to you confirming your payment on that page. Depending upon the currency of the booking, your credit card’s currency and the country in which your credit card was issued, your credit card provider may impose foreign exchange fees and other fees in accordance with the terms that you have agreed with them. Milford Sound Lodge accepts major credit cards ( Visa and Mastercard).
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What is your cancellation policy?
- All cancellations incur a 10% cancellation fee (except road closures)
- Cancellations within 7 days of the date of arrival incur a 30% cancellation fee
- Cancellations on day of booking is non-refundable
- Cancellations due to road closures are 100% refundable
- Packages will specify if they are non-refundable, otherwise normal cancellation fees apply
What is there to do in the Milford area?
There is plenty to do in Milford Sound and surrounding areas. We can book cruises, kayaking trips, flights and provide information on walks in the area. Due to the steepness of the mountains in Milford Sound proper there aren’t many walks located right in Milford Sound, however the Milford Road has plenty of short and long walks to offer on your way in or out of Milford Sound.
What if it is raining?
It is very rare that cruises are cancelled due to rain. Fortunately when it rains in Milford (which is often!) you get the opportunity to see the hundreds of non-permanent waterfalls that come to life.
Can I buy cooked food at the Lodge?
Breakfast, dinner, light snacks and good espresso coffee are available throughout the day at our onsite restaurant, Pio Pio. Food ranges from toast and muesli to a Eggs Benedict, which cannot fail to set you up for a day taking in Milford’s sights, to a NZ inspired and curated evening dining (see Pio Pio menu). A full evening dining menu is available from 5pm – 9pm along with a licensed bar.
We have a guest kitchen available for use on site, fully stocked with equipment but make sure you do your supermarket shop before you arrive in Milford Sound as there are no grocery supplies available in Milford.
Can I pitch my tent at Milford Sound Lodge?
Sorry, there is no tenting available at Milford Sound Lodge or Milford Sound itself, the closet campsite being at Cascade Creek, a DOC camping site, approx 45 mins drive back towards the township of Te Anau.