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Queenstown to Milford Sound overnight

Milford Sound Lodge - Queenstown, New Zealand

Strike the perfect balance by combining the action and adventure of Queenstown with a restful and rejuvenating escape to Milford Sound for a night (or two).


The sanctuary of Milford Sound, set amongst 1.2 million acres of World-Heritage listed rainforest, is a striking contrast from the non-stop thrills of Queenstown. It's easy to see why a combination of both these epic destinations is high on the list for South Island holidaymakers. The drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound can be done in around two and a half hours, but with so much to take in along the way, why rush it? If you're thinking about a Milford Sound cruise from Queenstown, why not take your time and spend the night at Milford Sound Lodge.


It's possible to do a Milford Sound cruise from Queenstown in one day by return coach or scenic flight. But this is an area that deserves more than a "flying visit". Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park are revered as some of the country's most impressive natural landmarks. Not something you want to rush.


If it's all sounding a bit confusing, don't worry! We break down the best ways to get to Milford Sound from Queenstown and back.


How to get to Milford Sound from Queenstown

There are a few options for getting to Milford Sound, and they range from the sublime to the .. even more sublime! 


By Coach

The road to Milford Sound passes through a spectacular display of iconic South Island landscapes, from sparkling lakes and rolling farmland to breathtaking alpine passes. It's hard to keep your eyes on the road when the scenery is this good, so most visitors to Milford Sound choose to go by coach. On the bus, your driver-guide will give you a full commentary explaining the area's history, geology, and ecology. A highlight of the road journey to Milford Sound is the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2-kilometre tunnel passing through the solid granite rock of the Darren Mountains. There is just enough room for a bus to squeeze through!


By Air

Talk about a bucket-list experience. A scenic flight high above Fiordland is the icing on the cake for any South Island holiday. The flight gives a rare glimpse into the immense and often impenetrable landscape below. Where hidden lakes, waterfalls and glaciers are revealed as you take the 40-minute flight between Queenstown and Milford Sound.


What to do in Milford Sound

One of the things visitors to Milford Sound rave about is the fact that the journey there is just as spectacular as the destination. So, after your spectacular arrival into Milford Sound by plane or coach, be prepared to come face to face with one of the most famous sights in the world—Milford Sound.


There are many ways to see Milford Sound and take in this incredible geological phenomenon. Take a gentle walk along the foreshore or something more exhilarating like kayaking or diving. By far, the most popular thing to do in Milford Sound is a scenic cruise. Getting out on the water is the quintessential Milford Sound experience and is the finest way to appreciate all the fiord has to offer. A Milford Sound scenic cruise covers the 16-kilometre length of the fiord from the Milford Sound marina to the open sea. You're in for a visual treat as you pass mighty Mitre Peak, cascading waterfalls and perhaps even a few locals like seals, dolphins or penguins.


The burning question is, can you do it all in one day? Well, yes, you could. But would you want to rush the experience? Why not slow down and savour it all with an overnight stay at Milford Sound Lodge.


Dine at our Pio Pio Restaurant - See menu here  

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