Milford Sound kayaking tips

Fiordland National Park covers 1.2 million hectares of land. Declared a world heritage area in 1986 and described as having outstanding examples of the Earth's evolutionary history. Visiting Fiordland is like stepping back in time, the natural beauty is overwhelming, and we can tell you that kayaking here, through Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s best experiences.

Early settlers named this place Milford Sound however they were wrong. Sounds are formed when the sea floods river valleys. While Milford Sound does meet the ocean, its landscape was not formed by the flooding of rivers from the ocean, but instead carved by the erosion of ancient glaciers, therefore a Fiord. However, the name Milford Sound stuck, and we still call it Milford Sound to this day.

Thinking about embarking on a Milford Sound kayak day trip? Excellent choice friend. We have some top tips below so your day can run as smoothly as possible!

Bring good food

Pack snacks. We will stop for lunch during your paddle adventure and you will need something nutritious and delicious to fill up on to power through the afternoon paddling. We recommend a sandwich, crackers, muesli bars, fruit, and trail mix as a good start. We will provide the hot drinks, but feel free to bring along a sweet treat to indulge on during our lunch stop here in Milford Sound.

Wear comfortable clothes

Comfort is key and cotton is rotten. Two things you will hear our guides say to you. Be sure to wear a thermal or merino as your base layer, activewear on top, and something comfortable to wear during this experience. No jeans, no high heels, and no cotton leave those at home. Always bring a warm layer and waterproofs, you never know with the weather here and the unpredictability of Fiordland.

Bring Insect Repellent

Have you heard about sandflies? Well, you are about to. These small little black insects are relentless and will bite. Bring good, strong insect repellent to ward them away, make sure your fingers and ankles are covered in repellent and be sure to pack it in your dry bag to top up throughout the day. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about the pesky little things but try and ward them off with repellent.

Bring your camera

Never, ever forget your camera. Waterproof cameras like GoPro’s are recommended as you are partaking in a water-based activity. However, we have small dry bags available or feel free to bring your own, for your phone and camera. You are more than welcome to stop paddling in safe to stop places to pull out your camera in plenty of time to snap the surrounds. GoPro’s are great, especially with a selfie stick so you can capture the adventure in real-time.

Bring a spare change of clothes and a towel

We have a great change facility here in Milford Sound and will provide you with the base layers, thermals, and gear you need to be warm and ready to enter the water. However, we recommend you bring a spare change of clothes and a towel for the unexpected. The weather could change, water may be present in your kayak, and in the highly unlikely event that you end up taking a dip, we want to make sure you have something warm to change in to back at base.

Bring your sense of adventure

A sense of adventure is 100% required for this experience. You will need to be ready to paddle for four hours and battle the elements. We can’t control the weather, however, we can harness the wind during a raft up and sail back to base should we need to. You are about to embark on an epic paddle journey through one of New Zealand’s most iconic landscapes. Be prepared for the majestic beauty that unfolds as your paddle hits the water, one stroke at a time.

Want to book your kayaking adventure in Fiordland?
We have trips leaving from both Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. For those of you looking for even more adventure, check out our overnight option in Doubtful Sound!