You have booked your Go Orange cruise, excellent life choices friend. You are about to depart on an epic adventure through the most beautiful National Park in New Zealand. We have compiled a list of all the best spots you should make time to stop at along the way but first, here’s a little more about the place you’re about to visit.
Milford Sound is in the South of New Zealand. Well known for its towering peaks, including the famous Mitre Peak, lush rainforests and resident waterfalls. Milford Sound is home to an array of epic wildlife too. Dolphins, Fur Seals and Penguins hang out down here and if you’re lucky they will come and say hi.
If you are driving from Queenstown, then allow a good five hours to get to the Milford Terminal. This way you will have time to stop along the way, take some epic photos and chill on route. As soon as you enter the park you will wanna take your time and here are some of the best scenic spots.
Te Anau is the gateway to Milford Sound. It is the last town before you enter the national park and your last chance to grab fuel and a snack, there are no ATM’s in the Fiord so grab some cash too. If you don’t fancy the drive from Queenstown you can stay in Te Anau for the night, your drive will be considerably shorter in the morning. Te Anau is also a short drive from Manapouri, the gateway to Doubtful Sound.
Welcome to Fiordland, you have officially entered the national park, and this is your first epic photo stop. Carved by glacier’s many, many years ago leaving us with a grand open space surrounded by mountains. Make sure you get out and take some photos here before driving deeper into the park.
One of the most popular spots on the road to Milford Sound. The glacial fed lake creates the perfect reflection of the Earl mountains above, on a clear day of course. The short nature walk can be completed in just five minutes, perfect little stop to stretch the legs.
Hollyford Valley Lookout
Now, this is on the other side of the road, so be careful if you are heading into the park. You can always stop on the way back here. But, if you get the chance to stop you will be rewarded with views over the Hollyford Valley, home to the world-famous Hollyford track and plenty of native bush.
A very popular hangout for our cheeky Native Kea bird. The world’s only alpine parrot be careful though, these little vandals like windscreen wipers and the rubbers off your car. Monkey Creek is also a glacial running stream, so fresh you can fill your bottle and enjoy the crisp Fiordland water.
The Homer tunnel is pretty spectacular, as are the views either side. Before the tunnel opened in 1954, after a long 19 years of construction there was no road access to Milford Sound. Cutting through the Darren mountain range we now have access to the eighth wonder of the world. The tunnel is one way and you will have a timed wait either side. Watch the clock and if you have the time, jump out and snap some photos for the album.
The Chasm is a short drive from the Homer Tunnel. It is worth the 15 min nature walk down the boardwalk. The waterfalls have sculpted the rocks creating beautiful patterns. A great indication of how much rainfall Milford receives each year.
Tutoko Valley Bridge
Another great stop as you near the sound. The Tutoko bridge provides dramatic river views up the valley. The water is extremely powerful here and gushes through the valley at force. Take the time to walk the bridge and read the local information, if you have multiple days to spend here there is a bush walk following this river too.
Nature walks in Milford Sound
You may arrive early for your cruise or want to stay after. There is a great short nature walk through the bush next to the terminal, this walk starts at the public car park and will take around twenty minutes return. Here you will have a perfectly framed view of Mitre Peak and if you look hard enough you will find the Milford Sound swing.
Congratulations! You made it to Milford Sound. Be sure to check in 15 minutes before your cruise departs and enjoy what the Fiord has to offer. On board our epic boat we have barista made coffee, fresh food prepared in the kitchen and a viewing deck that will blow your mind. Get comfortable on our outward facing seats, keep your eye out for the wildlife and enjoy your adventure in Milford Sound… #GoBeyond