Milford Sound or the eighth wonder of the world as it is commonly known is renowned for its epic scenery and cruises that explore through the fiord and out to the Tasman Sea. Fiordland National Park is our home. It’s where we first started our operations and a place, we feel so very passionate about. Milford Sound is set to top one million visitors this year, most of whom will cruise. But what if you don’t want to cruise you ask?
Well, the road to Milford Sound is jam packed with things to do. You could quiet literally spend your whole holiday in Fiordland but not everyone has that luxury so let us hand pick some of our favourite stops, short walks and beautiful look outs for you.
Here are some of the top pit stops to make as you explore Fiordland, don’t forget your camera and a rain jacket, you never know what weather you might experience it is after all the wettest place on Earth.
For all you keen hikers out there you are in luck. Fiordland is home to three of New Zealand’s great walks. The Routeburn, The Milford Track and The Kepler track are all multi day hikes that start and end in the National Park.
Key Summit and Lake Marian are awesome short-day hikes that take around 3-4 hours return. Perfect for those wanting to escape the crowds.
If you don’t fancy the long walks, then opt for short road side stops such as Mirror Lakes and the Chasm both located on the road to Milford Sound. There are plenty of places to safely pull up on the side of the road and grab a few shots too, just be sure to watch for oncoming traffic and buses.
The Homer tunnel has a bug turning circle, great to park up in and get photos looking back down the road, this is also a popular spot for cheeky Kea’s to hang out. They are very curious animals and will come to you, just watch your car rubbers and windscreen wipers they are know as the Fiordland bandits for a reason.
Lake Gunn and Lake Mistletoe are home to 45-minute return tracks, perfect way to stretch your legs on the long drive down to Milford Sound.
Here is a handy link to the Department of Conservation walks brochure.
Don’t forget to fill your water bottle up at Monkey Creek that will possibly be some of the clearest, coldest glacial water you will ever drink. There are also heaps of waterfalls to get amongst on the drive, pull up and grab your camera.
You can also kayak in Milford Sound, epic we know. A two to four-hour paddle journey like no other getting you up close and personal with those majestic mountains. You may be really lucky and share the water with some of our local residents. Pods of Dolphins and New Zealand Fur Seals make regular appearances, greeting travellers as they explore the Fiord.
If you are feeling super flash and fancy, then we encourage you to take a scenic flight over Fiordland. These flights can depart from Milford Sound, Te Anau or Queenstown and range in duration, landings and route meaning you will experience Fiordland in a totally different way. Fixed wing planes or a helicopter will transport you to the sky for a truly unforgettable experience.
Whatever you choose, we know it will be epic. #GoBeyond