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Trip Report Milford Sound (Fly! Cruise! Fly!) - Travel Report

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Milford Sound is legendary – it has been named the world’s number 1 travel destination in the 2008 Traveler’s Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor, isn’t the best fjord of all!

The location is also where (one of my favorite series…. but well, it is not the best) Alien: Covenant was shot, and its the setting of the film’s remote alien planet. Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski made the mountains so magical with its soft lighting.

Milford Sound is the most beautiful tourist destinations in New Zealand and it offers the best staggering coastal scenery that I have seen. The Sound is located on the North side of the Fiordland National Park and while it’s physically not far from Queenstown, it takes 4 hours to drive there because the roads had to go around the mountains in between Queenstown and Milford Sound.

You are welcome to check out the details, video, and photos of the Milford Sound @

You are welcome to visit for the flight and for the cruise experience!

Thus, there are few common ways to experience Milford Sound:

Coach > Cruise > Coach
It’s the cheapest way to visit Milford Sound in a day trip that takes about 12 and half hours (departing from Queenstown, via Te Anau) while you would spend 8 hours in a coach. The coach is comfortable with a glass ceiling, and the nature of the way was something to see. But for me…it’s a long drive just to travel 8 hours both ways in a day. When I was in Queenstown the locals told me that there were some discussions about building a shortcut to connect the two places… Me (and the locals) would rather keep it this way by not spoiling the beauty of nature!)

Coach > Cruise > Fly
The trip is about 9 hours (as it saved 3 hours of driving on the way back after the Cruise), but it’s the “full package” that tourist could experience all three types of transportation and stop over at Te Anau, a small town that is a gateway to Milford Sound and other scenic spots of the Fiordland National Park. Lake Te Anau is the second largest lake in New Zealand. However, it’s the most expensive choice as tourists have to pay for the coach’s returning fare even though they just use it one way.

Fly > Cruise > Fly
So, after considerations Fly > Cruise, > Fly was what we chose and I would recommend it. The trip was just about 4 hours yet we saw everything from above. Milford Sound, Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, the icebergs, the cascading waterfalls, alpine lakes and cloud-piercing summits… the scenic flight showed me the best scenery of Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks.

*Flight Plan*

You are welcome to visit for the flight experience!

We were picked up at the hotel and we arrived at a small airport in the city center of Queenstown. The scenic flight took us to Milford Sound airport in about 30 minutes and we a great good look of the Milford Sound before landing. The flight route has quite a lot of scenic spots on both sides!

Skippers Canyon
Glenorchy: Township at the head of Lake Wakatipu, it was also the place that we went for horseback riding. ��
Mount Earnslaw: the Highest mountain in the area (2,819m) after which the TSS Earnslaw steamship was named.
Mount Tutoko
Mitre Peak: An iconic mountain on the shore of Milford Sound (1,692m). It rises straight out from the sea that is 3.5 times the height of the Eiffel Tower and it’s the most photographed scene in Milford Sound. Waterfalls cascade into the fjord and Luxuriant rainforest cling to sheer rock faces in this exceptional place.
Arthur Valley:
Sutherland Falls:
McKinnon Pass: McKinnon Pass is the highest point on the Milford Track. (1,100m)
Milford Track: it is a famous hiking track that takes about 4 days to complete (55km)
Eglinton Valley & Greenstone Valley

The experience was beyond words. It is humbling to witness such breathtaking beauty. It was such a terrific day that I could see the mountain range and beyond…. But soon, we were getting ready for the next stop of our trip – boarding the Nature Cruise and immerse into the awesomeness of the Sound.

*Cruise Plan*

You are welcome to visit for the cruise experience!

We had a peaceful and tranquil cruise journey after an astonishing scenic flight where we immerse in the beauty of the spectacular Milford Sound (Once we set off we headed into the sound between towering cliffs and peaks, though the first 20 minutes was windy getting out to the water, the remaining of the cruise journey was pleasant and calm). There were packed lunch and refreshments on the cruise and the vessel took us to a quite a lot of attractions in the sound:

Sandfly Point
Mitre Peak: An iconic mountain on the shore of Milford Sound (1,692m). It rises straight out from the sea that is 3.5 times the height of the Eiffel Tower and it’s the most photographed scene in Milford Sound. Waterfalls cascade into the fjord and Luxuriant rainforest cling to sheer rock faces in this exceptional place.
Anita Bay
At Anne’s Point Lighthouse
Tasman Sea: it’s the other end of the route, where the Milford Sound meets the sea before we return to the pier after seeing the Tasman Sea waves hitting the rocks
Mount Pembroke
Seal Rock: Most of the walls of the sound is vertical, while here, the adorable New Zealand Fur seals could lie on the rock and sunbathe ��
Stirling Falls: Glacial water plummeting from a beautiful U-shaped hanging valley 146 meters high, it’s the second largest permanent waterfall in the fjord.
Underwater Observatory
Harrison Cove
Bowen Falls

The stunning views of the Milford Sound gave me a renewed understanding and appreciation of nature. Apart from the scenic cruise, there are lots of options for those who would like to spend more time in the Sound and get closer to nature, like the Milford Track and overnight cruise. I was told that overnight cruise is a wonderful experience.

The overnight package includes guided tours that take guests to wildlife viewing in a small boat, hiking to explore the shorelines and kayaking. The cruise has a private or shared cabin, where guests could enjoy a three-course evening meal, go to the bar underneath the stars, and wake up to see hundreds of waterfalls while having continental breakfast… If I am coming back it would be on my bucket list!

Check out the details, video, and photos of the Milford Sound @

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