For anyone who has travelled around New Zealand you will more than likely have heard of Milford Sound. Located on New Zealand’s South Island in the Fiorland National Park, Milford Sound attracts up to 1 million visitors a year.
It also happens to be the rainiest place in the whole of New Zealand with an average annual rainfall of over 6000mm!
So is it worth the hype?
In short yes, but it depends when you go.
As soon as you arrive in Queenstown there are fliers for Milford Sound everywhere. It is about a 5-6 hour bus journey from Queenstown (4 and a half hours in the Car). Boat trips to cruise the fiord start at around $45 dollars with the cheaper companies (for cruise alone) and peak at around $180 (for bus and cruise). Helicopter and plane trips are another way to explore Milford Sound but from Queenstown it can cost about $400 for an hours trip. You can also Kayak at the Fiord and these trips start at around $130.
My best piece of advice, go when the weather is predicted to be good. It sounds simple but that is quite a difficult task for this area of New Zealand. The scenery during the boat cruise is amazing but if the cloud is low then you will miss it! I spoke to a couple of boys who saved up for a trip to Milford Sound but ended up going on a cloudy wet day and didn’t get to see any of the breath taking views.
The drive to Milford Sound from Te Anau is also one of the most stunning in New Zealand. We left Te Anau at 6am (you will see in the above video that I look a little sleepy) just as the sun was beginning to rise and we were treated to a camper van free road, clear skies and a couple of cloud inversions. It was absolutely stunning. There is also a ridiculous tunnel that you have to go through to get to Milford Sound. It is 1.2km long and cuts straight through a steep mountain leaving those with an over active imagination a little breathless.
I would suggest not spending over $45 for one of the Milford Sound Cruises. There are a number of different companies who offer these cruises. Some of the more expensive boats claim they get closer to the waterfalls but they really don’t so save your pennies! We went with Go Orange and got a tasty bacon roll and an orange juice onboard which went nicely with the incredible views.
In summary, Milford Sound is an amazing place but try to go when the weather is nice and don’t be tricked into paying more money than necessary!