Where to Stay in Milford Sound
Indeed, a 240km (150-mile) drive to and from the nearest town, Te Anau, is a daunting prospect, let alone the drive from Queenstown! So what are your options for staying in Milford Sound? In short, not much. There’s only one lodge open to the public and a couple of overnight cruises. Needless to say, they get booked up quickly so the further in advance you can book, the better. Alternatively, take a tent or rent a campervan and hit the Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites along the road between Te Anau and Milford Sound. We list all of your options with this guide to accommodation in Milford Sound.
For more Milford Sound tips, check out The Complete Guide to Milford Sound.
1. Milford Sound Lodge
The only lodging in Milford Sound that’s open to the public, Milford Sound Lodge offers visitors a unique opportunity to stay the night just moments away from the famous fiord. Nestled among Fiordland rainforest and with mountain views in every direction, a scattering of private units and a campervan park make up the accommodation. Choose from well-appointed ensuite studios with hotel-like in-room facilities and get access to the lodge’s communal kitchen and restaurant. There are also two-bedroom units available with a small kitchenette, perfect for families.
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2. Milford Marina Overnight Cruise
The only way to stay overnight in Milford Sound itself is on an overnight cruise. The Milford Marina Overnight Cruise with Real Journeys is one such cruise, offering all-inclusive packages for a night to remember. There are double and twin ensuite cabins available, where a three-course buffet dinner, cooked breakfast, kayak hire and tender excursions are included in the rate. The evening starts with a cruise of Milford Sound featuring commentary from a nature guide before the Milford Marina anchors at a sheltered cove for the night’s dinner and activities.
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3. Fiordland Discovery Overnight Cruise
For a more boutique experience, Fiordland Discovery offers an overnight cruise on the luxurious Fiordland Jewel. The catamaran feature just nine climate-controlled cabins all with ensuite bathrooms. The experience includes two cruises of Milford Sound, a three-course fine dining dinner, continental and cooked breakfast, kayak hire, tender excursions and a topdeck hot tub. See more experiences like this in the 5 Luxury Activities in Milford Sound.
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4. Cascade Creek Campsite
Continuing our list of accommodation in Milford Sound, the remaining options are all campsites along the Milford Sound Road. Cascade Creek Campsite is the largest and most popular campsite along the Milford Road, located close to the shores of Lake Gunn and the Lake Gunn Nature Walk. There are many grassy areas to call your own and gravelled parking for those larger motorhomes. There are two toilets, one that’s wheelchair accessible, while there are also picnic tables, a cooking shelter, tap water and water from a creek. The campsite must be booked before arrival.
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5. Deer Flat Campsite
This small campsite with only three non-powered/tent sites is in an attractive grassy area beside the Eglinton River. The Deer Flat Campsite is surrounded by tracts of beech forest. There’s gravel parking ideal for larger campervans and motorhomes, while facilities include toilets and water from a stream. Bookings are required for this campsite. Learn more about the DOC campsites in our guide to Camping in New Zealand.
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6. Henry Creek Campsite
Located closer to Te Anau than Milford Sound, Henry Creek Campsite is another campsite worth considering along the Milford Sound Road. The large campsite has around 50 sites for campervans/motorhomes and tents, some of which are in small private areas. The campsite is right beside Lake Te Anau and is surrounded by regenerating beech forest. There are toilets available and water from a stream. Bookings are required for this campsite.
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7. Kiosk Creek Campsite
Located down a gravel road off the Milford Sound Road, Kiosk Creek is a west-facing campsite where watching the sunset on a good day is just magical. An interesting feature is the views of glacial moraine deposits, while there are also surrounding mountains and forest that shelters the campsite. The campsite only has toilets and picnic tables. Bring your own water. Your spot on one of the 15 sites must be booked before arrival.
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8. Totara Campsite
One that’s suitable for larger vehicles, as well as tents and campervans, Totara Campsite offers 30 sites. Some are semi-private and sheltered by beech trees. The campsite has toilets and a small stream where you can get water and go for a paddle. There are picnic tables and small fire pits. Bookings are required.
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9. Upper Eglinton Campsite
This is a great base if you plan to do some of the Earl Mountain Tracks. The Upper Eglinton Campsite offers just five sites mid-way between Te Anau and Milford Sound. Facilities include a toilet and a stream for water where you can also enjoy fishing providing you have a licence. Enjoy the magnificent valley views in this peaceful spot. Bookings are essential.
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10. Walker Creek Campsite
Another small campsite along the Eglinton River, Walker Creek Campsite is a great campsite for campervans and tents. It has a small turning bay at the end – perhaps not suitable for caravans. There are toilet facilities and the only water source is the river. Bookings are essential for the five camping sites available.