Tourism New Zealand
Tourism New Zealand

10 Best Milford Sound Tours from Queenstown & Te Anau

© Tourism New Zealand

Coach & Cruise Tours to Milford Sound

Hang up the car keys for the day and truly immerse in the scenery of a UNESCO World Heritage Area. There are many amazing coach and small bus tours taking travellers between the towns of Queenstown and Te Anau to Milford Sound. Most of them will feature the same famous stops along the Milford Road, with a few exceptions that we mention in the Milford Sound tour comparison below. Some key differences also include large glass panels in the roof of some coaches to maximise the view, as well as some tours with smaller groups. We’ll lay out your options in this list of the best Milford Sound Tours from Queenstown and Te Anau!

While you’re here, you might also be interested in 5 Milford Sound Must-Dos and 10 Best Accommodation in Milford Sound. Plus, if you’re just looking for a cruise and have your own transport, then take a look at the 6 Best Cruises in Milford Sound.

1. Milford Sound Select

Arrive in Milford Sound in style in one of the luxury coaches of Milford Sound Select. There are window seats for all passengers, including a glass roof to taking in the views of the towering mountains. The tour includes plenty of refreshment and photo stops on the way between Queenstown and Milford Sound. Once at Milford Sound, you’ll hop on a 1h45min cruise through the fiord. Then you have the scenery to enjoy from the coach all the way back to Queenstown. Find out more about this tour with Milford Sound Select on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Pick-up/Departure: Queenstown

Milford Sound Select© Milford Sound Select

2. Real Journeys Overnight Cruise from Queenstown

For an alternative Milford Sound cruise experience, indulge in this overnight cruise of the Milford Mariner with Real Journeys. The cruise takes you up the entire length of Milford Sound before anchoring at Harrison Cove. There, you’ll get to explore the area with the complimentary kayaks and be treated to a three-course buffet meal. Onboard commentary is provided by the nature guide as you explore the waterfalls, rainforests and wildlife on the nature cruise. You’ll also spend the night in a private ensuite cabin. Bus transport to and from Milford Sound includes all the main stops and scenic highlights on the Milford Road in a tier-seated bus for optimum views. Learn more about the overnight cruise on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Pick-up/Departure: Queenstown and the Te Anau

Real Journeys© Real Journeys

3. Milford Explorer

This adult-only coach and cruise tour with Milford Explorer is a fantastic way to see Milford Sound on a budget. Enjoy stories from your driver as you make your way down the Milford Road, stopping at scenic highlights along the way. At Milford Sound, you’ll board the Jucy Cruise for a 1h30min journey through the majestic fiord. Find out more about the Milford Explorer tour on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Pick-up/Departure: Queenstown

Milford Explorer© Milford Explorer

4. GreatSights Milford Sound Day Tour

This GreatSights/InterCity bus tour to Milford Sound adds a bit of luxury to your day in Fiordland. Soak in the scenery from the specially-designed glass-roofed coach, stop by The Chasm and Mirror Lakes, then enjoy a cruise on a small and luxurious catamaran through Milford Sound. The cruise also includes a gourmet lunch. Check out Viator and Tripadvisor for more details about this tour.

Pick-up/Departure: Te Anau

InterCity© InterCity

5. Altitude Tours

A Milford Sound bus tour with a difference, the Milford Sound Experience by Altitude Tours features all the stops and short walks of a normal Milford Sound tour, but with one key difference: a Kiwi style barbecue onboard your boat while cruising into the fiord! See waterfalls, fur seals and occasionally dolphins on board the 2-hour nature cruise. If you fancy it, a fly-back option is also available. This tour is great for people who want a more personalised and less crowded Milford experience as on the way to your cruise, you’ll travel in a small luxury vehicle. Find out more about Altitude Tours and book your Milford Sound experience on Viator or Tripadvisor.

Pick-up/Departure: Queenstown & Te Anau

Altitude Tours© Altitude Tours

6. Jucy Cruise

The Jucy Cruise bus tour to Milford Sound could be described as “just right”. The group size is not too big, not too small: just right. A maximum of 33 people fit on the coach. Along the way between Te Anau and Milford Sound, you’ll stop by the Chasm Walk and the Mirror Lakes Walk and receive commentary from your guide. Upon reaching Milford Sound, you have a cruise with Jucy Cruise to enjoy. Lunch is also provided on this tour. Check out this tour on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Pick-up/Departure: Te Anau

Jucy Cruise© Jucy Cruise

7. Gray Line Tours

Enjoy as uninterrupted views as possible and ample legroom in the glass-roof coaches of Gray Line Tours as you make your way along the stunning Milford Road. The tour includes plenty of stops at some of the major highlights along the Milford Road before you board your Milford Sound cruise. You’ll also get to indulge in a picnic lunch during the cruise. Learn more about Gray Line Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Pick-up/Departure: Queenstown

Gray Line Tours© Greyline Tours

8. Trips & Tramps

Explore more of the Fiordland National Park on foot on your way between Te Anau and Milford Sound with Trips & Tramps. This small-group tour in a minivan allows you to choose from several guided or unguided walks, including the Key Summit Walk of the Routeburn Great Walk, Lake Marian Track and the Mirror Lakes Walk. A Milford Sound cruise and afternoon or morning tea is also provided. Learn more about these walks in 10 Milford Sound Walks You Can’t Miss. Additionally, find out more about Trips & Tramps on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Pick-up/Departure: Te Anau

Trips & Tramps© Trips & Tramps

9. Cheeky Kiwi Travel

Swap the large tour buses for a more intimate experience with Cheeky Kiwi Travel. Their buses, departing from Queenstown and Te Anau, accept no more than 11 passengers. The tour features the main highlights that all the tours include between Queenstown and Milford Sound, with the addition of some Lord of the Rings filming locations and free time to see waterfalls on the Lake Marian walk. You’ll be treated to refreshments and snacks along the drive, as well as given plenty of opportunities to make your own purchases. Get more details on this tour with Cheeky Kiwi Travel on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Pick-up/Departure: Queenstown & Te Anau

Cheeky Kiwi Travel© Cheeky Kiwi Travel

10. Southern Discoveries

Take in as much scenery as possible in the glass-roof coach of Southern Discoveries. You’ll receive insightful commentary on the coach and cruise throughout the day with headset commentaries available in different languages. After a few stops in Te Anau and at popular short walks along the Milford Road, you’ll reach Milford Sound for your Nature Cruise. The cruise includes a hot buffet lunch in summer and a picnic lunch in winter. Learn more about Southern Discoveries on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Pick-up/Departure: Queenstown & Te Anau

Southern Discoveries© Southern Discoveries

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