Tourism New Zealand© Tourism New Zealand
Tourism New Zealand

10 Best Milford Sound Tours from Queenstown & Te Anau 🏔️ [2023]

© Tourism New Zealand

The Best Coach and 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 small-group tours. 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 15 Milford Sound Must-Dos and the 10 Best Accommodations in Milford Sound in case you were considering staying overnight. 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 – The Best Luxury Tour to Milford Sound

Arrive in Milford Sound in style with one of the luxury coaches of Milford Sound Select. There are window seats for all passengers, including a glass roof to take in the views of the towering mountains. The tour includes plenty of refreshments 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. RealNZ Overnight Cruise from Queenstown – The Best Overnight Tour to Milford Sound

For an alternative Milford Sound cruise experience, indulge in this overnight cruise of the Milford Mariner with RealNZ. 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 Klook, Viator and Tripadvisor.

Pick-up/Departure: Queenstown and Te Anau.

© RealNZ

3. GreatSights Milford Sound Day Tour – The Best Milford Sound Tour from Te Anau

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 Eglinton Valley 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

4. Altitude Tours – The Best Small-Group Milford Sound Tour

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, Tripadvisor or Klook.

Pick-up/Departure: Queenstown and Te Anau.

Altitude Tours© Altitude Tours

5. Trips & Tramps – The Best Hiking Tour to Milford Sound

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

6. Cheeky Kiwi Travel – The Best Milford Sound Tour from Queenstown

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, Tripadvisor and Klook.

Pick-up/Departure: Queenstown and Te Anau.

10 Best Milford Sound Tours from Queenstown & Te Anau© Cheeky Kiwi Travel

7. Southern Discoveries – The Best Milford Sound Packages

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. There are also options to add the underwater observatory and/or kayaking to your Milford Sound package. Learn more about Southern Discoveries on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook.

Pick-up/Departure: Queenstown and Te Anau.

Southern Discoveries© Southern Discoveries

8. Milford Explorer – The Best Adults-Only Milford Sound Tour

This adults-only coach and cruise tour with Milford Explorer (Kiwi Experience) 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

9. JUCY Cruise – The Best Cheap Milford Sound Tour

The JUCY Cruise bus tour to Milford Sound could be described as “just right”. The group size is not too big; not too small. A maximum of 33 people fit on the coach. Along the way between Te Anau and Milford Sound, you’ll stop by the Eglinton Valley 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, Tripadvisor or Klook.

Pick-up/Departure: Queenstown and Te Anau.

Jucy Cruise© Jucy Cruise


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

More About Milford Sound Tours from Queenstown and Te Anau

That’s it for the best Milford Sound tours from Queenstown and Te Anau. For more Milford Sound wisdom, check out the following guides:


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

Was this article useful?