5 Luxury Activities in Milford Sound© Fiordland Discovery
5 Luxury Activities in Milford Sound

5 Best Luxury Experiences in Milford Sound 🏔️ [2023]

© Fiordland Discovery

The Most Lavish Luxury Tours in Milford Sound

Remote, wild and wonderous, Milford Sound might be hours from the nearest town but it still boasts luxury tours and activities. Experience the dramatic cliffs awash in the waterfalls plunging into the inky dark waters in a multitude of premium ways. Scenic flights, private tours, luxury overnight cruises and even scuba diving in the unique underwater eco-system of a fiord are all on the cards. Pick your hand with this list of the best luxury experiences in Milford Sound.

For more advice on a premium visit to the fiord, check out The Luxury Guide to Milford Sound. Plus, stay in Milford a little while with the 10 Best Accommodations in Milford Sound.

1. Experience a Luxury Multi-Day Cruise

Sure, there are many cruises to choose from at Milford Sound, but none are quite a luxurious as Fiordland Discovery. Their multi-day cruises are a small-group experience where you’ll stay on the lavish Fiordland Jewel with its climate-controlled ensuite cabins. Choose from multi-day cruises of Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, as well as Fiordland’s less-visited fiords. Stays include three-course dinners, sumptuous breakfasts, kayaking and tender boat trips, as well as soaking in the topdeck outdoor spa pool. The boat also has a helicopter landing pad, giving you options for cruise-and-flight combos.

Location: Tours depart from the Milford Marina in Milford Sound, Te Anau or from Queenstown, Glenorchy, Wanaka or Te Anau via helicopter.

5 Luxury Activities in Milford Sound© Fiordland Discovery

2. Enjoy a Guided Tour of the Milford Road, a Milford Sound Cruise and Short Hikes Along the Way

Don’t just see Milford Sound; immerse in it. That’s the mantra of a guided tour of Milford Sound and the Milford Road, which are available with operators like Trips & Tramps (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Their small-group and private tours are with a local guide who shares Maori legends, history and fascinating facts about the flora and fauna of this UNESCO World Heritage Area. You will see the highlights of Milford Sound beyond what the average tourist sees, with opportunities to do alternative short hikes to what is usually featured on a Milford Road tour. All of that and more can be compared in the 10 Best Milford Sound Tours from Queenstown & Te Anau.

Location: Tours depart from Te Anau.

5 Luxury Activities in Milford Sound© Trips & Tramps

3. Take a Scenic Flight Over the Fiord

Nothing quite captures the majesty of the glacier-carved scenery of the New Zealand fiords like a scenic flight. If you have made your own way to Milford Sound, Milford Sound Helicopters (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) will take you up to the skies alongside the highest peak in Milford Sound, Mitre Peak, as well as Sutherland Falls and the Tutuko Glacier on their longer flights. Alternatively, there’s a wide array of scenic flights to Milford Sound from Te Anau, Queenstown, Wanaka and Haast. Find out more about these options in the 5 Best Scenic Flights to Milford Sound from Queenstown and the 7 Luxury Activities in Haast.

Location: Milford Sound Airport, State Highway 94, Milford Sound.

5 Luxury Activities in Milford Sound© Megan Thomas - Destination Fiordland

4. Challenge Yourself to the Iconic Milford Track

It’s no secret that Milford Sound is also where one of the most famous multi-day hikes in New Zealand ends. It’s also the place where you can experience a New Zealand Great Walk with more luxurious accommodation and dining options along the trail. Stay in private lodges along the Milford Track, as well as in Milford Sound and dine on contemporary New Zealand cuisine on the all-inclusive guided experience with Ultimate Hikes.

Alternatively, if you don’t have five days to spare for the full Milford Track, Trips & Tramps (see Viator and Tripadvisor for more info) offers one-day guided experiences of the famous trail including a boat trip across Lake Te Anau taking you to see waterfalls, mountains and lakes along the first section of the trail.

Location: Transport is offered from Queenstown and Te Anau.

5 Luxury Activities in Milford Sound© Unsplash

5. See Black Coral on a Scuba Diving Trip

For something utterly unique, enter the underwater world of a glacial fiord with Descend Scuba Diving NZ. Dive down the steep fiord cliff faces to see a colourful and mesmerising eco-system of black coral – a habitat usually only found in deepsea trenches. This is due to Milford Sound’s heavy and frequent rainfall that creates a layer of fresh water above the saltwater, which casts shadows for beautiful coral trees to thrive. With more than 150 species of fish seen in Milford’s waters, each dive is diverse and exciting.

Location: Tours depart from Deepwater Basin Road, approximately 1km (0.6 miles) from Milford Sound.

5 Luxury Activities in Milford Sound© B Carter - Destination Fiordland

More Luxury Experiences in Milford Sound

That’s it for the luxury tours in Milford Sound. For more Milford experiences that don’t necessarily fall under the “luxury” category but are still amazing to do, check out the following guides:

We hope you found this list of luxury activities in Milford Sound useful. Find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.


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.

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