Luxury Tours in Milford Sound
Remote, wild and wonderous, Milford Sound might be hours from the nearest town but it still boasts luxury 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 activities in Milford Sound.
1. Experience a Luxury Overnight Cruise
Sure, there are many cruises to choose from at Milford Sound, but none are quite a luxurious as Fiordland Discovery. Their overnight cruise is a small-group experience where you’ll stay on the lavish Fiordland Jewel with its climate-controlled ensuite cabins. Your stay includes two cruises of the fiord, a three-course dinner, a sumptuous breakfast, 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.
2. Enjoy a Guided Tour of the Milford Road, Milford Sound 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 Fiordland Outdoors Co. Their private tours are with a local guide who shares Maori legends, history and fascinating facts about flora and fauna of this UNESCO World Heritage Area. There are multiple options to see the highlights of Milford Sound beyond what the average tourist sees, with opportunities to do short hikes along the way. They give you the option to curate a tour to suit your interests.
Location: Tours depart from Te Anau and Milford Sound Lodge.
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 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.
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 and 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 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. 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 salt water, 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.