Remote and untamed, the location of Milford Sound makes it seem like Mother Nature herself wanted to keep this gem hidden from the world.
If you’re coming from Queenstown, the one-way drive is 5 hours long (290km). The closest township of Te Anau is still 3 hours away (118km) from Milford Sound. That means to see Milford Sound from Queenstown would take roughly 12 hours – 10 hours on the journey and about 2 hours cruising the fiord.
While it may seem like a daunting trip, it might very well be the best 12 hours you’ll spend travelling in New Zealand, perhaps even in the world. Luckily, the journey is just as astounding as the destination itself. The best way to enjoy the alpine road to Milford is via a coach. The steep valleys often present challenging driving conditions. Particularly in winter, Milford Road can be quite treacherous; chains are needed when travelling by car.
Operators such as Southern Discoveries offers a combination of a coach and cruise day trip so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery in a comfortable glass-roof coach. Check out their Premium Milford Sound Nature Cruise & Buffet Lunch from Queenstown.
Are you ready to take on that long road to Milford Sound? Here are some sights to check out if you’re coming from Queenstown:
Once you’re in Milford Sound watch out for the most amazing masterpieces of nature. The iconic Mitre Peak, which takes its name from its resemblance to a Bishop’s mitre, soars 1,700 metres up from the fiord and seems to touch the sky.
The waterfalls are also quite breathtaking – from the powerful Stirling Waterfall that plummets down to the earth as a single unbroken river to the hundreds of rivulets that streak the limestone cliff faces with silver trickles. Occasionally, penguins, seals and pods of dolphins can also be spotted in the fiord.
The road leading to Milford Sound is long and at times dangerous to drive – but it is stunningly scenic and definitely worth the trip.