Tours and Tickets

Milford Sound Nature Cruise provided by Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Cruises

Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Milford Sound Nature Cruise
4.5
Book in advance
from
$63.20
per adult
Reserve now & pay later: Save your spot free of charge with flexible booking.
Recommended by 93% of travelers
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Tour snapshot
Explore scenic Milford Sound with this intimate South Island nature cruise
Duration:
2h 15m
Taking Covid-19 safety measures
Group size:
50
Stroller accessible
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
About
It's no surprise that New Zealand's Milford Sound is sometimes called the eighth wonder of the world, offering views of cascading waterfalls and mountain peaks. Don't miss this natural gem on this intimate South Island cruise, where you coast through the fjord's clear waters, and enjoy live commentary as you go. Just sit back, snap photos of the landscape, and sip a warm included beverage for a cozy ride.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2h 15m
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
German, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Japanese, English, French, Spanish
Highlights
  • Take in the vistas of Fiordland National Park from the boat observation deck
  • Learn about the wildlife and geology from your naturalist guide's commentary
  • Get a top value with drinks, optional meal, and glacial water taste included
What to expect
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2h 15m
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
German, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Japanese, English, French, Spanish
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Highlights
  • Take in the vistas of Fiordland National Park from the boat observation deck
  • Learn about the wildlife and geology from your naturalist guide's commentary
  • Get a top value with drinks, optional meal, and glacial water taste included
What to expect
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 3960NATURE
Important information
Inclusions
  • Live commentary on board from our passionate skipper
  • FREE Tea and coffee
  • Picnic lunch (if option selected)
  • Nature Cruise
  • Entry/Admission - Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Exclusions
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Milford Sound carpark at a fee of $20 for 5 hours
Duration
2h 15m
Departure details
  • Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Visitor Centre, Freshwater Basin, Milford Sound Highway 94, Milford Sound 9679, New Zealand Check in at our Southern Discoveries Milford Sound Visitor Centre, which is clearly visible as soon as you enter the Milford Sound Terminal - Freshwater Basin, Milford Sound Highway 94, Milford Sound 9679.
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Please advise of your country of origin at the time of booking
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infant seats available
  • Car Parking: On arrival at Milford Sound you can park at the Milford Sound carpark at a fee of $20 for 5 hours. Please allow 10 minutes to walk from the main carpark to the Milford Sound Visitor Centre. Alternatively, you can park free of charge at Deepwater Basin Carpark and walk over to Freshwater Basin to the cruise terminal. This walk is approximately 30 minutes in duration, so additional time will need to be allocated in order to do this comfortably and arrive at the terminal 15 minutes prior to your cruise for check-in.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 50 travelers
Inclusions
  • Live commentary on board from our passionate skipper
  • FREE Tea and coffee
  • Picnic lunch (if option selected)
  • Nature Cruise
  • Entry/Admission - Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Exclusions
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Milford Sound carpark at a fee of $20 for 5 hours
Departure details
  • Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Visitor Centre, Freshwater Basin, Milford Sound Highway 94, Milford Sound 9679, New Zealand Check in at our Southern Discoveries Milford Sound Visitor Centre, which is clearly visible as soon as you enter the Milford Sound Terminal - Freshwater Basin, Milford Sound Highway 94, Milford Sound 9679.
Duration
2h 15m
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Please advise of your country of origin at the time of booking
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infant seats available
  • Car Parking: On arrival at Milford Sound you can park at the Milford Sound carpark at a fee of $20 for 5 hours. Please allow 10 minutes to walk from the main carpark to the Milford Sound Visitor Centre. Alternatively, you can park free of charge at Deepwater Basin Carpark and walk over to Freshwater Basin to the cruise terminal. This walk is approximately 30 minutes in duration, so additional time will need to be allocated in order to do this comfortably and arrive at the terminal 15 minutes prior to your cruise for check-in.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 50 travelers
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
  • Contactless payment for gratuities and add-ons
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Visitor Centre
    Freshwater Basin, Milford Sound Highway 94, Milford Sound 9679, New Zealand
    Check in at our Southern Discoveries Milford Sound Visitor Centre, which is clearly visible as soon as you enter the Milford Sound Terminal - Freshwater Basin, Milford Sound Highway 94, Milford Sound 9679.
    See address & details
  • 1
    Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Visitor Centre
    Stop: 10 minutes
    See details
  • 2
    Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
    Stop: 105 minutes - Admission included
    See details
    Pass by
    Milford Sound
    Bowen Falls
    Sinbad Gully
    Stirling Falls
  • You'll return to the starting point
+
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
89 reviews
Excellent
76
Very good
7
Average
1
Poor
4
Terrible
1

Meander&Co
80 contributions
We drove down ourselves and were very lucky with the weather and road conditions, a smooth drive down very winding roads. The recently introduced parking fees when you get to the destination are extortionate at 10NZD per hour, but there's no other option aside from miss your cruise and drive home for another 4 hours - so we paid up.

The cruise itself was lovely, again the weather was very much on our side, sunshine and hardly any waves although the further out we got the windier it got - take hats/glasses with straps! The fjord itself is astounding and the commentary provided on our tour was very interesting and occasionally quite funny. You could tell the young woman (didn't catch her name) was enthusiastic about not only her job but the whole area.

We saw two different sets of fur seals, some stunning waterfalls and evidence of historic glacial activity. I would highly recommend it, the only downsides for us being the parking fees and those pesky sandflies!!
Written February 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

suzanne
Hamilton, NZ7 contributions
Friends
Very comfortable vessel, beautiful scenery.

Everyone just loved the bottlenose dolphins catching the free ride between the 2 hulls of the catamaran.

Very impressed with the skipper who was also the nature expert, he was well informed and so professional, we all really appreciated not having to listen to the usual 'bloke' borderline jokes.....
Written March 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kia ora Suzy Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review. Seeing dolphins ride the bow wake of the boat is pretty special. Great to hear our team looked after you and you enjoyed the commentary from our skipper. Ngā mihi,
Written March 24, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BradLidge
Roma24 contributions
Friends
I had the luck and the privilege of spending a night and half a day in this amazing piece of Paradise. Our "host" Ruchira set up an unforgettable experience, all of it compounded by the great hospitality we received by all the Southern Discoveries staff we got in touch with: Christine, Stephanie, Rylynn, Tom, Emma, Mike "the mic" (he provided one of the most hilarious commentary ever), Dan, Sharmaine, Chris and all the people the name of whom I don't know/don't remember. The cruise was absolutely amazing, and a few pictures would not tell the whole story/how majestic Piopiotahi is. You guys rock! All in all 5 stars would not pay any justice to the experience I had the opportunity to enjoy. Thanks guys, and thanks Ruchira. I will definitely be back. Kia kaha!
Written September 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nature Lover
Auckland Central, New Zealand3 contributions
We visited Milford Sound on a snowy and foggy day; the scenery was fantastic and couldn't be better. The day before, one of the other ferry companies told us travelling from Queenstown to Milford Sound may take 5 hours, so we depart around 8 am to reach the ferry at 1:30. In the morning, we were told that the road will be closed at 4:30 pm. It was a snowy day and before the tunnel, we had to stop for a while and escorted by a truck for some parts of the road. Anyway, we reach Milford Sound at 12:30 and we tried to catch the earliest ferry in order to avoid driving back in snowy nights and road closure.
The earliest was Southern Discoveries company at 1:15 while the others depart at 1:30, so we chose this company.
1:15 they told us because some of the passengers stuck in the road blockage, they will have 15 mins delay. We were happy to wait 15 mins for others as we knew the road conditions. But that 15 mins became to 50 mins and when we complained that we want to leave, they just replied we want to make everyone happy! And we saw other cruises scheduled at 1:30 were leaving and there was no plan for us. After 50 mins, just a few customers were added and we were in full stress that the road will be blocked at 4:30.
The cruise was good, especially with not many people on board. The cruise finished at 4:05 and we ran to the parking, we had to speed up to reach the tunnel before the closure at 4:30 in heavy snow. We drove to Queenstown non-stop for 4 hours, mainly in dark; we were starving because we wanted to have our dinner after the cruise and after we reach to the safe side of the road before darkness which that 50 mins changes the whole plan.
So if you want to be late for any reason, you can buy and book with this company, it is for you. Otherwise, do not trust them. If you are told 15 mins delay, just refund and choose another company right away, because this will ruin your day.
Written July 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi there Thank you for taking the time to leave a review but we are sorry to hear you didn't have a positive experience. Unfortunately in winter the Milford Road can take a lot longer to drive and with current roadworks there can be unexpected delays on the road. We do try and hold the cruise for customers running late, we're sorry that there was such a delay in your cruise departing on the day. It's not something that would happen often and with no service in Milford unfortunately we can't contact late customers. We're happy to hear you enjoyed your cruise on the day but apologise for the extra stress in trying to get to the tunnel on time. Kind regards,
Written July 30, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rebecca G
2 contributions
Couples
I was very excited to book onto the nature cruise, as both a keen bird and sealife enthusiast as well as first time visitor to Milford Sound.

The commentary was poor, and barely audible, however we were encouraged to the front of the boat and to take lots of photos as we got close to the waterfalls.

However at one point , as others have alluded to, there is a very close up experience with a waterfall. We were told to prepare for wet weather, so I had full waterproofs and I had put my SLR camera away ( although we were not advised this was necessary) however I got completely soaked and my camera water damaged ( even inside its protective case). We were unable to leave the fore deck as the narrow passages were blocked with people and so have now got a £350 repair bill to get my camera functional again.

I have written complaints to Southern Discoveries but they have stopped replying.

Obviously the scenery is superb and Milford Sound in general is spectacular.

Disappointed in an entirely preventable situation, all previous close ups with the waterfalls were like a light drizzle, this was more in keeping with a tsunami.
Written February 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

VijayfromNZ
Auckland, New Zealand3 contributions
Was a great trip, friendly crew, great knowledge of the area. We saw at least 8 seals on the trip which kept the kids happy. The spray from the waterfall was a highlight for the kids also. Great scenery through the Sounds, would definitely recommend this cruise to anybody visiting the lower South Island.
Written March 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kia ora, Thank you so much for your awesome review!! It's fantastic to hear the whole family loved the experience - Milford Sound certainly is a memorable place and this is something the kids will remember forever. Thank you again for joining Southern Discoveries and we hope to see you again if you are back in the South! Ngã mihi, Jayne
Written March 7, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Katarina Renaldi
13 contributions
Solo
Went in the perfect weather window after it had been raining all night and day. I went as a solo traveler in February and saw a pod of dolphins, many seals, and beautiful waterfalls everywhere, and was 1 of only 3 people ok board for the last tour of the day. Incredible experience and very friendly and knowledgeable skipper and guide :) worth the extra $10 to hit that weather window and have the knowledge of the locals so kindly shared with us.
Written February 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Katarina, Thanks so much for this awesome five star review. Oh wow sounds like you got the perfect weather window, Milford is so special during or after lots of rain and you saw dolphins, amazing. We're stoked we made your trip to Milford a memorable one. Ngã mihi, Ciara
Written February 17, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Smaug_11
Auckland, New Zealand139 contributions
We booked with Southern Glacier Helicopters - which are Southern Discoveries heli partners. They flew us in and out of Milford Sound. We joined Southern Discoveries for the cruise. You can tell Southern Discoveries is one of the most experienced tour operators in this area.
The entire trip was 5 stars. The boat was well kept. There was ample space both inside and outside such that the experience wasnt crowded.
We had near perfect conditions on the day we went. Milford Sound is just spectacular and you cant really get enough of it. The cruise takes you right out to the Tasman, stopping and Sterling falls on your way back in. The commentary was informative. Overall a wonderful day spent in Milford Sound.
Written May 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kia ora, A heli/cruise/heli is a pretty special Milford Sound experience and we're so glad you loved it. We really appreciate you taking the time to pass on your feedback and choosing to travel with us. We hope to see you in Milford again. Ngā mihi,
Written June 10, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Minegeo
Brisbane, Australia197 contributions
This was the highlight of our New Zealand trip. The trip was great value, the scenery fantastic and the informative commentary just right in terms of depth of detail for most people. The staff were friendly and welcoming and the free coffee was a bonus on a cold and breezy day.
Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MCFC1977
Auckland Central, New Zealand66 contributions
Captain gave a very good account of the sound and expressed gratitude that the small amount of people on board, came. Tough for a once extremely busy entity. Did their best to keep a brave face. Day was spot-on.
Written March 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kia ora Thanks so much for taking the time to leave us a review, we really appreciate your feedback. It has been a tough year but the support we have received from people like yourself makes it so worthwhile, so thanks for choosing to cruise with us. We're stoked you had a great day. Ngā mihi. Ciara
Written March 17, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 87
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Cruises
N8792WGcarlaj
N8792WGcarlaj
00
Good trip, even better outside of covid.
My biggest concern around Queenstown was safety driving around the roads. On this coach and cruise the driver got u
Haydenmuscat
Haydenmuscat
00
A worthy tourist trap
Milford was amazing! The driver was funny, and the cruise narrator was both very chill and interesting to listen to
DesiKiwi21
DesiKiwi21
00
Unforgettable Birthday at the 8th Wonder!!
An unforgettable experience to say the least! Best decision made to travel with Southern Discoveries. Brad the lad
shannyns2019
shannyns2019
00
Overrated
We were told this was a must do but we had done the kayaking the day before and honestly found this a bit underwhel
TraceyH2247
TraceyH2247
00
Exceptional personalised service
Absolutely fabulous service from beginning to end. Brad our driver & the cruise team made my birthday trip a very m
R_Wetterhahn
R_Wetterhahn
00
Incredible experience.
Absolutely incredible. From the coach ride up with an amazing driver (Brad) who made the 4+ Hour drive enjoyable &
MonikaFaaosofia2022
MonikaFaaosofia2022
00
Excellent
What an awesome experience. Pardeep was awesome! Was worth it! Loved the last place we stopped at before cruise.
levig902
levig902
00
One hell of an awesome experience! Highly recommend!!
An experience that cant be missed ! Super stoaked that me and my partner made the choice to go with southern discov
sandjgraham
sandjgraham
00
Rainy days are the best
We are lucky enough to travel into Milford yearly but this was our first time visiting the underwater observatory.
gwb0104
gwb0104
00
A great bus and boat trip
totally recommend this tour. We drove from Queenstown and stayed at Distinction Te Anau. I would not drive from Te
Ang B
Ang B
00
Stunning
Amazing experience Great guides Lunch was fantastic Totally great experience Highly recommend this it’s a long day
Casey Q
Casey Q
00
Magical
Brad our driver was great very knowledgeable and make sure we were all safe great sense of humour. All in all our t
NorthStar710195
NorthStar710195
00
Epic
I can’t say in words how grateful for this experience with always having it in mind to get there I finally did it!
184ginnyg
184ginnyg
00
Scenic and Entertaining
Stunning scenery with expert and entertaining commentary by tour guide, Brad. Several stops to stretch your legs an
Compass725071
Compass725071
00
Highy recommend!!
What a superb experience. "Fly", the tour guide was very informative and entertaining. The cruise spoilt us with it
Frequently Asked Questions about Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Milford Sound Nature Cruise price starts from $62.87. Discover and book Milford Sound Nature Cruise on Tripadvisor

Milford Sound Nature Cruise cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Milford Sound Nature Cruise on Tripadvisor

Milford Sound Nature Cruise is hosted by Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Cruises. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Cruises on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Milford Sound Nature Cruise on Tripadvisor

On average, this experience will take approximately 2h 15m. Discover and book Milford Sound Nature Cruise on Tripadvisor