We stayed in Queenstown for almost a week and spent a day on the Milford Sound.
We stayed in Queenstown and watched the weather reports carefully to choose a day that was clear and sunny (there are very few such days unfortunately - perhaps 30 per year?).
We chose to drive to the park from Queenstown which gave us the option of stopping where we wanted to on the way (the drive to the Milford Sound is almost as spectacular as the Sound itself). The trip is about 290 km each direction and takes just over 4 hours each way (google maps says 3 hours 30 but there can be delays along the way and stops for photos).
Other options include bus-ship packages leaving from major hotels in Queenstown.
The Sound is spectacular and is as good as an Alaska Cruise without the glaciers. Myriads of waterfalls along the shore and beautiful mountains provide a scenic backdrop to the Sound itself..
We purchased a boat cruise on-line called the nature cruise that was about 2 1/2 hours long and it was very good. The ship was smaller than most and thus was able to almost touch the shore. Because of this the cruise included sailing up to and under a waterfall - soaking all on the fore-deck (who were suitably attired in rain gear). - much like Niagara Falls "Maid of the Mist". It was also able to get within a stones-throw of seals sunning on the rocks.
If you visit Queenstown and the weather is half-way reasonable it would be unfortunate to miss a visit to the Milford Sound.
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