Staying over in Milford Sound Piopiotahi
The surreal beauty and untouched majesty of Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) has seen it named, at various times, the eighth wonder of the world, the world’s top travel destination and home to the world’s finest walk (the Milford Track). As part of Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site, the sound and surrounding area has huge environmental importance to New Zealand and the world.
To preserve the integrity of the area, tourist activities are well regulated and monitored, and there is little scope to stay overnight in the sound. Free camping is not allowed, and is strictly monitored. The region has strong ecological and cultural significance and it is vital to protect its natural charm and beauty, however there are some great options for those who wish to stay and explore.
Milford Sound Lodge near the mouth of the Cleddau River offers a range of accommodation at reasonable rates, from camping through to charming riverside chalets, as well as some fantastic packages including lake cruises, hiking and kayaking in the Sound.
There are a handful of DOC (Department of Conservation) standard campsites in the Milford area. Standard campsites offer fairly basic camping facilities, usually a toilet (which may be an infamous ‘Kiwi longdrop!’), a water supply which may be a tap, a river or a lake, cold showers and basic cooking facilities – ie wood barbecue (BYO wood) and/or a cooking shelter. These sites are for well equipped campers, and are not to be confused with glamping sites where full facilities apply!
Most travellers choose to stay at nearby Knobs Flat, which boasts a rural holiday park, Te Anau Downs, Te Anau, or any of the smaller towns between Milford and Queenstown where there is ample accommodation available. There are plenty of transport options, or take your own vehicle on the scenic route through mountains, valleys and river country to the small settlement of Milford Sound.
Whatever your accommodation preferences, you are in one of the world’s most exquisite scenic regions. Stop, relax, and enjoy the view!