Where do the boats leave from?
All cruises leave from Milford Wharf – right outside the terminal building – and return to the same place.
How long does it take to get from Queenstown to Milford?
It takes around five hours to get to Milford depending on road conditions.
How long does it take to get from Te Anau to Milford?
It takes around 2 hours 30 min to drive from Te Anau to Milford.
What’s the difference between a Scenic and an Encounter cruise?
Scenic Cruises are on our spacious catamarans and offer larger viewing decks, greater stability, better disabled access, Japanese commentary and hot buffet lunch. Encounter Cruises are on much smaller mono-hull boats which can get closer to the sides of the fiord, nearer to wildlife and even into the waterfalls. They have roving nature guides and provide a more personal, interactive experience.
Will I see wildlife?
Milford has an abundance of wildlife and is home to Southern Fur Seals and Southern Bottle-Nosed Dolphins all year round. Rare Dusky Dolphins are also known to venture into the sound and show off their acrobatics. The world’s rarest penguin - the Fiordland Crested Penguin – visits Milford during mating season. While there is always wildlife in Milford Sound unfortunately we can’t guarantee sightings as these are wild animals enjoying their natural habitat. However a visit to the Milford Discovery Centre guarantees a chance to see wildlife as there are always birds on the dock and an abundance of beautiful sea life below.
Are there sandflies?
Unfortunately we do get sandflies in Milford – mainly just before it rains. To avoid being bitten bring mosquito spray. You can buy spray from The Blue Duck Cafe, or just keep moving to ward them off. They are primarily a problem around the wharf area.
Do you provide disabled/wheelchair access?
There are disabled parking spaces right outside the terminal building and all access to the boats is via ramps. There is a small two-inch lip as you get onto the boats, and Lady of the Sounds and Lady Bowen have a small number of steps inside, but members of our staff are always there to help. There are no wheelchair accessible toilets onboard our cruises, there are however some located in the cruise terminal building which are easily accessible before and after your cruise.
What’s the weather like in Milford?
It is impossible to tell what the weather will be like from day to day. Milford is one of the wettest places in the world, which is why it is renowned for its spectacular waterfalls and rainforest, which only adds to the beauty of the area. All our boats have spacious indoor areas for comfortable cruising in all weather conditions.
What clothes should I wear/bring?
Due to the changeable nature of the weather in Milford it is always a good idea to bring a warm jacket and wear sensible shoes. Raincoats are provided for passengers on Encounter Nature cruises.
Where is the Milford Discovery Centre?
The Centre is located in Harrison’s Cove about a 10-minute boat trip from Milford Wharf. It is only accessible by boat and in conjunction with a cruise. Cruise boats drop passengers at the Centre before they come back to the wharf and the next cruise picks them up at least 30min later.
What is the GPS address for Milford Sound?
Unfortunately there is no specific address to type into a GPS but the coordinates for Milford Sound are: S 44°38.7960' E 167°54.3000'. However there is only one road in and out of Milford and the wharf is positioned at the end of that road.
Do you operate on Christmas Day?
We operate 365 days a year with a range of options available.
Is there anywhere to get a coffee in Milford?
We own and manage Milford’s only Café and Bar, The Blue Duck, right on the waterfront. Enjoy short walks along the water front before or after a cruise and then stop by for lunch, an espresso, local beer or wine while enjoying stunning views out to Mitre Peak.
Are you environmentally friendly?
Southern Discoveries, owned by South Island family business Skeggs Group Limited, is committed to working towards more environmentally friendly practices across all businesses in Milford Sound from vessel management to onshore office procedures. Among many environmentally friendly procedures and practices we adopt, our vessels are powered by small efficient engines ensuring less diesel is consumed and thereby reducing our carbon footprint. We practice a zero tolerance of discharges into the fiord.