Duration Duration: 3 hours

Cruising with Southern Discoveries is the best way to experience more of Milford Sound on top of the water, but why stop there? Upgrade your cruise to complete your day with a visit to our amazing, exclusively-operated, underwater observatory.

Hidden under the surface of Harrison Cove in the middle of Piopiotahi Marine Reserve is a unique and beautiful environment – there’s nowhere else in the world quite like it. Thanks to the deep-water emergence phenomenon, Milford Sound is home to species such as black coral which are usually only found at depths of more than 500 metres.

Our Milford Sound Underwater Observatory allows you to experience this amazing world beneath the surface. You’ll descend 64 steps (10 metres) underwater into a large, fully air-conditioned viewing area where windows with excellent clarity open your eyes to this underwater haven. Unlike an aquarium, the fish are free to come and go; it’s the people who are contained.

Why choose the Underwater Observatory?

  • A unique opportunity to visit New Zealand’s only floating underwater observatory, accessible only by boat
  • Descend by spiral staircase to 10 metres beneath the water’s surface
  • See rare black coral growing in its natural habitat and meet colourful sea creatures
  • Relax as our guide tells you more about the unique history, geology and wildlife of Milford Sound
  • Learn about the story of Milford Sound and our conservation efforts with entertaining videos and easy to read information panels

Underwater Observatory Upgrades:
Our prices below are for a package including your choice of cruise, a visit to the underwater observatory and a freshly-prepared picnic lunch. You also have the option to add the underwater observatory to your cruise when booking for $25 per adult or $15 per child.

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Summer
Winter

Summer

1 October 2019 - 30 April 2020

Departs FromCheck-in
closes
DepartsOptionIncludesReturnsAdultChildOnline Special 
Milford Sound8.45am9.00amScenic Cruise +
Underwater Observatory
Cooked Breakfast11.30am$90$55
Milford Sound9.15am9.30amEncounter Nature Cruise +
Underwater Observatory
Picnic Lunch12.15pm$130$55
Milford Sound10.15am10.30amNature Cruise +
Underwater Observatory
Picnic Lunch1.00pm$110$55
Milford Sound11.15am11.30amScenic Cruise +
Underwater Observatory
Picnic Lunch *1.30pm$124$55
Milford Sound12.00pm12.15pmEncounter Nature Cruise +
Underwater Observatory
Picnic Lunch3.15pm$134$55
Milford Sound12.45pm1.00pmNature Cruise +
Underwater Observatory
Picnic Lunch *4.00pm$144$55
Milford Sound1.15pm1.30pmScenic Cruise +
Underwater Observatory
Picnic Lunch *4.00pm$140$55
Milford Sound2.00pm2.15pmNature Cruise +
Underwater Observatory
Picnic Lunch4.45pm$140$55
Milford Sound2.30pm2.45pmEncounter Nature Cruise +
Underwater Observatory
Picnic Lunch5.00pm$130$55
Milford Sound3.00pm3.15pmNature Cruise +
Underwater Observatory
Picnic Lunch5.30pm$110$55
Queenstown7.45am8.00amCoach, Cruise &
Underwater Observatory
Picnic Lunch9.15pm$265 $230$140SAVE $35
Queenstown7.45am8.00amCoach, Cruise &
Underwater Observatory

with returm flight
Picnic Lunch5.45pm$685from $400
Queenstown7.45am8.00amCoach, Cruise &
Underwater Observatory

with returm heli
Picnic Lunch5.45pm$1100from $725
Te Anau8.15am8.30amSmall Coach, Cruise &
Underwater Observatory**
5.00pm$145$75
Te Anau10.45am11.00amCoach, Cruise &
Underwater Observatory
Picnic Lunch7.00pm$245 $210$130SAVE $35

*Upgrade to an international or kiwi-style buffet for only $15 per person.
**Add a picnic lunch for only $20 per person.

Winter

1 May 2020 - 30 September 2020

Departs FromCheck in closesDepartsOptionIncludesReturnsAdultChild 
Milford Sound9.30am9.45amEncounter Nature Cruise
+ Underwater Observatory*
Picnic Lunch1.00pm$120$55
Milford Sound10.15am10.30amNature Cruise
+ Underwater Observatory*
Picnic Lunch1.20pm$104$55
Milford Sound11.15am11.30amScenic Cruise
+ Underwater Observatory*
Picnic Lunch1.20pm$104$55
Milford Sound12.45pm1.00pmNature Cruise
+ Underwater Observatory*
Picnic Lunch3.45pm$130$55
Milford Sound1.45pm2.00pmNature Cruise
+ Underwater Observatory*
Picnic Lunch4.30pm$110$55
Te Anau9.15am9.30amSmall Coach, Cruise
+ Underwater Observatory*
7.00pm $145**$75


*Underwater Observatory will be closed for winter maintenance from 15 June to 14 August 2020.
**Add a picnic lunch for only $20 per person.

Food Options

Click to expand
Picnic Lunch

Picnic Lunch

Included in your Coach, Cruise & Underwater Observatory day trip and Small Coach, Cruise & Kayak day trip departing from
Te Anau. Can be added on to your Small Coach, Cruise & Underwater Observatory day trip departing from Te Anau
Choose between a Regular, Vegetarian, Vegan or Gluten Free picnic option.
Includes:

  • Sandwich
  • Cheese and crackers (soup for Vegan option)
  • Seasonal fresh fruit
  • Crisps
  • Cookie
  • Small chocolate bar