Duration Duration: 2hrs 15mins

Get up close and personal with this pristine environment on our small boat, Encounter Nature Cruise. Reach out and touch sheer rock cliffs and drink pure glacial water straight from the waterfalls, see seals sunning themselves on the rocks, dolphins riding the bow wave or if you’re lucky, spot rare Fiordland crested penguins (in season).

Why choose an Encounter Nature Cruise?

  • Small boat with fewer passengers for an intimate Milford Sound experience
  • Interactive and personal with a fun and friendly atmosphere
  • Two specialist nature guides share their local knowledge with lively and informative commentary
  • Taste pure glacial water from towering waterfalls
  • The ideal cruise for close-up photos of seals, dolphins or penguins
  • Raincoats provided on board so you can stand on the bow under tumbling waterfalls
  • Large, outdoor viewing deck with covered seating
  • Have your photo taken with the skipper in the open wheelhouse
  • Range of lunch options available (must be pre-ordered, at extra cost)
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
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1 November 2014 – 30 April 2015
Departs From Departs Cruise  Includes Returns Adult  Child  Online Special
Milford Sound 10.15am Encounter Nature 12.30pm $86 $16 SAVE 10% book
1.00pm Encounter Nature 3.15pm $96 $16 SAVE 10% book
3.45pm Encounter Nature 6.00pm $76 $16 SAVE 10% book
Te Anau 10.00am Coach/Encounter Nature/Coach FREE Picnic Lunch 4.55pm $149 $79 book
Queenstown 7.05am Coach/Encounter Nature/Coach FREE Picnic Lunch 7.40pm $179 $115 book
7.05am Coach/Encounter Nature/Fly FREE Picnic Lunch 4.30pm $569 $355 book
9.15am Fly/Encounter Nature/Fly 1.45pm $485 $275 book
12.00pm Fly/Encounter Nature/Fly 4.30pm $485 $275 book
* Save 10% only applicable on adult fares. Please note: Coach/Encounter Nature Cruise/Coach will connect with our Scenic Cruise for the month of April 2015.


1 May 2015 – 30 September 2015
Departs From Departs Cruise  Returns Adult  Child  Online Special
Milford Sound 9.45am Encounter Nature 12.00pm $76 $16 SAVE 10% book
12.45pm Encounter Nature 3.00pm $86 $16 SAVE 10% book
Queenstown 8.45am Fly/Encounter Nature/Fly 1.15pm $485 $275 book
11.45am Fly/Encounter Nature/Fly 4.15pm $485 $275 book
* Save 10% only applicable on adult fares. 8.45am flight unavailable from 1 June 2015 to 1 September 2015.

Cruise Map

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Travel Options

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Coach-Tours-Milford-Sound-Southern-Discoveries   AwesomeNZ

By Coach:

awesomeNZ Encounter – Summer
ex Queenstown or Te Anau

Take an unforgettable journey into the heart of Milford Sound with AwesomeNZ.

You’ll experience the world famous fiord – rich in dense rainforest, glacier carved valleys and beautiful waterfalls. In Milford Sound you will join up with our 2 hours 15 minute Encounter Nature Cruise and enjoy a FREE Picnic Lunch served onboard. Plenty of stops are included along the road for photos and an interesting and informative commentary provided in English along the way.
  • Modern, air conditioned, full size coaches with a purpose built glass roof for optimal viewing
  • Includes a FREE Picnic lunch onboard the cruise (Japanese Obento, Gourmet Picnic and Thali Indian Lunch options are also available for an additional cost and must be pre-booked)
  • Plenty of stops are included for photo opportunities
  • Visit Mirror Lakes, Monkey Creek, Knobs Flat, Homer Tunnel, Christie Falls, The Chasm and Mitre Peak
  • English commentary provided by your driver guide
  • Complimentary hotel pick up and drop off
  • Fly back option available (additional cost)
1 November 2014 – 31 March 2015
Departs From Departs Includes Returns Adult  Child 
Queenstown 7:05am FREE Picnic Lunch 7:40pm $179 $115 book
Te Anau 10.00am FREE Picnic Lunch 4.55pm $149 $79 book

By Air:

A Fly/Cruise/Fly or Coach/Cruise/Fly is the ultimate Milford Sound experience, taking in magnificent views of mountains, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers and forest. Your trip will take approximately 4 hours and include hotel pick up, return scenic flight and your cruise in Milford Sound. Your pilot will provide commentary on the untouched wilderness that can only be seen from the air.  
Glenorchy Air
 Season Departs Returns Adult  Child 
Summer 9.15am 1.45pm $485 $275 book
12.00pm 4.30pm $485 $275 book
Winter 8.45am 1.15pm $485 $275 book
11.45am 4.15pm $485 $275 book

By Car or Campervan:

If you’d prefer to make your own way to Milford Sound, New Zealand’s most picturesque drive is a spectacular journey. The road into Milford is an extraordinary passage so allow plenty of time for short walks, photo opportunities and rest stops along the way.

View our Road to Milford Map for some must-see stops along the way.

Food Options

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Picnic Lunch

Picnic Lunch - $17

Gourmet Picnic Lunch

Gourmet Picnic Lunch - $30

Japanese Obento

Japanese Obento Lunch - $30

Thali Indian Lunch

Thali Indian Lunch - $26

What to Bring

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What to bring for cruises

Due to the changeable nature of the weather in Milford, it's a good idea to bring a warm, waterproof jacket and wear comfortable, non-slip shoes. Don't forget insect repellent, sunscreen and plenty of memory card space on your camera.