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
  • 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 October 2015 – 30 April 2016
Departs From Departs
Returns Adult  Child  Online Specials
Milford Sound 9.45am Encounter Nature 12.00pm $89 $20 NOW $79* book
12.15pm Encounter Nature 2.30pm $96 $20 SAVE 10% book
2.45pm Encounter Nature 5.00pm $78 $20 SAVE 10% book
Queenstown 8.45am Fly/Encounter Nature/Fly 1.00pm $495 $295 book
1.45pm Fly/Encounter Nature/Fly 6.00pm $495 $295 book

* April Special – click here for terms and conditions.


1 May 2016 – 30 September 2016
Departs From Departs
Returns Adult  Child  Online Special
Milford Sound 9.45am Encounter Nature 12.00pm $89 $20 SAVE 10% book
12.15pm Encounter Nature 2.30pm $96 $20 SAVE 10% book
Queenstown 11.15am Fly/Encounter Nature/Fly 3.30pm $495 $295 book

* Save 10% only applicable on adult fares. 8.45am flight unavailable from 1 June  to 1 September.

Cruise Map

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Milford Sound Cruise Map - Southern Discoveries

Travel Options

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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 four 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 8.45am 1.00pm $495 $295 book
1.45pm 6.00pm $495 $295 book


Self-Drive-Milford-Sound-Southern-Discoveries coach

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 – $18

  • Ham, cheese and salad sandwich
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Seasonal fresh fruit
  • Crisps
  • Cookie
  • Small chocolate bar
  • Juice box

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.