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Escape to Milford Sound in Winter

Home > Queenstown > Cruises | Day Trips | Escape the City | Nature | Outdoor
by Hayley Sayers (subscribe)
A proud Adeladian eating my way around town, among other things. www.instagram.com/adelaideisrad/
Published April 30th 2017
Beauty even in the middle of winter
New Zealand is known for its beautiful scenery and Milford Sound does not let the country down. You'll find Milford sound on many traveller's bucket lists, and top destinations in the world to visit.

Fiordland is one of the wettest regions in the world, like it needed to rain more in the middle of winter. We were lucky enough to make it to Milford Sound the day before the road closed due to the weather. When planning a trip it is always a good idea to check road closures year round as the route is prone to wild weather, making it dangerous to drive on. If you are unfamiliar with the area, it is best to organise arranged transport to Milford Sound, rather than driving yourself, especially in the winter season.

We went on a guided tour booked through Viator which was around a 7.5 hour round trip from Te Anau. You can also book the same trip from Queenstown. The trip takes you on a scenic bus tour along Milford Road, stopping at points of interest along the way, before arriving at Milford Sound where you go on a 1.5 hour boat cruise through the sound where you can marvel at the scenery all around you.

milford sound, fjordland, new zealand, south island, nature
Water Bottle Refill Pitstop


milford sound, fjordland, new zealand, south island, nature
Hollyford Valley


On the way, we stopped at the Mirror Lakes, but unfortunately it was raining so they weren't able to reflect anything. After we headed through Hollyford Valley. A quick stop meant we could fill up our water bottles with fresh water straight from the creek, while marvelling at the sights around us. Hollyford Valley is filled with dozens of waterfalls streaming down the mountains on either side. I've never seen so many waterfalls in my life, it's definitely a sight to remember.

milford sound, fjordland, new zealand, south island, nature
Fairy Falls up close


milford sound, fjordland, new zealand, south island, nature
Waterfalls covering the rock faces


Once we arrived at the sound we went into the boat terminal to avoid the rain and get ready for our cruise. The sound, which is actually a fjord, is around 15km long and the rock faces either side reach up to 1.6km high. During the winter when we went there was a cloud of fog covering the sound, which had a misty and mysterious aura. Along the faces of each side were countless waterfalls trickling down into the sound. Our boat even got up close and personal with the famous Fairy Falls. Other highlights include Mitre Peak, the sound's highest point and one of the most photographed locations during the cruise. Unfortunately we weren't able to reach the Tasman Sea because of rough weather, however on a good day you'll be able to go out and see seals and wildlife in their natural habitat.

milford sound, fjordland, new zealand, south island, nature
Milford Sound


There are many tour operators that conduct tours to Milford Sound. You can even do overnight cruises or helicopter trips. Locals will agree that you can never visit Milford Sound enough times. Each time is a different experience. If you get the opportunity visit Milford Sound during different times of the year to see the beauty it offers in different conditions.
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Why? Beautiful scenery
Where: Milford Sound
Your Comment
Yhis is a spectacular area natural scenery and winter may well be the better time to visit. I visited in summer many years ago and found the flies to be overabundant.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|6149) 442 days ago
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