Cruising Through Milford Sound

If I didn't know any better, I would've thought I was in Jurassic Park. Completely untouched by humans, Milford Sound is one of those places that will leave you in awe. 

As the winner of TripAdvisor's Travellers Choice Destination Award in 2008, Milford Sound is definitely bucket list material. That's why Kelly and I jumped on the opportunity to spend the day sailing through this famous inlet.

We booked a day trip to Milford Sound with Jucy Cruise. They picked us up bright and early from Queenstown and off we went on an adventure. The five hour drive was a scenic one full of waterfalls, snow and misty mountains.

The bus made a pitstop at a glacial stream. Our tour guide informed us that the water here is purer than any tap or bottled water. We unscrewed our bottles and filled up. Wow, that was some refreshing H20. Nothing like a drink from a million year old glacier.

Back on the road, our informative tour guide kept us well entertained. He pointed out various filming locations for The Lord of the Rings movies and taught us some fun facts about New Zealand's wildlife. I'll admit the bus ride was a lengthy one but our tour guide did an amazing job keeping us in high spirits. Before we knew it, we reached Milford Sound and boarded our cruise.

Milford Sound is in the south west of New Zealand's South Island and runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea. The Maori (indigenous peoples of New Zealand), are believed to have discovered the sound more than 1,000 years ago. Here, they would collect pounamu, a valuable type of greenstone.

For those that don't know, Milford Sound is a fiord. Fiords are long inlets with steep cliffs created by glacial erosion whereas a sound is often produced by the ocean flooding a river valley. In this case, Milford Sound is incorrectly named. It should actually be called Milford Fiord.

Our boat ride started out a little brisk. The wind was blowing and the grey clouds above promised rain. However, luck was on our side. Within half an hour, the weather started to clear and a gorgeous afternoon emerged.

The mossy cliffs were so high they looked like they went past the clouds. Waterfalls surrounded us left, right and centre. We even spotted dolphins playing in the distance! I wish I got my camera out in time for that. Fortunately for us, there were other animals out and about.

Can you spot the seals on top of that rock?

Photo Credit: Kelly Tyndall

Photo Credit: Kelly Tyndall

And just look at those emperor penguins on the shore! I always thought penguins lived only in Antarctica. It was quite a shock for me to see them in New Zealand.

Our cruise was over too quickly for my liking. The peace and serenity of Milford Sound was something I couldn't get enough of.

If you're going to New Zealand and want to experience nature at its finest, I highly recommend visiting Milford Sound. Multiple tour companies offer day trips from Queenstown. Jucy Cruise has an excellent tour going for $119, the best price you'll find in town.


I’m a Canadian girl on a quest to step foot in every continent before I’m 30. You’ll most likely find me chowing down on Japanese ramen, partying at a music festival, hiking to the top of a scenic lookout, cuddling with cats, or chilling out at the beach. I’ve visited over 60 countries so far and hope to inspire you to do the same.

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