Called the eighth wonder of the world by Rudyard Kipling, Milford Sound is a fjord within South Island’s Fiordland National Park and the Te Wāhipounamu Heritage-listed site.  

It’ll take you more than four hours to drive to Milford Sound but you’ll be rewarded with views of mountain ranges, glacier-carved valleys and native rainforests. Just before reaching Milford Sound, the road passes through the 1.2km-long Homer Tunnel.

There are many tour operators, such as Real Journeys and Great Sights, which offer daytrips in luxury glass-roof coaches to Milford Sound and include cruises of the fjord when you get there.

If you’re short on time and have cash to splash consider the Milford Sound by Air experience with Jucy Cruise, which includes return transfers to Milford Sound in an True South Flights light aircraft. Both outbound and return journeys take about 40 minutes but as they follow different routes, you’re up for two very different aerial experiences.

Your exact course varies depending on conditions, and flights are weather permitting. On your way to Milford Sound you might fly over the Darran Mountains – a particularly stunning sight in late autumn, winter and early spring, when the mountains are snow-covered. Your return journey could see you flying over some of New Zealand’s most scenic lakes, such as Erskine and Gunn, which change colours – from emerald blue to Mediterranean green – depending on the time of the day.

The real draw of the trip is at Milford Sound itself, where you hop on Jucy Cruise’s 200-seat catamaran. Take in the sights of steep cliffs and roaring waterfalls as your boat winds its way through curtain after curtain of sky-high mountains. And when you get to the wide-open and endless Tasman Sea, you’ll agree with Kipling.  

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