Destinations, New Zealand, Other, Photography

Cruising Milford Sound, a photo tour

5 Comments 08 March 2012

Cruising Milford Sound, a photo tour

Calling Milford Sound the most spectacular sight in New Zealand is a pretty bold statement.

Have you seen New Zealand?

It’s quite possibly the most gorgeous country on earth. Everywhere you look is amazing.

But for me, Milford Sound was the climax of our two week scenic tour of the South Island.

Located in the mountainous Fiordland, Milford Sound is a fiord located 15-kilometers from the Tasman Sea. It’s jaw-dropping from land, but the best way to experience it is by boat.

Several cruise operators offer Milford Sound tours, including overnight, morning, and afternoon tours. Prices range, but I found Jucy Cruize to be the most affordable option.

Starting at $65, the 90-minute tours leads its passengers from the Milford Sound Visitor Center and Boat Harbour to Dale Point, which is where Milford Sound opens to the Tasman Sea, and back. Along the way a guide will point out some of the most well-known sights, including Stirling Falls, Seal Rock and Mt. Pembroke.

The cruise felt just right on all levels. Jucy’s boat is smaller than other boats docked in the harbor, but they don’t cram it with people, allowing passengers to move around freely. The length of the tour was enough so that passengers really saw Milford Sound, but could spend the rest of the day exploring the area on foot or driving to their next destination. Most important, the price is unbeatable for backpackers.

Further, the staff was really friendly and they offer free tea, coffee and hot chocolate. We spent a night in Milford Sound staying at Milford Lodge, but for people who can only visit for one day, Jucy sells a cruise trip and return coach journey from Queenstown package starting at $159 for adults. Altogether, Jucy Cruize was a really informative and affordable way to see Milford Sound. Here are some highlights from our trip.

A classic Milford Sound shot with Mitre Peak in the background. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

The white-tipped mountain in the back is Mt. Pembroke, the tallest mountain to look down on the fiord. It’s glacier is over one million years old. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Stirling Falls from a distance, the magnificent waterfall drops 146 meters. This photo was taken at about 10 a.m., so the waterfall is shadowed by surrounding mountains. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Clouds surround the mountains in Milford Sound. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon


Speckled with forestry, rocky mountains surround the fiord are quite steep. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon


Fairy Falls drops straight into the fiord. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

The view from Dale Point on the way back on our cruise. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

When the black waters in this fiord are still, they mirror the mountains above. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon


New Zealand fur seals scattered all over Seal Rock. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Our cruise backed right up to Stirling Falls. Everyone with nice cameras were running for cover. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Thanks to Jucy Cruize for sponsoring my ten day South Island adventure. As always, all opinions are my own.

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- who has written 310 posts on Heels and Wheels.

Creator of Heels and Wheels. Writer, traveler and more.

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  • Jeremy

    I got there on a cloudy day and, to be honest, I wasn’t that impressed. I hope it was just the weather :-/

  • Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    Bummer. The day we arrived it was very stormy and it didn’t look like a good time to be out on a boat. But it was definitely really cool to be there. Waterfalls were literally gushing water. I guess it would be a far trek for you to see it again this trip :/

  • Diana Edelman

    It looks so beautiful!

  • luray va accommodations

    It looks so beautiful really. I would love to visit. Currently I am in Luray, VA and this is my favorite place.

  • Spencer

    I have always wanted to go to the Milford sound. It seems such an awesome place to visit.

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