Formed as a result of glaciation over a million years, Milford Sound runs 15kms inland from the Tasman Sea and is surrounded by towering rock faces, waterfalls, rainforests, and wildlife. Thus, making it an extremely beautiful attraction for all visitors. Smitten by the beauty of Milford Sound, Rudyard Kipling had described it as the ‘eighth wonder of the world.’
Bus from Queenstown to Milford Sound
We had booked ourselves on a Milford sound cruise tour with Great Sights. We were picked up from our stay Sherwood Queenstown at 6:45 am. The pick-up taxi took us to the bus stop where we boarded our bus with Great Sights.
While boarding, we were handed 2 key cards- one for our Milford Sound cruise and one for lunch on the cruise.
We hopped on to the bus and were all set for a 5 hours long road trip to one of the key highlights of New Zealand.
You’d think a 5 hours long bus journey has to be tedious even at the sound of it. But honestly, it was anything but boring! The beauty of New Zealand’s countryside was a treat to watch from our huge windows. And to ace that experience, we had picked a seat right behind the driver so we could see what was coming.
Additionally, the bus did stop quite a few times in the journey so we could get off and watch the gorgeous sceneries of South Island, New Zealand.
Our first stop was in Te Anau, a breakfast and bathroom break to freshen up for the journey ahead.
From Te Anau, the bus stopped 4-5 times for us to stop and take pictures.
First up, we stopped at the Mirrors Lake where we could see the reflection of the snowcapped Southern Alps, the clear blue sky in the lake waters. The waters of this lake are so clear, that they reflect many intricate details and colors giving it the name, Mirror Lake.
Fiordland National Park
We then stopped at regular intervals in the Fiordland National Park region to get a view of the landscape.
We also spotted an Alpine Parrot, an endangered species that is only found in New Zealand.
Our other stops were mainly about stopping by and drooling over the gorgeous landscapes, snowclad peaks, rivers, and waterfalls flowing through the beginning of spring.
Around 1:15 pm we reached Milford Sound and waited at the port for about 25minutes to board the long-awaited Milford Sound cruise.
Right on schedule, we walked through the platform, handed the boarding key card that was handed over to us before boarding the bus. We were asked to settle in and the cruise started right away without wasting any time.
Milford Sound Cruise
The Milford Sound Cruise that we had booked through Great Sights was a mid-sized cruise, with 3 decks. One was a front deck on the ground floor, on the first floor where the captain was seated, there was a back deck with seating arrangements and further up, there was a top deck which was an open space to walk around and get the best views from the cruise.
After acquainting ourselves to the cruise, we immediately got in line for our lunch which was included in our package. It was a buffet lunch with a brief Asian fare and the food onboard was absolutely delicious. We could pick the seats of our choice to lunch and enjoy the rest of the journey and were served with some ice cream for dessert.
The Milford Sound cruise tour would last for 2 hours from the port through the bay and back.
Milford Sound Cruise Sightings
Milford Sound is one of the wettest regions in New Zealand. It rains 1 out of every day and we were the lucky ones to experience clear skies and bright sunshine on our trip. We quickly got done with lunch and got to the decks to catch a glimpse of what Rudyard Kipling called, ‘the eighth wonder of the world’. Cruising through gorgeous sightings at the Tasman Sea.
The Milford Sound cruise was equivalent to chasing rainbows! Our very first sighting of a waterfall was complimented by not one but 2 gorgeous rainbows.
Drenched in Waterfalls
Apart from the stunning fiords, the many waterfalls were a constant sighting on the cruise trip. Our cruise captain was kind enough to drive close to the edge so that we could enjoy getting drenched in the gorgeous Stirling waterfalls and the Lady Bowen waterfalls while standing on the deck of the cruise.
This would undoubtedly be a highlight experience but it also made me want to run for my cup of coffee, which by the way was complimentary on the cruise!
Penguins & Seagulls
In our quick 2 hours long trip, we also got lucky with some adorable sightings such as the nocturnal seagulls and the local penguins.
The Towering Mitre Peak
We also spotted the mighty Mitre Peak adding to its exquisite scenic beauty, towering over Milford Sound.
Away from the worries of the world, we were somewhere in the middle of the Tasman Sea, with little to no phone network surrounded by endless beauty which was overwhelming and indescribable, all at once. These are the kind of experiences which fill us with gratitude and humility.
We got to be here and witness what can truly be called a wonder.
I can still feel the waves crashing against our cruise while sailing through the bay. Could I ask for more?
Like all good things that come to an end, our Milford Sound cruise tour had come to an end as the vessel docked by the port.
We got off and walked straight back to the bus which was to drive us back to Queenstown. On the return journey, we stopped only once.
We didn’t have to! After all, we were so overwhelmed by what we had witnessed.
And we’d hope more people get a chance to experience this trip of heaven!
You can book your Milford Sound cruise tickets with Great Sights NZ
Cost Per Person: $240 (NZD)
You can also upgrade your trip with scenic flight experience