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Milford Sound tour from Te Anau

Milford Sound Tour & Cruise


Treat yourself to a stunning 5-Star Milford Sound Tour from Te Anau with a Nature Cruise for $169 - $249. Journeying to Milford Sound, you will find yourself surrounded by native bush, mountain birds, wildlife and a feeling of peace. Premium travel for all travellers!

Our tour in Te Anau's best small group coach is expertly guided by Milford locals, taking you to up to 11 incredible photo spots and experiences before your two-hour Milford Sound Cruise. 

We guarantee couples sitting together in our coaches & window seats, our timing avoids the major crowds throughout the journey and our vehicle allows you to get to extra special spots that only locals usually visit.

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Tour Inclusions

  • Te Anau accommodation or town centre pick up.

  • Luxury small group coach with leather bucket seats, for spacious passenger comfort.

  • 8.5 hours total tour time with plenty of stops for photos and relaxation.

  • 2-hour Milford Sound Cruise on spacious boat with exclusive seating.

  • Option to pre-order lunch onboard the cruise such as fish & chips, or venison burgers.

  • Unlimited chilled water and cafe morning snack provided.

  • Full refund up to 24 hours prior.

Itinerary - Coach / Cruise / Coach

8:45 am - Pick-up Te Anau accommodation/town centre. 
9:00-1:00pm - Up to seven photo-stop opportunities & four special experiences.
1:00-3:00pm - Premium Milford Sound Cruise
3:00-5:00pm - Up to three photo-stop opportunities.
5:30pm - Drop-off Te Anau accommodation.

  • Where is Milford Sound?
    Milford Sound is part of the Fiordland National Park, located in the south-west corner of New Zealand, and on the west coast of the South Island. Milford Sound is 120km from Te Anau, 288km from Queenstown and 757km from Christchurch. Milford Sound is accessible by vehicle, via the Milford Road.
  • Can Milford Sound be a day trip?
    Yes absolutely and the large majority of visitors will take a day to tour Milford Sound. It is very important where you stay the night before and after however, with 60% of visitors choosing to tour from Te Anau. This is because a typical day tour from Te Anau is 7 - 9 hours. The typical day tour from Queenstown is 11 - 13 hours.
  • Should I stay in Te Anau or Queenstown the night before my tour?
    We highly recommend staying in Te Anau the night before any tour, and the night after. A day trip, no matter the tour company, is a big day with most tours being about eight hours, most of that spent on the road driving on the Milford Road. Even though you won't be driving on a tour, due to the Milford Road itself and how much there is to do and look at, it can be a very taxing day. It is also another four hours return of driving if you are coming from Queenstown. There are plenty of accommodation options in Te Anau including camping grounds, right up to five star hotel and of course AirBNB options throughout the town. There is also some really enjoyable restaurants to grab a drink and bite to eat while surrounded by Lake Te Anau and the Kepler Mountains. Te Anau is also home to the Glowworm Caves which are certainly something you should consider adding to your to-do list while here. All up, we recommend two nights in Te Anau with your Milford Sound day tour on the middle day. If you want the stats of it - about 60% of visitors to Milford Sound choose to stay in Te Anau. There is a reason for that as you will find out!
  • Is it easy to drive Te Anau to Milford Sound?
    The Milford Road is well known for being a challenging road in New Zealand. It is narrow, winding, and often exposed to the elements, particularly in winter. It can be self driven as a visitor however if this is the case we recommend leaving with plenty of time before your Milford Sound cruise, having plenty of breaks and making sure there is a lot of focus on the road. Because the Milford Road journey is as good and as beautiful as the destination (Milford Sound), we highly recommend a tour so that you can be looking out the window at all the scenery and sit back and enjoy your day. The Milford Road has a high accident rate compared to other roads in New Zealand.
  • What is the best time of day to see Milford Sound?
    Most tours will depart Te Anau sometime between 8am and 10:30am. This puts you in Milford Sound around 1pm and back out by 3.30pm, with a return to Te Anay by 5.30pm. The middle part of the day is slightly busier however by then the day has warmed up and you also have the pick of cruises to take if you are not travelling on a tour.
  • I am coming from Queenstown to Te Anau, how much time should I allow?
    Allow 2.5 hours if driving from Queenstown to Te Anau. In winter this can vary greatly depending on weather, specifically snow. This drive can extend out to 4 - 6 hours if there is low - moderate snow on the road. We recommend staying in Te Anau for the night before getting onto your Milford Sound tour. The drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound return is at least 8 hours alone. This doesn't take into account all the stops you are going to want to take along the Milford Road, as well as your two hour cruise when you get there. It ends up being a big, tiring day!
  • How far ahead should I book my Milford Sound tour?
    We suggest ideally booking at least two months out if you are planning on visiting Milford Sound between October and May. If visiting between June and September, booking up to four months out should be fine across most tour options.
  • Is there any big walks that I have to do?
    No there is not. You can choose which walks to join us on as described below: Mirror Lakes - this is a two minute walk from the van to the beautiful Mirror Lakes. It is a board walk track with handrails. Rating: Very easy. The Chasm - This is a 20 minute return walk, taking in the roaring water chasms. It is a well formed, wide, mainly flat track with handrails and board walks in some parts. Rating: Easy. Milford Sound - We drop you directly to the front door of the cruise terminal. You will not need to walk around the foreshore as visitors who drive themselves will have to.
  • How much does Milford Sound parking cost?
    Public parking is $10 per hour. Payment is via a licence plate recognition system. If you are on a tour, such as a Luxe Tour, there is no payment for parking to you.
  • What is the Tiaki Promise?
    Tiaki means to care for people, place and culture. It is promise to care for New Zealand, its people and our culture. Luxe Tours has made the commitment to uphold the values of the Tiaki Promise, including ensuring our guests do as well.
  • How much carbon emissions does Luxe Tours produce?
    We produce approximately 49kg of carbon emissions from our Mercedes vehicle each tour. We offset this via the donation of a native tree for every single guest, to planting in the local area. Each tour will offset approximately 539kg of carbon over the lifetime of the trees planted each day. Read more on our sustainability efforts here.
  • What is Luxe Tour's sustainability vision?
    We don't just talk sustainability for marketing purpose, in fact it really frustrates us to see companies who have promote sustainability as important to them, but don't even have it in their main menu of their website. For Luxe Tours, our mission is to "indulge guests in nature to create a lifelong connection" and we believe this is the best way to highlight the importance of not just sustainable tourism, but for taking an active approach to caring for nature and the environment. Read the next FAQ to hear the simple things we practically do.
  • What does Luxe Tours practically do to achieve sustainability?
    We plant a native tree for every guest aboard Luxe Tours. This one tree offsets approximately 59kg of carbon emissions compared to the 5.45kg of emissions for each guest. We only use plant-based, or fully compostable packaging or paper onboard. All of our waste is either recycled, or placed into one of our worm farm compost bins. The broken down compost and worm 'tea' juice is then distributed back to the nursery who grow and plant the native trees we fund. We contribute to the 'Kea Conservation Trust' for the protection of the beautiful Kea bird you will meet on our tour.
  • Why is sustainability so important to Luxe Tours?
    Like many, we have children who will face a very different future than our own. While we understand our practical steps cannot change the world, we are focused on doing our small part. Every great journey starts with one footstep after all. Fiordland & Milford Sound is our backyard, it is one of the top three visited destinations in New Zealand. It contributes massively to the biodiversity of New Zealand and the world, is home to rare species of wildlife and critically endangered wildlife, and so it is very important for it to be protected so that both nature and humans can enjoy it for the foreseeable future. Check out our full sustainability vision.
  • How much does a Milford Sound tour cost?
    Milford Sound day tours range in price between $170 to $450 depending on where they depart from and the level of experience. Departing from Te Anau, tours range between $170 - $280. Departing from Queenstown, tour range from $200 - $450. Small group tours of 12 - 16 guests will always be a bit more in price due to generally more comfort, space and more stops along the Milford Road.
  • How much does a Milford Sound cruise cost?
    Cruises in Milford Sound with various operators range between $100 and $170 for a two-three hour cruise through the fjord. Read our article here on "Is a Milford Sound cruise worth the money?"
  • Is your price fair for a small group Milford Sound tour?
    We sit in the middle when it comes to pricing for private tours travelling into Milford Sound. We reckon we should be higher as we have such a great tour in our 'unbiased' opinion! We offer a level of comfort and service that is comparable to flying premium class. Our tours are also private and smaller meaning several advantages: Able to access stops and areas that larger buses can't. One on one tour guide questions & answers. More space and comfort inside the van. Less waiting around and waste of time. We are a small group tour which tend to be very popular with guests due to the space they have and spots that we can get into compared to other larger buses.
  • What is included in your tour price?
    Pick up & drop off at your Te Anau accommodation. Luxury van with spacious seating and leg room, arm rests, climate control and filtered air conditioning, overhead bag space, privacy tinted glass & more. Guided tour with expert & specially trained drivers for the Milford Road, including at least 9 photo stops and 2-3 special experiences (depending on weather). 2-Hour Milford Sound guided cruise with RealNZ aboard their premium Milford Haven boat. Chilled complementary water. Other ammenities for comfort. A few extra special treats! Lunch & food can be added as an addition, including full menu options aboard your cruise. For the full Luxe Tours experience, click here!
  • What is the breakdown of your Milford Sound tour pricing?
    20% Fuel & vehicle expenses 15% Driver & guide 40% Cruise expenses 5% Conservation 5% Passenger ammenities 15% Profit
  • Will there be any hidden extra costs?
    Absolutely not. Everything is included in the price of the tour that you will need. If you would like to have lunch on the cruise, you can either pre-order this when booking with us, or pay for it directly on the boat when you board.
  • How often does it rain in Milford Sound?
    It rains an incredible 182 days on average per year in Milford Sound and the surrounding area. Never fear though, a rainy day is just, if not more beautiful, than a sunny day. Check out our top stop picks for a wet one.
  • How much rain does Milford Sound get?
    On average per year, Milford Sound receives 6,700mm of rain. Compare that to the New Zealand average of 1,100mm per year. Rain in Milford Sound soon turns the area into a corridor of stunning waterfalls. We can't wait to see you splashing in puddles or standing under one of the many glacial waterfalls that your cruise will bring you into. Such fun!
  • Can I expect snow on the Milford Road?
    You should expect snow on the Milford Road at any time of the year, including summer, due to its elevation above sea level of almost 1000 metres at a couple of points. There is a very high chance of snow between the months of May - October and for this reason snow chains should be carried by all vehicles. Black ice is also a significant problem in winter and spring with many shadowed parts of the road that remain dark for most of the day. Extreme care is advised. At Luxe Tours, our drivers are experienced on the road and undertake pre-planning to identify weather and therefore which corners, hills and sections of the road will be potentially dangerous.
  • Can it get hot in Milford Sound?
    Milford Sound in summer averages 19C (66F), although it can often get up to 30C (86F) plus. Sunblock is vital in late spring, summer and early autumn as New Zealand's more clean, pure air means that more harmful UV radiation makes its way to the ground. Having fresh water with you is vital as there are limited opportunities for filling up a drink bottle on both the road and in Milford Sound. It is for this reason at Luxe, we provide complimentary water on our tours, as well as sunblock for our guests.
  • Is Milford Sound worth it in the rain?
    Absolutely yes. If you spend enough time with Fiordland locals they will tell you Milford Sound is actually best experienced with rain. This is because hundreds of waterfalls in the area come alive, creating a labyrinth of water throughout the journey. Milford Sound cruise boats all have shelter, there is plenty of shelter in Milford Sound township and at Luxe Tours for example, we adjust out tour each day to meet the weather and go to the best photo stops accordingly.
  • How long is the Milford Sound cruise on this tour?
    The cruise is two hours, taking you out to where Milford Sound meets the Tasman Sea. Stopping at four main permanent waterfalls, as well as Seal Rock where you are very likely to experience colonies of seals, the cruise is just the right amount of time to experience the wonders of Milford.
  • What cruise does Luxe Tours partner with?
    We partner with RealNZ and have built a strong relationship due to three key factors: Their focus on conservation & sustainability. Safety record and organisation. Their overall experience in Milford Sound and world class knowledge of the area.
  • How many people are on the cruise boat?
    The boat that we use in our partnership with RealNZ has capacity for 300 guests, however to give our guests the best possible experience, RealNZ has committed to only taking 150 on each cruise. This ensures you have ultimate comfort and space to move around the boat to take advantage of different viewing platforms.
  • Am I likely to get sea sickness?
    This very much depends on the individual and the weather, but generally on the whole and from our experience - no. You are not technically at sea, and you are certainly not out in the open for much longer than 20 minutes. Milford Sound is a narrow Fjord which means it is very hard for it to get rough enough to feel the boat moving around. If the weather allows, the cruise will go out to the opening of Milford Sound to one of the big sea colonies. There can be a swell out there which is normal and if you do tend to get a bit of motion sickness, we would simply suggest making sure you are outside in fresh air and keep your eyes on the horizon! For more on sea sickness, check out our helpful article on it here.
  • Can I see Milford Sound without a cruise?
    Yes you can, however we don't recommend it. You can see Milford Sound from the air on a helicopter or fixed wing plane tour through several operators which is a great way to start or finish your time in Milford if your budget allows. However we still highly recommend doing a cruise to experience the fjord from the water, the cascading waterfalls up close and the wildlife encounters.
  • What is highly recommended to pack?
    Insect repellant. Sunblock. Water bottle. Suitable walking shoes (good tread). Warm rain-jacket. Camera. For more on what to pack, see our helpful article here.
  • Should I bring money on the tour?
    We do recommend that you consider bringing money with you. Not because you are going to need it specifically for anything to do with your Luxe tour, but because you may choose to purchase a photo on board your cruise, some extra food, or a souvenir along the way. There are no shops between Te Anau & Milford Sound, however there is the opportunity to spend money in either of those locations. Cash, as well as most credit cards are widely accepted.
  • Do I need a professional camera?
    Absolutely not necessary however if you already have one then by all means bring it along. Most camera phones these days will suffice and with all the features that these have now, it is like having a pro camera in your pocket! It is important to note that 182 days of the year, Milford Sound is wet, so take this into consideration when choosing what very expensive device to bring along with you!
  • Should I bring insect repellent?
    We highly recommend insect repellent. Milford Sound is well known for its main local resident - the mosquito or sandfly. If the conditions are right, these little insects can be prevalent in Milford. They are generally not dangerous to you unless you have any specific allergy or reaction to them.
  • Do I need hiking or strong walking shoes?
    No you do not, unless you are planning on walking on the Milford Track which would be a very seperate experience to your Milford Sound tour. You just need comfortable shoes, ideally closed in, that you are happy walking on well formed dirt & gravel tracks for up to 10 minutes. Interesting fact: Our guides wear All-BIrds wool shoes. All-Birds is a Carbon Neutral business, just like ours!
  • What makes Luxe different?
    We get it. There is a lot of tours to choose from so how do you narrow your choice down? There are tours we would classify as like flying economy, business or first class. There is nothing wrong with any level of them but we consider our transport and tour a first class experience for economy, business and first class guests. We are friendly and welcoming to all and our main goal is for you to treat and pamper yourself during a special day in paradise. Our transport is spacious & comfortable, our guides are knowledgable, enthusiastic & safety conscious, and we have some special inclusions that are best kept a secret for the tour!
  • Who owns Luxe Tours?
    Luxe Tours is owned by two Te Anau locals - Toby and Katelyn, who live and breathe Fiordland National Park every day. From climbing mountains, to spending hours exploring the lakes and rivers of their backyard, Toby and Katelyn know this part of Fiordland like the back of their hand. Even their son Luka has traversed high up into the mountain ranges surrounding Milford Sound from just a few weeks old.
  • How did Luxe Tours start?
    On the drive back from Milford Sound one day with friends who had never been in before , we realised just how much we love showing people around our backyard. It was compounded when a large tour bus stopped for less than 2-minutes at one of the best stops on the road. Surely it could be done better! Our favourite moment is when we enter Fiordland National Park and head into a dense tunnel of native, overhanging forest and our passengers eyes light up. This was our lightbulb moment - we had to show more people.
  • Does Luxe Tours have a Department of Conservation permit?
    Yes we do. This allows us to operate on several tracks off the Milford Road and from this we make a contribution to DOC for the upkeep of the area, and various nature programs designed to protect the biodiversity of Fiordland.
  • What tours does Luxe Tours have?
    We have our base tour - the Milford Sound Day Tour, which is 8.5 - 9-hours in length and includes a Milford Sound Cruise, as well as 11 photo stop opportunities and rest breaks. You travel the Milford Road onboard a luxury Mercedes 12-seater coach with leather seats, USB charging, high performance air conditioning, spacious leg room and are guided by a local expert driver/guide who lives in the area. We then have add-ons to our base tour to maximise your savings on package deals. Our first and most popular add-on is a 30-min helicopter tour in Milford Sound and includes a glacier landing near Fiordland's tallest mountain. You then return to meet your tour coach down the Milford Road, taking 40-mins of driving off your tour. The next add-on option is the very popular Te Anau Glowworm Caves and again you will save some money by adding it on with your Milford Sound Tour. The Te Anau Glow Worm Caves tour is 2.5-hours in length and explores deep under Fiordland the incredible roaring chasms that are surrounded by beautiful glowworms. You do the Glowworms tour the day after your Milford Sound tour. We also have a Doubtful Sound tour add-on which is also quite popular and this is done the day after your Milford Sound Tour but can be changed if desired. The tour is: Coach (30mins) / Cruise (45mins) / Coach (40mins) / Cruise (3-hours) / Coach (40mins) / Cruise (45mins) / Coach (30mins), so is an extensive day out and very enjoyable. Again, you will save money by combining it with a Luxe Tours Milford Sound Tour.
  • Is the Milford Road safe to drive ourselves?
    The Milford Road is absolutely safe to drive in your own vehicle but we urge you to be very vigilant and conscious of the fact that it is a road that demands your 100% attention at all times. It is typically very busy with traffic and has some very narrow sections, as well as large parts that twist and turn constantly. For these reasons, a lot of tourists opt to travel with a tour and experienced driver/guide.
  • Are there fuel stations on the Milford Road?
    No. Your last fill up option until Milford Sound is located in the township of Te Anau. It is our recommendation you fill up here as even in Milford Sound there is only limited supply and limited credit card options. There is also very limited cell reception or mobile data coverage on the Milford Road, making it very tricky to seek help if you do happen to run low on fuel!
  • Are there many vehicle accidents on the Milford Road?
    It would be fair to say that for a single piece of road, the Milford Road has a very high accident rate compared to that of others in New Zealand. On average there are 28 vehicle accidents per year on the Milford Road. Emergency services in the area including ambulance, police and fire urge tourists to travel via group tours where possible so that they have an experienced driver.
  • How many seats are in your luxury Mercedes Sprinter van?
    Our first Mercedes van has space for 11 guests as well as our driver however we only take 9 guests for extra space & comfort. Our second Mercedes van starting in November 2024 has space for 14 guests. This type of van would usually take 18 peple however we have taken out a row of seats for amazing leg room!
  • Is it going to get hot in your luxury Mercedes Sprinter van?
    No and certainly not too cold either! We have invested in a premium air conditioning and heating unit in our luxury van and better yet - you can control your own climate with an above head air vent. Gone are the days of sitting on a hot, stuffy bus trying to convince the driver to turn down the heat!
  • What qualifications do your guides have?
    We spent months designing our tour with your safety, experience and comfort in mind. The next important part is our drivers and guides being to the same standard. Our drivers have: New Zealand Full Driver's Licence. P-Endorsement (New Zealand law requires any commercial passenger driver to hold this). First Aid Certificate. 1000+ hours spent on the Milford Road each.
  • What food/drink is available on the Luxe tour?
    We offer a complimentary morning snack including a sweet or savoury muffin which we source each morning, freshly baked, from a local favourite cafe. On our two hour cruise, in partnership with RealNZ, a full restaurant lunch is available through either pre-order (when you book your tour on out website), or in person on the boat. A full bar is also available so you can enjoy wine, beer or more while taking in the stunning scenery. Throughout the tour, complimentary chilled water is available in your tour vehicle and you can help yourself to a 100% plant-based reusable drink bottle.
  • Do you have phone/device charging on board?
    We have multiple USB (type A) charging ports throughout the coach.

Let's start your journey in luxe...

Our Milford Sound Tour from Te Anau includes unique stops, premium cruises, and passionate local guides. Book your Luxe Tour now for an unforgettable journey!

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