Bucket List

The New Zealand Experience You’ll Never Forget

By Louise Burton
on  October 15, 2019

While your trip to New Zealand is sure to be full of awe-inspiring moments, with beautiful scenery and epic adventure activities around every corner, there’s one in particular that you’ll never forget. In a world full of magical places that’ll take your breath away, New Zealand’s Fiordland, home to UNESCO listed Milford Sound, is one that stands out.

Exploring Fiordland, including cruising Milford Sound, makes for an adventure highlight of any New Zealand adventure. In this post, we’ll give you the lowdown on Fiordland including the history, climate, famous Milford Sound cruise and other ways you’ll be able to experience this unique destination with Wild Kiwi. 

Going Back in Time

Rudyard Kipling famously called Milford Sound the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ and it’s not hard to see why. Ancient native forest clings to the steep cliff sides that rise high above the Fiords – a path that was carved in the ice ages. Recognised for its ‘superlative natural phenomena’ the wider area of Fiordland National Park covers 1.2 million hectares, and was declared a World Heritage Area in 1986. 

Visit Milford Sound with Wild Kiwi

Weather & Climate

As one of the wettest regions on Earth, you’ll need to bring a waterproof jacket on your trip to Fiordland. Thanks to the regular rainfall, there’s always a chance to experience atmospheric mists and waterfalls throughout the year. In winter, snow-capped mountaintops make for dramatic additions to any landscape photographs as they stand out against the lush green native forest clinging to their foothills. Temperatures range from around 18°C (64°F) in summer to 4°C (41°F) in winter.

Although the weather might be ever-changeable, one thing remains constant; the entire region is breathtaking in any weather. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the magic! 

Cruising Milford Sound

Carved by glaciers during the ice ages, Milford Sound is a number one New Zealand bucket list activity for most. Often cited as one of the best things to do in New Zealand, seeing such wild, untouched nature in this remote part of New Zealand is a breathtaking experience. Located in New Zealand’s South Island, the region is home to waterfalls that plummet up to 1,000 metres, the dramatic Mitre 10 peak, sheer cliffs dripping with native flora.

Cruise Milford Sound with Wild Kiwi Tours

Marine Wildlife in Milford Sound

Dolphins, seals and penguins all call the Fiords home and they aren’t shy to come and say hello! While cruising Milford Sound you can expect to experience spotting these curious characters.

If you want to learn more about the region, the Marine Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory, located at Harrison’s Cove, offers the opportunity to see first-hand what lies beneath the surface of the ocean in Milford Sound. Learn about unique black coral (usually found at depths of 500m and over!) and numerous fish species.

Walks in Fiordland

While most travelers cruise Milford Sound on a day trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound, there’s heaps more epic adventures on offer in the region. Which is why we always stick around a bit longer while exploring the region Wild Kiwi style. There are numerous hikes for all levels of ability – from easy to hardcore – in Fiordland National Park. The Milford Track is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, but we won’t be putting 4 days aside to do that. We’ll take you to the best bits to ensure you see some epic views, with a little leg power to stretch the legs but enough to leave you with heaps of energy for more explorations.

Walk Milford Sound with Wild Kiwi Tours

Photography Ops

Mirror lakes, towering mountain peaks that scrape the sky, landscapes, waterfalls, wildflowers; Fiordland oozes photography appeal in leaps and bounds. This area of New Zealand is simply stunning. Whether cruising, hiking or driving, there are photo ops aplenty.

Not only are the photo ops awesome but if you’re a bit of a film buff, you’ll love the fact that Fiordland has set the scene as a backdrop for numerous films including Jurassic Park: The Lost World, The Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit and Alien: Covenant. Check out our dedicated film buffs blog post for more information on movies filmed in New Zealand.

Why explore Fiordland with Wild Kiwi?

While everyone else is doing what the majority do, we’ll do things a bit differently; we’ll whisk you away from the crowds and show you a unique experience in Milford Sound New Zealand. We prefer off the beaten track adventures so, while we believe seeing famous locations, it’s important to show you another side to a destination that the tourists don’t see – like stargazing in Mount Cook National Park or taking a hike in Milford Sound National Park. All of that with a knowledgeable local guide who’s ready to help you create your best New Zealand travel moments.

If you want to get off the beaten track and explore Milford Sound and Fiordland with Wild Kiwi, check out these itineraries > 7-Day Southern Voyager > 14-Day Big South > 14-Day NZ Explorer > 21-Day NZ Discovery 

Related stories