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Half-Day Milford Sound Nature Cruise and Flight from Queenstown

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Queenstown, New Zealand
Half-Day Milford Sound Nature Cruise and Flight from Queenstown

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon4 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

Overview

See the sheer cliffs of Milford Sound from the air and water on a half-day tour from Queenstown by sightseeing plane and catamaran. Fly over Fjordland National Park, part of a UNESCO-listed landscape, then touch down at Milford Sound for a cruise with drinks and lunch (for the midday departure) served on board. This tour is perfect for photography and wildlife watching, and hotel pickup and drop-off from Queenstown hotels is included.
  • Sea and sky Milford Sound tour from Queenstown
  • Travel by sightseeing plane and catamaran
  • See native wildlife in a pristine environment
  • Choice of multiple departure times
  • Lunch (midday departure only) and drinks served on board
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off in Queenstown
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Live pilot commentary on board
Reserved Seating aboard the Nature Cruise
Hotel pickup and drop-off (centrally located hotels)
Coffee and/or Tea
Lunch

Departure Point

3 Tex Smith Lane, Frankton, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand

Air Milford have free parking out the front of our base.

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Start with pickup at your centrally-located accommodations in Queenstown, then head to the airport for a scenic flight to Milford Sound. The pilot points out key landmarks and topographical features on the way to the coast, where you land at the head of the glacially-carved fjord.

Board a catamaran boat for a cruise on Milford Sound: with room for 150 passengers, the catamaran is smaller than many Milford Sound boats, so you can get closer to the cliff walls and waterfalls, including the spectacular Stirling Falls. Wilderness guides are available during the cruise, and you’re welcome to head to the bridge of the boat to meet the skipper and get a captain’s view of the dramatic fjord. Keep your eyes on the water throughout the tour, as it’s common to see fur seals, dolphins, and many kinds of birds along the way, and the rare, Fjordland crested penguin can be spotted in spring and autumn. Lunch (midday departure only), coffee, tea, soda, beer, and wine are served during the cruise.

Following the Milford Sound cruise, meet the pilot for the return flight to Queenstown, with spectacular views of the landscape in the constantly changing light. This tour concludes with drop-off at your Queenstown hotel.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Air Milford
Each tour begins with a complimentary pick-up from your centrally located Queenstown accommodation. After check-in completion, your pilot will give a thorough pre-flight briefing on the route and scenic highlights likely to be encountered, before embarking on your Scenic Flight to Milford Sound. The flight time to Milford Sound is 35 minuets.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Coronet Peak
After takeoff, view Coronet Peak, one of New Zealand's premiere ski fields.
Pass By:  
Skippers Canyon
Fly over the Shotover river and Skippers canyon, this is where gold was discovered in the 1860's. This river became the world's 2nd highest gold bearing river in the world, next to the Klondike in Alaska.
Pass By:  
Glenorchy-Queenstown Road
Fly over the small settlement of Glenorchy, located at the head of Lake Wakatipu. Here you enjoy wonderful views of two braided river mouths joining the lake. The two rivers are the Dart and the Rees, both glacial fed, display wonderful colors as they mix with the lake.
Pass By:  
Routeburn Track
Fly over the dense beech forest of the Routeburn and Hollyford. valleys. One of new Zealand 'great walks' traverses the Routeburn valley, its a 3-day hike through the valley and over an alpine pass into Fiordland National Park.
Pass By:  
Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Fly over the main divide of the Southern Alps and into Fiordland National park. One of the first sights you will encounter on arrival in Fiordland National Park is Mt Tutoko, at over 8,900ft / 2,700meters it is Fiordland's highest peak. There are two main glaciers to view here, the Donne and the Age.
Pass By:  
Milford Sound
Fly the full length of the fiord, right out to the Tasman sea where you will turn and descend, before coming into land. This part of the flight really makes you appreciate the sheer size of the towering cliffs of the fiord, which rise over a mile high in some parts!
Pass By:  
Mitre Peak
View the highest peak in Milford Sound, Mitre Peak. It impressively rises directly out of the water of the fiord, to it's summit at 5,560ft / 1,690 meters, which is just over a mile of vertical gain!
Stop At:  
Milford Sound
Fly from Queenstown to magnificent Milford Sound
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Milford Sound Airport
After landing in Milford Sound, your pilot will escort you to the boat docks to board your Milford Sound Nature Cruise.
Duration: 5 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Bowen Falls
During your cruise, view the Bowen Falls, it is one of Milford Sound's two permanent waterfalls and at 530ft / 162 meter is it's highest. After rainfall, there are hundreds of waterfalls to be viewed in the fiord!
Duration: 5 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Milford Sound Airport
When your cruise returns, your pilot will meet you and escort you back to the airport. If time allows, the pilot will take you on a short bush walk through the native beech forest. The flight time back to Queenstown is 35 minuets.
Duration: 5 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Sutherland Falls
After taking off in Milford Sound the flight path first takes in another view of the fiord, before tracing south, down the Arthur valley. At the head of this valley, the Sutherland Falls can be viewed, this is New Zealand's highest waterfall, falling impressively 1,900ft / 580 meters to the valley floor below.
Stop At:  
Cruise Milford
On your cruise, numbers are capped at 150 passengers and on this intimate experience, nature guides offer a personal commentary. The boat explores nooks and crannies along the edge of the fiord, nudging into sheer rock faces to examine flora and fauna in detail. The boat traverses the full length of the fiord, right out to the Tasman Sea, allowing guests to relax and take in the stunning scenery. when the boat returns your pilot will meet you for your return flight.
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Greenstone and Caples Tracks
After once again crossing the main divide of the Southern Alps, taking in stunning views of small alpine lakes and jagged snow capped mountains, the route then traverses the densely forested Greenstone and Caples valleys.
Pass By:  
Lake Wakatipu
After emerging from the Greenstone valley, fly over Lake Wakatipu. Lake Wakatipu is New Zealand's longest lake at 46 miles / 75 kms, it is also incredibly deep, up to 1,250ft / 380 meters at some points! Queenstown is nestled on the lake's shores, so some great views of the town are enjoyed before landing.
Pass By:  
Walter Peak Station Wharf
View the Walter Peak high country station, which is one of New Zealand's largest merino sheep farms.
Stop At:  
Air Milford
View the Remarkable mountain range and Queenstown, before landing back at the Air Milford base for your drop-off back to your accommodation.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Lake Te Anau
The flight path then begins to track east over the Southern Alps and back towards Queenstown. New Zealand's second largest lake, lake Te Anau can be viewed stretching out to the south.
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Subject to favorable weather conditions. If cancelled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund
  • Do not forget to bring a jacket and your camera
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
  • Infant rates apply for 0 - 1 years of age, when the infant is sat on a parents lap, with an infant lap belt
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 150 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Air Milford

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Half-Day Milford Sound Nature Cruise and Flight from Queenstown?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Half-Day Milford Sound Nature Cruise and Flight from Queenstown.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Half-Day Milford Sound Nature Cruise and Flight from Queenstown?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Half-Day Milford Sound Nature Cruise and Flight from Queenstown.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Half-Day Milford Sound Nature Cruise and Flight from Queenstown?
A:This activity will have a maximum of 150 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Half-Day Milford Sound Nature Cruise and Flight from Queenstown.

Traveler Photos

Reviews

5.0
star-5
113 Reviews
2 stars
0

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 113 reviews
star-5
Memorable trip
Jeff-Sheila
, Mar 2020
Memorable trip led by superb pilot Tom Watson. Stunning aerial views followed by a wonderful cruise on a boat small enough to approach the waterfalls. Highlight of our time on the South Island. Worth every penny.
icon Response from Host , May 2020
Dear Jeff, Thank you for taking the time to review your experience with Air Milford on Viator. We 100% agree with you Tom is a superb pilot and passionate guide, he loves sharing his knowledge about our local area with his guests as they soar above the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps. On behalf of both the cruise and scenic flight providers, thank you for choosing to fly with Air Milford and for your high recommendation to future travelers. All the best, Mary, Guest services, Air Milford.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Where is my refund???
Adam_B
, Feb 2020
I still have yet to receive my refund as my trip was canceled due to the weather..... Growing very impatient. I put 5 stars as my friend used this tour and loved it. Still, I would like my money back considering I was approved for a refund 10 days ago.
icon Response from Host , Jun 2020
Hi Adam_B, Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear that bad weather caused us to be unable to host you on a trip to Milford Sound during your visit and that your refund through your third party booking agent has not been as swift as you, or we would expect. Usually a re-fund through Viator takes 5 - 10 business days to show up in your account, please contact us directly at info@airmilford.co.nz if these time frames have not been met and we will reach out to Viator on your behalf to determine what is going on and expedite the re-fund. Milford Sound is one of the wettest places in the world, with on average, 7 meters of rain falling annually. This high rainfall makes Milford a spectacular destination, but also means that on some days we are grounded due to bad weather. We fly about 70% of the time and the other 30%, it is either raining or very windy and so we do not fly. For future guest's benefit it is worth noting that we recommend booking in for your first available day in Queenstown, so that, should poor weather intervene on the first day, you have maximum flexibility to switch to a following fine weather day. To finish on a high, we are really pleased to her that your friend loved the tour and we hope that you are able to visit Queenstown again in the future, so we take you on a stunning trip to Fiordland National Park. All the best, Mary, Guest services, Air Milford.
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star-3
No Boat and OK plane views
mvr1126
, Feb 2020
No Boat only view of the sound and surrounding area. Pilot could have gone closer down in the Milford sound
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star-5
Couldn’t have asked for more!
Akash N
, Nov 2019
Excellent flight and cruise to Milford sound - well organised, beautiful sceneries and explanations.
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star-4
Milford Sounds
RichardS3332
, Jan 2019
Loved the flight, not quite as good on the boat. Jim our pilot was excellent, reassuring for those with a weak stomach or of nervous disposition flying in a small fixed wing plane. Sadly, part of the trip was ruined by the rudeness of a Chinese passenger - enough said.
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star-5
Amazing experience. More than just a...
Matthew Y
, Mar 2018
Amazing experience. More than just a taxi ride to Milford Sound, the views were stunning and managed to see some seals and dolphins along the way.
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star-5
we enjoyed our flight there thanks...
Ramsey S
, Jan 2018
we enjoyed our flight there thanks to the amazing scenery and great pilot. the cruise was just as good and got us up close and personal with the waterfalls. much to our surprise the flight back to us on a different route to take in even more scenery. great day!
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star-5
The beauty of the scenery is beyond...
Lea P
, Feb 2017
The beauty of the scenery is beyond description. NZ is an amazing country and this region is spectacular. The pilot was cordial and professional as well as the rest of the staff. In general, everything was exceptional. Thank you for such a great service.
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star-5
Our flight was breathe taking! We...
Colleen B
, Jan 2017
Our flight was breathe taking! We did not get to do the cruise due to getting socked in by clouds. They refunded us in full for the cruise which was a very professinal thing to do considering it was a weather caused cancellation. Our pilot was very knowlegable and safe. We would definitely reommend this tour!
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star-5
We lucked out with a beautiful day...
Matthew U
, Sep 2016
We lucked out with a beautiful day. This was totally awesome!!!!
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