Must-see Milford Sound: Three Things to Do

March 4, 2016 , In: TRAVEL

By all rights, Cam and I should’ve been down and out. We woke up at 3AM with barely enough sleep in order to make the drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound. And we did the steep, demanding (for unfit us) walk up to Queenstown Hill the night before.

But you know when something’s so beautiful and majestic it gives you a high? Maybe it’s being at your band’s concert or seeing your favourite person after ages… you’re given a new lease of life and nothing can bring you down.

Such is the majesty of Milford Sound!

Just taking in the sites is enough to make the trip worth it but here’s three things to do that will make the experience even more special:

1. Kayak Milford Sound with Roscos

Roscos Milford Kayaks has a few adventures to choose from but knowing our limits, Cameron and I went for the ‘Easy Rider’ option. We were sold when the blurb said, ‘Even your grandmother could do it!’ The catch was they only run this option at 8AM (thus our 3AM wake-up call).

An easier option would’ve been for us to take a cruise but we felt kayaking would be an ‘up-close and personal’ experience and it was! We worked hard to get to the Lady Bowen waterfall and we were nearer than any cruise ship could’ve gone. Cam and I agreed though that our Oma couldn’t possibly done the ‘Easy Rider’ and we felt validated when our tour guide said it was more like an upper-body workout that morning with the waves.

Definitely worth a try!

IMG_2249 Kayak Milford

Lady Bowen FallsIMG_2251

2. Find this perfect picnic spot

The view from the side of the road is already majestic but Cameron convinced me to explore this area a bit more and I’m glad he makes me do things even when I refuse a few times. One couple had the right idea, relaxing in their little picnic chairs with a drink in hand. There was a stream running through with water fresh from the glacier. Drink and dip your feet in (it won’t be for long and preferably in that order)!

Majestic MilfordTaste glacier water

3. Stop all you can

Every sign that says there’s something to see, go see it! If we had planned ahead and planned better, we would have loved to stay a few days in Milford Sound. There’s many free campsites (all with pretty views I imagine) and that will definitely be on the cards next time we visit, God-willing.

Milford driving

Counting waterfalls

The Chasm



Meet the sunrise – Drive in early and avoid getting stuck behind slow traffic. Sunrise is magnificent and so is the peace!

Meet the sunrise


Fill up with petrol at Te Anau – Milford Sound does not have a petrol station.

Stay nearby – Although Cameron and I survived driving from Queenstown & back, it would have been better if we stayed in Te Anau, camped or stayed in the Milford Sound Lodge. Why did we do it the way we did? This was a last-minute trip, with only 5 days to spare and so much South Island exploring to do!

Beware of sand flies – ‘They scar you for life,’ declares Cam. He might be exaggerating a bit but the bites on his legs did look pretty awful (I was unscathed). Be sure to apply Aeroguard.

There’s a tunnel – it’s old, unfinished-looking tunnel but it is finished! It freaked me out a bit and I wished I had read about it, so here I am telling you. We got through and back fine so that’s a great sign. Cam loved it.

The tunnel

Ponder – With all the beauty that will embrace you in Milford, I hope you ask, ‘How did this all come to be?’ and I pray that you are led to the God of the Bible, Creator of Heaven and Earth.


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life,and that life was the light of all mankind.

John 1:1-4


My first ever link-up on Travel Tuesday’s last.

Questions and comments

  1. Reply

    That sunrise picture is amazing!!! The sand flies do NOT sound amazing…. but I suppose all beautiful things have a price. 😉

      • Rachel
      • June 1, 2016

      The local folklore is that the sand flies were created to keep the people from settling and destroying all the natural beauty 😉 Thanks, Sara! Would be happy to keep coming back to Milford Sound.

Rachel Herweynen

Teaching Principal

Alive because of Jesus. My husband Cameron and I have the privilege of living and working in a remote indigenous community, our home, Gäwa on Elcho Island, Australia. What a joy to not only be principal and teacher but also granddaughter, mother, aunty, child and mother-in-law. Above all, always daughter of the King.

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