Milford Guide Web App

  1. Map
  2. General Information
  3. Te Anau to The Divide
  4. The Divide to Milford Sound
  5. Milford Sound Cruise
  6. The Hollyford Road
  7. Driving the Milford Road
  8. Getting Organised


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Milford Sound Cruise

Bowen Falls

Coordinates: -44.66523 167.91972

Always spectacular, the 162 meter Lady Bowen Falls at Freshwater Basin is fed by a hanging valley formed between Mills Peak and Mount Grave, at its head is the Bowen Col.

Water from the Bowen River is used to generate electricity and provides tap water for Milford Village.

Lady Bowen Falls was named in 1871 when the HMS Clio commanded by Captain Stirling and carrying the governor George Bowen visited. Bowen had a long career, also serving as governor of Queensland, Victoria, Hong Kong, Mauritius and the Ionian Islands. Lady Bowen bore 6 children, the last was born in Auckland 2 years prior to the HMS Clio's visit to Milford Sound.

Sinbad Gully

Coordinates: -44.65904 167.89937

Sinbad Gully was named by Donald Sutherland with Sinbad the Sailor's Valley of Diamonds in mind. Fortunately nothing was ever discovered and it remains as an extremely high value conservation resource.

The gully, between Mitre Peak and the Llwarenny Peaks, forms a natural sanctuary. There are very few ways for predators such as rats, stoats and possums to get into the valley. It was the last refuge of Kakapo on mainland New Zealand and is home to rare lizards, geckos, skinks and many other species.

Sinbad Gully is intensively managed by DOC in conjunction with the Fiordland Conservation Trust. Consider helping with their conservation effort here.

Harrison Cove

Coordinates: -44.63104 167.90697

Harrison cove forms a natural shelter and was used by early sealers. It now hosts an underwater observatory.

The Harrison River drains a large area between 2015m Mount Pembroke and 2134m Mount Parariki, including the wonderfully named Lake Never-never. Across the valley from The Lion is Mills Peak with an unnamed 275m waterfall on its flank.

Mitre Peak

Coordinates: -44.62539 167.87345

Mitre Peak or Rahotu, is Milford Sound's signature view, it looks very different and no less spectacular from a boat. Rahotu is 1683 meters above sea level and its precipitous walls are very close to the sea.

The 'hermit' of Milford, Donald Sutherland, may have been the first to attempt to climb Mitre Peak in 1883. It was eventually summited in 1911 by Jim Dennistoun, who climbed the Footstool and the world famous ridge facing Milford Village. He was solo above the bush line and recorded having a wonderful climb. Rahotu is still seldom climbed.

The Lion

Coordinates: -44.61784 167.87607

The Lion squats prominently between Harrison Cove and Stirling Falls, further along is the sharp trunk like ridgeline of The Elephant. Behind them both, feeding Stirling Falls is glaciated, 2015 meter Mount Pembroke.

Copper Point

Coordinates: -44.61418 167.85513

Copper Point is the prominent step on the south side of the Fiord that comes into view as the boat begins to round Mitre Peak. There are some spectacular rain fed waterfalls along the steep wall and most boats sail in close to point out the tarnished green streaks caused by oxidised copper deposits.

Weather Station

Coordinates: -44.61259 167.85101

Milford Sound's marine weather station is at Copper Point, a constricted funnel like spot below Mitre Peak's 7 true peaks and across the fiord from The Elephant and Mount Pembroke. At times some fairly strong gusts over 200 km/hour are recorded but never anything close to the highest gust ever recorded, 407.16km/h in April 1996 at Barrow Island, Australia. 2016 was Milford's wettest year since records began in 1929, 9259mm of rain fell over the calendar year, though the average is approximately 6800mm per annum.

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls, the third of only 3 permamnent waterfalls at Milford Sound.

Stirling Falls

Coordinates: -44.61039 167.87071

Surviving the spray below Stirling Falls.

Seal Rock

Coordinates: -44.60743 167.85075

Seal rock is frequented by juvenile Antarctic Fur Seals. Keep an eye open for other sea life nearby.

Dolphin in the wake of Mitre Peak II

Dale Point

Coordinates: -44.59982 167.81646

Dale Point is at the narrow entrance to the Fiord and obscures the inner Fiord from the open Tasman Sea. Early explorers passed by without discovering Milford Sound. While the sound is over 500m deep at its deepest point, at Dale Point the Fiord is only 30-70m deep.

Milford Sound was named Milford Haven in the early 1800's by sealer John Grono after his home port of Milford Haven, Wales. Many of Milford Sound's place names originate from a survey party aboard the HMS Acheron which visited in March 1851. The Welshman captain, John Stokes, also came from Milford Haven. Dale Point is among the many Welsh names that persist.

Anita Bay

Coordinates: -44.58448 167.79247

Piopiotahi, the first name for Milford Sound, originally applied to Anita Bay only. A beautiful soft type of greenstone, takiwai, used for carvings but not weapons or tools is found here. Most Maori artifacts found in the Milford Sound area have been discovered at Anita Bay.

Sealers had what they called a 'crazy hut' at Anita Bay in the 1800's. In 1932, gold miners built a stone house which still stands at the eastern end of the bay which they used as a base for their operations further north. In the 1930's Hugh McKenzie also had a house at the other end of the bay where he grew vegetables for the Milford Hotel.

Saint Anne Point

Lighthouse and crashing waves, Saint Anne Point.