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The Milford Sound Foreshore Walk / Viewpoint

The Milford Sound Foreshore Walk / Viewpoint

So, you want to see Milford Sound but don’t want to shell out for a cruise? You should definitely consider the cruise option, but you can get some great views of Milford Sound from close to the car park. The Milford Sound Foreshore Track runs along the, ah, foreshore and is obviously easy to find, but it’s possible to miss the short track to the viewpoint (we missed it the first two times we visited Milford Sound!)

The Milford Sound Foreshore Walk

You can walk all or part of this track, as well as the short track from the car park to the cruise terminal (and the breakwater close to where the boats wait). Or you can just get straight down to the edge of the water from close to the car park. Whatever way you do it, it’s great to get close to the water and (hopefully) see the brilliance of Mitre Peak and the surrounding mountains reflecting in the shallow water close to shore. The first time we did this walk it was early in the morning and I think it’s a great time to visit.

The Milford Sound Foreshore Walk, New ZealandMilford Sound from the Foreshore Walk, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

The Viewpoint

A short walk from the car park (close to the cafe / information centre) you’ll find a viewpoint with a slightly elevated view of Milford Sound. It seems like a lot of people miss this (the signage isn’t great) but it’s worth a look. It’s good to see amazing places like this from as many angles as you can.

The Milford Sound viewpoint, New Zealand

The Car Park

I don’t often write about car parks on this blog. I’d love to — they are my passion after all — but the readers have spoken and I’m forbidden from doing it. I’ll break that rule now though because the Milford Sound car park is a good one. Maybe the most scenic in New Zealand? If you’ve seen a contender for that title send me a photo!

The Milford Sound car park -- one of the most scenic in New Zealand!

Bowen Falls

Another thing to in the Milford Sound area that doesn’t require booking a cruise is the boat ride and walk to Bowen Falls. You go past this place on the cruise (and see it from parts of the foreshore), but it’d be cool to get closer to them. Unfortunately, the boat wasn’t running last time we visited (and it’s quite a new initiative) but it should be back to normal now. It costs $5 return (it’s a very short boat ride) and can be booked at the terminal.

Bowen Falls, Milford Sound, New Zealand

Milford Sound Cruises

If you’ve gone all the way to Milford Sound it’d be a shame not to do the cruise. It only takes around two hours, is fairly cheap and gives you a great perspective of this amazing place. Check out our post about our Milford Sound cruise!

A Milford Sound cruise, New Zealand

Walks in the area

There are walks in the Milford Sound area that cater to all kinds of people. From the short tracks to the Mirror Lakes and the Chasm to more challenging options like Gertrude Saddle and Lake Marian. There is so much to explore in the area — check out more of my posts to help plan your Milford Sound trip.

Gertrude Saddle, one of the best hikes near Milford Sound

Gertrude Saddle

Are you planning a trip to Milford Sound? Which places are you most excited to visit? Let me know in the comments below!

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.