Milford Sound is a sought after destination given its breathtaking scenery. It's actually named after the Welsh town of Milford Haven, and is one of the most photographed landscapes in New Zealand. Deep fiords and sheer cliffs give the place an 'otherworldly' quality and you'll need your camera ready when you see the spectacular Lady Bowen and Stirling waterfalls.
From the main wharf on the Sound, you can take a two-hour Milford Sound scenic cruise, with guides who will ensure you don't miss a single thing. With so much to see, it's easy to be overwhelmed. Dolphins, penguins and seals are commonplace, and the very lucky amongst you may even see some whales. However, the best way to appreciate the grandeur of the landscape is to book a scenic flight and enjoy a personalised tour of the incredible scenery. See if you can spot 'The Elephant' and 'The Lion'; two giant, sheer peaks, then prepare to be amazed by the regal Mitre Peak, which sits on the shore of the Sound. A mile high, the mountain is one of the most photographed places in New Zealand.
Milford Deep Underwater Observatory, at Harrison Cove, lets visitors descend 30ft into a viewing chamber, from where you can observe sponges, anemones and fish in their natural environment, from just one metre away.
Milford Sound is the area's only fiord that can be reached by road and takes at least two hours (without stopping) to drive there from Te Anau. On such a stunning route, though, it would be wasteful not to build at least a couple more hours into your journey, and stop off at some of the many viewing points along the way to really appreciate the magic of what's around you. There are also short walks you can take – who knows what you'll find around each corner?