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Glenorchy National parks

Our most recommended Glenorchy National parks

Milford Sound: Boutique Small-Boat Cruise

1. Milford Sound: Boutique Small-Boat Cruise

Your cruise will begin at one of the most scenic points of the journey. You can take in the magnificent view of Mitre Peak (New Zealand's most photographed mountain) and the Sinbad Gully. This place is home to the Kakapo (world's heaviest flightless parrot), which was once thought to be extinct but was rediscovered in 1948. From there you will cruise past seal colonies and feel the spray of the waterfall as you travel directly under the Fairy Falls. Once the cruise reaches the Tasman Sea, you will get to see the hidden entrance to the Milford Sound (which Captain Cook missed twice on his explorations). On your return journey, you will find yourself underneath an even bigger waterfall, the Sterling Falls. If you feel like a world-famous "glacial facial", don't miss the opportunity here to do so. Throughout your tour, nature guides will entertain you with local anecdotes, as well as offer extra information on the passing flora and fauna. They are also there to help you with taking photos and assist with any requirements you may have. Around November you will have the chance to spot the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin.

From Queenstown: Lord Of The Rings Tour to Glenorchy

2. From Queenstown: Lord Of The Rings Tour to Glenorchy

Enjoy a small-group tour of the most iconic Lord of the Rings filming locations in New Zealand, specially designed for fans of the films. Within minutes of leaving Queenstown, reach the Glenorchy Road, which follows the edges of the Great Lake Wakatipu, and has been voted  one of the top 10 drives in the world. Admire snowcapped mountains that arise around every corner of the journey. Your first stop will be the 12 Mile Delta. Here, enjoy a short nature walk over the 12 Mile canyon footbridge and spot trout and salmon in the crystal-clear water below. Learn about the local flora and fauna and visit the locations, where scenes from the films were shot. Next, refuel with a delicious morning or afternoon tea picnic near the famous Glenorchy red shed and wharf. Once you have eaten enough to satisfy a Hobbit, adventure further into the World Heritage Mt. Aspiring National Park, home of Lothlorien Forest, where you will have the opportunity to snap some photographs dressed as your favorite Lord of the Rings character with replica swords from the trilogy. Next, head up the Dart Valley through "Paradise" to Isengard for some time to enjoy this amazing location in this spectacular glacier-carved valley. Stories and behind-the-scenes secrets will be shared by your passionate local guides on the way back to Queenstown.

From Te Anau: Milford Sound Tour with Cruise and Lunch

3. From Te Anau: Milford Sound Tour with Cruise and Lunch

Take a guided tour by comfortable minibus to explore the natural beauty of Milford Sound and the surrounding area. Your tour includes a sightseeing cruise, a picnic lunch, and plenty of scenic stops along the way. Meet your guide in Te Anau and drive along the lakeside, making a stop at Te Anau Downs to soak in the scenery. Enter the Fiordland National Park and visit Eglinton Valley, to admire the landscape carved by an ancient glacier. Continue to Mirror Lakes and see the Earl Mountains reflected in these clear waters. Relax and take photos by Lake Gunn, before continuing towards Hollyford River. Pass the waterfall at Falls Creek as you head higher into the Darran Mountains, stopping at viewpoints along the way. Keep a look out for local wildlife, including kea, the world’s largest alpine parrot. Enter Homer Tunnel and learn this history of this hand-built tunnel, before arriving at Milford Sound. Board the boat for a sightseeing cruise and see impressive views of Mitre Peak. Back on dry land, take a bush walk through The Chasm and snap photos at Pop's View Lookout, on the return journey to Te Anau.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Glenorchy

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What people are saying about Glenorchy

It was a good activity overall. The boat is definitely smaller than the other options a Milford, but it's certainly not "boutique" or "small" as the name suggests. There was a good ~50 people on board - but again, it's less than the other cruises from other providers in Milford. The guide and other staff were great, and it was nice that they provided basic tea and coffee without charging extra. The speakers were also clear and audible, not distorted like on other boats. I'd certainly do the cruise again if I was to visit Milford, getting us up and close to a lot of the sights. Would be nice if the captain didn't just point the front of the boat to the view though, as all the people on the sides (particularly for the people inside the cabins) can't see anything with the front deck full. Would be good to show the sights to both the people on the front deck, as well as at least one side of the boat so everyone can easily see. Lastly, bring insect repellant! The sand flies are NO JOKE.

Experience of a lifetime where the tour took us to some places of LOTR location and get to see scenic views on the way and our nice ;friendly tour guide is a bonus..

A must do activity! The boat ride was superb! We were blessed with great weather. Getting to the location takes time so give yourself plenty of time.

Much quicker than sitting on a bus there and back & way more scenic! Was so worth the extra spend!

Great cruise! Amazing landscapes and very nice crew