Southland
Whale Watching & Dolphin Tours

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Our most recommended Southland Dolphin & Whale Watching

Milford Sound Nature Cruise on Premium Glass-Roof Catamaran

1. Milford Sound Nature Cruise on Premium Glass-Roof Catamaran

Climb aboard 'Gem of the Sound', the newest vessel to cruise in the fiord, for a Milford Sound nature cruise. Capture the best views of the incredible fiord with three-levels of indoor and outdoor seating, unique glass roofs, and large viewing decks. Your friendly crew will welcome you on board and embrace you as one of the family, whilst you marvel at one of the most stunning places on earth. Relax in the comfortable booth seating with stylish decor and ambient lighting. High-definition cameras project outdoor footage live onto TV screens throughout the vessel - so no matter where are, you won't miss a thing. Admire New Zealand fur seals basking on rocks and feel the spray of cascading waterfalls. Look out for playful dolphins and, if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of the rare and elusive Fiordland Crested Penguin. Travel the length of the fiord and out into the Tasman Sea, to see why Captain Cook failed to discover Milford Sound after charting the Fiordland National Park.

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Queenstown: Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Full-Day Trip

2. Queenstown: Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Full-Day Trip

Enjoy a fun and leisurely day trip to admire the glacial features, wild flora and fauna, and picturesque backdrops of the world-famous fiord at Milford Sound. Start with pickup for the bus journey to Te Anau. Your driver will share their local knowledge as you stop along the way to see spectacular scenery. Marvel at views of waterfalls, wildlife, and the rainforest. Soak up the sights from any of the three indoor and outdoor viewing decks during your cruise and join your jovial crew at the bow as you nose under Stirling Falls for a free shower in some of the world's freshest water.  Benefit from complimentary tea service is available for the entire cruise and espresso coffee, snacks cakes. Additional drinks can be purchased from "Off The Rocks" onboard bar.

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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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Queenstown: Scenic flight & Cruise in Doubtful Sound

4. Queenstown: Scenic flight & Cruise in Doubtful Sound

On this full-day tour from Queenstown you will explore the beauty of Doubtful Sound, an ideal destination for travelers wanting a true New Zealand experience away from the crowds. This outstanding scenic tour includes flights between Queenstown and Manapouri, making this journey much more manageable for families compared to the slower alternative by coach. This tour of Doubtful Sound offers a wonderful opportunity for travelers who have already visited Milford Sound and want to explore more of this unique New Zealand environment. This tour is also an ideal wet weather option if Milford Sound is closed due to inclement weather because the flight to Doubtful Sound is not as weather dependent as the flight to Milford Sound. Following the glorious scenic flight, you will connect to a cruise departing from Pearl Harbor on Lake Manapouri. At the head of the lake is New Zealand's largest hydro-electric power station, which was first completed in 1971 and considered a feat of engineering in New Zealand history.  Next on the tour is a coach journey across Wilmot Pass down to Deep Cove. A catamaran boat will then whisk you to the head of Doubtful Sound, where you will be inspired by the area rich in flora and fauna. At 421 meters deep, Doubtful Sound is the deepest of the fiords in the area, and is long and winding with 3 distinct “arms”. On this scenic excursion you can look out for New Zealand fur seals and the Fiordland Crested Penguin on the many small islets at the entrance of the fiord during the Penguin breeding season.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Southland

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What people are saying about Southland

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 213 reviews

Had a blast of an experience. Travelling with 2 oldies 86 years isn’t easy but from arrangements to pickup then journey out to Milford sounds and back was just free and pleasant. Driver was absolutely adorable with great knowledge of the Maori culture and the juicy catamaran was so smooth sailing, Without fail got to see dusky dolphins and seals bathing Will do this again

This was such a fabulous trip. The bus driver couldn’t have been more friendly, more informative and continually informed us of “what was happening next”. The Captain on the boat was awesome too, very professional yet personable in how he delivered his information. These two men really made it a wonderful experience for me - Thankyou.

Fabulous knowledge of the area and explaining the divide and tectonic plates. He looked after us so well with drop off a d collection points. Totally recommend for this trip, we were very happy. Thank you

Absolutely amazing day, stunning views and a breathtaking experience. Highly recommended to all travellers.

The milford sound trip is amazing, crews are very friendy. I recommend this