Milford Sound In Winter: Is It Still Worth The Hype?

If you are exploring New Zealand in the colder months you may find yourself in Milford Sound in winter. So, let me tell you everything you need to know about traveling this way in June, July, August, and even September!

Milford Sound is no doubt one of the best things to do in New Zealand. With incredible views, friendly wildlife, and surrounded by gorgeous landscapes, no wonder it’s a highlight.

However time may not always be on your side, so what is it like in Milford Sound in winter? Is it still worth visiting?

Well, I bit the bullet and made the trip here at the end of June, the first month of New Zealand winter. In our cozy and comfortable campervan, we did an overnight trip from Queenstown to discover whether it’s worth the hype, especially in the colder months.

Luckily enough it is, and honestly, I think it may be even better than summer.

Now let’s get into all you need to know about visiting Milford Sound in winter and figure out why exactly it’s worth it. I will go over what weather you should expect, how to get there, driving conditions, things to do, where to stay, and more!

A panoramic view of Milford Sound, with a waterfall plunging from a forested cliff into the dark waters below. Snow-capped peaks rise in the distance, partially obscured by low-hanging clouds, creating a breathtaking and tranquil winter landscape.
looking back towards the township of milford sound from our boat cruise

🚌 How I Book Cheap Buses In New Zealand: Intercity

Why Visit Milford Sound in Winter?

Now if you haven’t figured out already you NEED to visit Milford Sound in winter, especially if you love wild landscapes as I do.

Every element of your trip will be taken to the next level, whether that be driving past snow capped mountains, enjoying the quieter side of this popular tourist destination, or simply watching your surroundings come alive with waterfalls in the rain.

I will go into each “pro” a bit deeper further down below. However here are some of the highlights which make winter the perfect, and in my opinion, severely underrated, time to visit Milford Sound.

  • Fewer Crowds
  • Incredible Snowy Landscapes
  • Off Season Prices *whoooo*
  • Paradise For Photographers
  • Magical Atmosphere

However unfortunately with pros come cons, but luckily I will say they are outweighed. The main one will be road conditions, and that the road can be closed due to dangerous conditions, and for days at a time.

This could be quite complicated if you are on a strict itinerary, but honestly, if we let the weather control us, we wouldn’t get out there and discover the world!

tasha amy stands on the deck of a boat, smiling at the camera, wrapped in a green parka with a fur-lined hood. The dark, tranquil waters of Milford Sound surround the boat, and towering, snow-capped mountains rise majestically in the background. The overcast sky and mist add to the serene and cool ambiance of winter in Milford Sound.
keeping as snug as possible exposed to the elements on top of the boat while exploring milford sound in winter
A distant view of a cascading waterfall set against the dramatic backdrop of Milford Sound's towering cliffs and rugged, snow-capped peaks. A small boat is visible at the base of the waterfall, highlighting the immense scale and natural beauty of the winter landscape.
incredible mountains and a waterfall the feeds into milford sound
tasha amy walks alone across a vast, grassy field towards snow-capped mountains in the distance. The overcast sky and the expansive, open landscape create a sense of solitude and reflection, typical of winter in Milford Sound.
surrounded by incredible mountains in eglinton valley

What Type Of Weather Should You Expect

When speaking of winter, of course, our brains ultimately think of weather. And fair enough, you want to know what to expect.

Well, the weather is the weather, and it cannot be 100% predicted – I’m looking at you, hopeless weather app on my cellphone.

However when it comes to winter in New Zealand, and more specifically Milford Sound, I think we want to know two things, the rain and how bloody cold we can expect it to get!

So, How Cold Does It Get?

Of course, it gets cold in Milford Sound during winter, though our question here is exactly how cold?!

Well, from June to August, the average daytime temperatures range from 5°C to 10°C / 41°F to 50°F, so cold but warm enough to still be able to go outside. These, honestly pretty mild, daytime temperatures will allow you to enjoy some of the best things to do in Milford Sound including boat cruises, kayaking, and short hikes.

You will just want to stay out of the water and keep as dry as possible to prevent getting chilled.

Then, of course, at night, temperatures drop further, falling to around 0°C to 3°C / 32°F to 37°F. As a result, you can often find a frost in the mornings making everything look blanketed in white and super wintery.

Of course, these temperatures are just averages and you will get much cooler and much warmer days.

While heavy snowfall is rare at sea level, the surrounding mountains and higher elevations are frequently covered in a picturesque layer of snow. This was one of my favorite parts of visiting Milford Sound in June and really added to that magical feeling.

Also, as it is not super common to get snow at sea level sometimes the Milford Road will close and there still won’t be any snow in the actual township. However, in these instances, you will find that taking a scenic flight to Milford Sound is a great solution.

Steep, rugged mountains draped in mist and rain, with multiple thin waterfalls cascading down their slopes. The scene is dramatic and moody, highlighting the raw natural beauty and frequent rains typical of Milford Sound's winter season.
waterfalls forming on the mountainsides from heavy rainfall
A winding mountain road with orange traffic cones and a road sign. The rocky cliffs on either side are covered with streaks of rainwater and patches of snow. The overcast sky and fog add to the chilly, rugged atmosphere of the winter season in Milford Sound.
waiting in line at the homer tunnel

And, What About The Rain?

Well, you may be surprised to learn that Milford Sound is THE wettest place in New Zealand. With an average of 182 wet days each year, it really comes down to a 50/50 chance of your luck with the weather. Okay more like 49 / 51 but you get the point.

Rain is part of the landscapes of Milford Sound with it raining no matter the season, winter or summer.

However, this rain is what adds a bit of magic to those sheer cliffs. Whether that is making those stronger waterfalls even more powerful and dramatic, or creating new temporary waterfalls cascading down the mountains.

I have never seen another place come alive like Milford Sound has on a rainy day.

A tranquil, rocky stream flows through a valley flanked by towering, snow-capped mountains in Milford Sound. The bright, overcast sky creates a dramatic contrast with the rugged, winter landscape, highlighting the pristine and untouched beauty of the region.
a slightly clearer second day around milford sound giving us incredible views
A person in a dark coat and mustard-yellow beanie walks along a gravel path beside a calm, misty lake. The towering, cloud-covered mountains in the background create a dramatic and serene atmosphere, typical of winter in Milford Sound.
walking back to the boat terminal in milford sound

🚌 How I Book Cheap Buses In New Zealand: Intercity

Pros & Cons Of Visiting Milford Sound In Winter

Now as anywhere and anything visiting Milford Sound during winter has both positive and negative aspects, which depending on what you are expecting, could really make or break your trip.

Which is something none of us want, so let’s get into it.

Pros Of Visiting Milford Sound In Winter

Now when it comes to the pros of winter in Milford Sound, at least for me, these greatly outweigh the cons.

Fewer Crowds: One of the advantages during winter is the reduced number of tourists. The area is much quieter compared to the bustling summer months, offering a more peaceful and intimate experience. This will allow you to really experience Milford Sound at its best, cause lets be honest nobody wants a bunch of shouting tourists ruining your videos.

Unique Winter Scenery: Winter transforms Milford Sound into a spectacular wonderland with snow-capped peaks, frosty foliage, and dramatic waterfalls. The crisp, clear air enhances visibility, allowing for somehow, even more stunning views.

Enhanced Wildlife Viewing: I know, you would think that the animals would all retreat and hide during the colder months, at least I know that’s what I would be doing! Though you may be surprised to learn that winter often brings increased wildlife activity. Seals are frequently seen basking on the rocks, and birdlife is abundant.

Quieter Accommodations: Yay one of the most expensive places just got cheaper, sign me up! Though seriously with fewer tourists, accommodations are generally quieter and therefore cheaper. Many hotels and lodges offer off-season rates, including our favorite Milford Sound Lodge. You will also find you don’t need to plan as far ahead when it comes to making bookings, allowing you to have a bit more freedom on your New Zealand itinerary!

Magical Atmosphere There is an undeniable magic in Milford Sound during winter. From the snow capped Mitre Peak staring down at you on the foreshore, to the impressive landscapes you will come across while driving in. The combination of serene landscapes, fresh winter air, and stunning scenery creates an almost otherworldly atmosphere, which for someone actually from New Zealand, feels a million miles away from home.

tasha amy walks alone on a bed of rocks in a valley surrounded by imposing, snow-covered mountains. The expansive, serene landscape and overcast sky capture the rugged and awe-inspiring beauty of winter in Milford Sound.
hanging in a dried up creek enjoying a little bit on sunshine
A close-up view of a rugged, snow-capped mountain peak against a cloudy sky. The steep, rocky slopes and patches of snow highlight the raw and awe-inspiring natural beauty typical of winter in Milford Sound.
true wilderness on the way to milford sound

Cons Of Visiting Milford Sound In Winter

Now there a a few cons when it comes to winter in Milford Sound. However, promise me you won’t let these put you off visiting!

Unpredictable Weather: Unfortunately the main con is that the winter weather in Milford Sound can be highly unpredictable. Sudden changes from clear skies to heavy rain or fog are common. This unpredictability can affect travel plans and can be quite dangerous if you are driving at the time.

Cold Temperatures: As we spoke about earlier, winter temperatures, especially at night, can be quite cold. These cold and damp conditions might not be comfortable for everyone, particularly those not used to that Southern breeze coming straight across from Antarctica. It’ll chill you to the bone if you don’t wrap up warm enough!

Potential Travel Disruptions: The Milford Sound Highway can be hazardous in winter due to ice, snow, and frequent rain. Road closures and travel delays are common, so be sure to check New Zealand road closures before venturing out so you know what to expect. It’s also wise to allow extra travel time and have a plan b if things fall through.

Limited Daylight Hours Winter days are shorter, which means fewer daylight hours for exploring. Obviously, if you are limited on time and visiting for one day, or even one night like myself, you will want to make the most of whatever daylight is available.

tasha amy stands on a rocky shoreline, gazing out over the calm, misty waters of Milford Sound. They wear a tan coat and a dark beanie, with their hair blowing gently in the wind. The towering, mist-covered peaks and overcast sky evoke a sense of tranquility and reflection during winter in Milford Sound.
waiting for mitre peak to come out behind the clouds
tasha amy stands on a rocky outcrop by the water's edge, wearing a tan coat and dark beanie. The calm waters of Milford Sound reflect the mist-covered peaks in the distance, creating a serene and contemplative winter scene in Milford Sound.
looking out to the views around milford sound and trying to avoid the sandflies

How To Get To Milford Sound Safely In Winter Conditions

Now if you are visiting Milford Sound in winter you will want to get there and come pack in one piece, with a fully working vehicle.

Now depending on how comfortable you are driving New Zealand roads, on the left side, in winter conditions you may actually find booking a tour the safest and best option for you.

Driving Yourself To And Around Milford Sound

Now if you are adapt already to driving in New Zealand you may find yourself keen to venture to Milford Sound yourself. Sweet, that is a great option and will allow you to check out some favorite spots where tour buses don’t stop (my favorite is Monkey Creek), though you do need to research and plan accordingly.

Before setting off, it’s essential to check the latest road conditions and weather forecasts. The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) provides updates on road closures, weather warnings, and driving conditions, so save bookmark them to double check things before you leave!

Next up, make sure your vehicle is winter-ready. This includes making sure you have snow chains and knowing how to install them. Additionally, make sure your vehicle is equipped with a rego, WOF, and that your brakes, lights, and windshield wipers are in good working condition.

Now there are no petrol stations in Milford Sound, so you will need to make sure you top up in Te Anau. It is approximately 120 kilometers / 75 miles between the two and takes about 2.5 hours in good weather, so you can see how it’d be quite easy to misjudge things and get stranded!

Also, simply make sure you drive cautiously and drive to the conditions. If you are slower than other drivers cause you are finding the conditions a bit overwhelming, no biggie, just pull over and let them pass. Take it slow and enjoy the stops along the way, there is no need to rush.

At Milford Sound, there is parking where you can leave your car while on the boat cruise. Just be aware this fills up fast so you may find yourself having to walk 10 to 20 minutes to the departure point.

A person in a grey hoodie walks along a wooden boardwalk through a dense, shadowy forest that leads to mirror lake. The towering trees and thick foliage create a tunnel-like effect, adding to the mystery and tranquility of the scene.
walking down the path to mirror lake
tasha amy stands on a wooden platform by a lake, holding a transparent umbrella. They are wearing a red jacket and dark pants, with snowy mountains partially hidden by mist in the background. The wet, grey weather underscores the serene and contemplative mood of winter in Milford Sound.
no reflection today at the mirror lake
A white camper van is parked by the roadside against a backdrop of steep, mist-covered mountains. The overcast sky and the waterfall-streaked cliffs evoke a sense of adventure and exploration during winter in Milford Sound.
we explored in this campervan, it even had a heater which was a must in winter
A dramatic waterfall streams down a steep, forested mountainside into a dark fjord. The scene is enveloped in mist and shadow, emphasizing the lush greenery and the powerful presence of the waterfall. The dark, moody tones reflect the mystique and beauty of Milford Sound, particularly during winter.
a bit of sun shinning through the dark clouds on an overcast day in milford sound

Booking A Day Tour From Queenstown

Now, alternatively, you do have the option of booking a tour from Queenstown to Milford Sound. Perhaps you don’t want to hire a car, especially if you are traveling solo it can be quite pricey, or aren’t comfortable driving in New Zealand, especially in winter conditions.

You will find many reputable tour operators offer day trips from Queenstown, each providing a range of options to suit different preferences and budgets.

However, my favorite option is run by Pure Milford which offers a Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Full-Day Trip. This tour costs $245.00 NZD / $150.00 per person, though it includes transfers, lunch, tea and water, a cruise around Milford Sound as well as a guide.

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Being a one day trip it is quite a long day with the tour taking a full 12 hours, though it’s a long drive taking 4 hours without stops one way. Though, this is just what it takes to get to Milford Sound.

Alternatively, if you are on more of a time constraint, or perhaps don’t want to spend 8+ hours in a bus, and fair enough, I agree, then there is also a scenic flight option. The Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Plane & Boat is run by Milford Scenic Flights who will take you over some incredible scenery in the much shorter 40 minute flight from Queenstown to Milford Sound!

Once you arrive in Milford Sound you will have a 2 hour cruise to explore from the water and check out the views at a lower level. This is a pricey option costing $645.00 NZD / $395.00 per person, however, doing this kind of scenic flight is once in a lifetime.

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A long, straight road stretches into the distance, flanked by rugged, snow-dusted hills and mountains. The cloudy sky and barren landscape create a stark, dramatic scene, characteristic of a winter drive through the Milford Sound region.
snowy mountains along the roadside when driving towards milford sound

🚌 How I Book Cheap Buses In New Zealand: Intercity

Winter Activities in Milford Sound

So I am definitely the type of person who likes to stay inside on a cold day, sit in front of the fire, and watch Netflix type of thing. Though, I wasn’t and you can’t be that type of person when in Milford Sound. You have to make the most out of it and get involved, regardless of the weather.

  • Scenic Cruises: One of the most popular activities in Milford Sound is taking a scenic cruise. Winter cruises are the same as summer, however you will have fewer crowds and a more relaxed atmosphere. The waterfalls are often more powerful due to increased rainfall, and the snow-capped peaks create a breathtaking backdrop.
  • Kayaking: For those seeking to really get close up to the water, kayaking in Milford Sound during winter is an excellent choice. Paddling through the calm, reflective waters allows for an up-close view of the fjord’s cliffs, waterfalls, and wildlife. Guided kayaking tours are available and provide all the necessary gear, including wetsuits and waterproof jackets to keep you warm.
  • Scenic Flights: As I briefly touched on above, a scenic flight over Milford Sound offers a unique perspective of the dramatic winter landscapes. From above, you can see the full extent of the snow-capped peaks, glacial valleys, and winding waterways. Flights depart from Queenstown, Te Anau, or Milford Sound itself, and provide an unforgettable aerial view of the region.
  • Hiking and Nature Walks: While some hiking trails in and around Milford Sound may be less accessible in winter, several shorter walks remain open and offer stunning views. The Milford Sound Foreshore Walk is a short, easy trail that provides excellent views of Mitre Peak and the fjord. Another popular option is the Chasm Walk, which takes you through the native forest to a powerful waterfall.
  • Visiting the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory: For a unique perspective on the underwater life happening here, you can visit The Underwater Observatory at The Milford Discovery Centre. Located 10 meters below the surface, you will see a variety of marine life and black coral, usually only accessible to divers, all while staying warm and dry.
tasha amy sits on a rustic swing made of a wooden log and ropes, set against the backdrop of Milford Sound at dusk. The sky is painted with vibrant shades of orange and purple, reflecting on the calm water. The mist-covered peaks add to the dramatic and serene atmosphere of winter in Milford Sound.
going for a swing while during sunset and enjoying the incredible views
tasha amy walks across a pebbly shore, their back turned to the camera. The sky is illuminated by a warm, golden sunset, casting a soft glow over the misty mountains and calm waters of Milford Sound. The scene captures the tranquility and beauty of the fjord during winter.
walking on the shoreline during sunset
lush, green riverbank covered in moss and scattered rocks lines a winding river, flowing through a dramatic, mountainous landscape. The sky is heavily clouded, with mist hanging low over the forested slopes and steep cliffs, creating a moody and mystical winter scene in Milford Sound.
going for a little walk along the river in milford sound surrounded by waterfalls

Wildlife You May Encounter in Winter

It’s pretty amazing the assortment of wildlife you can see in Milford Sound literally in the middle of winter, whereas I can roll up to some random New Zealand beach and just see a couple of crabs and seagulls trying to steal my lunch.

Pretty awesomely one of the most common wildlife sightings in Milford Sound during winter is the New Zealand fur seal. These playful and curious animals can often be seen basking on the rocks or swimming in the waters, just as they were when I visited in June. The cooler winter temperatures do not worry these chunky creatures, making them a much loved highlight.

Other animals which you may see are Dusky dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. These intelligent and playful mammals are known to swim alongside boats, putting on acrobatic displays that delight onlookers. Unfortunately, they were the only ones I didn’t see, however, our guide assured us they do visit in winter.

Although less common, you might also spot Fiordland crested penguins (tawaki) in Milford Sound. These rare and shy penguins are native to New Zealand and are usually found along the rugged coastline. We were actually lucky enough to see them albeit from a distance.

Milford Sound is a haven for birdlife, and winter is no exception.

The kea, New Zealand’s alpine parrot, is often seen in the area. Known for their intelligence and curiosity, keas are fascinating birds to observe, though I will admit their beak is a bit scary! Known for their playful behavior, they can oftentimes be seen damaging cars by ripping apart anything rubber.

Other bird species you might encounter include the pied shag (cormorant), which can be seen fishing in the fjord, and various seabirds such as gulls and petrels. The native tomtit and fantail are also common in the surrounding forests, especially on the foreshore walk.

A small, round bird with grey and yellow plumage perches on a branch amidst dense foliage. Its tiny beak and watchful eyes highlight the intricate details of the bird, capturing the essence of Milford Sound's wildlife.
a sweet little pipipi, also known as a new zealand titmouse, chilling on a branch
A close-up shot of a small black and white bird perched on a branch, surrounded by sparse, green foliage. The bird's delicate features and the blurred background emphasize the serene and natural setting, typical of the rich biodiversity found in Milford Sound.
a little tomtit bird on the shores of milford sound
Three kea parrots are gathered on a road, with one bird vocalizing towards another. The birds' green plumage blends with the grey asphalt, highlighting their unique presence and behavior in the rugged environment of Milford Sound.
a little family of keas causing chaos on the way to milford sound

Where to Stay in Milford Sound

Now, breathe a sigh of relief because a huge bonus of visiting Milford Sound in winter is less demand for accommodation, which equals cheaper prices *backpackers rejoice*.

Now, unfortunately, there aren’t too many options when it comes to accommodation actually IN Milford Sound itself. Instead, you will have the one option of Milford Sound Lodge. It is pricey, however, the amenities are incredible and plus side is they do provide breakfast and dinner with their bookings.

For a cheaper alternative, there is the Rainforest Campervan Park which is in the same location as the lodge and actually where I stayed. I was pleasantly surprised with the excellent facilities and it was a nice private campground surrounded by nature.

In terms of cheaper options or literally just anything else, you will need to be looking closer to Te Anau, the closest township to Milford Sound, but still nearly a 2 hour drive away, so you are still a bit of a drive away from all the action.

Milford Sound Lodge

Milford Sound Lodge

THE place to stay here in Milford Sound. They have incredible rooms in an equally incredible location. Prices start from $370.00 in winter and $620 in summer this breakfast and dinner included.

Eglinton Valley Camp

Eglinton Valley Camp

Located halfway between Te Anau and Milford Sound, this is a great option for those wanting to be surrounded by nature. Rooms here start from $140.00 per night which is great considering the location!

Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers

Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers

Your budget friendly option in Te Anau. Dorms rooms start from $25.00 per night, and they also have private rooms available.

Dusky Motels

Dusky Motels

A clean and comfortable typical kiwi motel, the perfect choice for families. Double rooms start from $100.00 per night.


What To Pack When Visiting Milford Sound In Winter

Okay so now you know all about the rain, the cold temperatures, and what to expect it’s important to pack appropriately.

  • Layered Clothing: Layering is crucial for staying warm in the fluctuating winter temperatures. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your skin. Follow this with an insulating middle layer, such as a fleece or down jacket, to retain body heat. Finally, wear a waterproof and windproof outer layer to protect against rain and wind.
  • Waterproof Jacket and Pants: Milford Sound can get quite wet, so waterproof outerwear is essential. A good-quality waterproof jacket and pants will keep you dry and comfortable during outdoor activities and scenic cruises.
  • Warm Hat and Gloves: Protect your extremities from the cold with a warm hat and gloves. Choose insulated, waterproof gloves for added protection against the elements, especially if you plan on kayaking.
  • Thermal Socks: Keeping your feet warm is vital, so pack several pairs of thermal socks. Wool or synthetic materials are best, as they provide excellent insulation and wick moisture away from your skin.
  • Daypack: A small, waterproof daypack is handy for carrying your essentials during day trips. Look for one with multiple compartments to keep your items organized and easily accessible.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated by bringing a reusable water bottle. Many areas in New Zealand have drinkable tap water, so you can refill your bottle as needed.
  • Camera and Accessories: Winter in Milford Sound offers spectacular photo opportunities. Bring a camera with extra batteries and memory cards. A waterproof case or bag for your camera can protect it from the elements, such as going under any waterfalls!
  • Bug Spray: Sandflies at Milford Sound can be a nuisance even in winter. Bring a good insect repellent to protect yourself from bites, and just to keep them at bay.
tasha amy stands by the roadside, looking back towards the camera, with towering, mist-covered mountains in the background. The overcast sky and barren ground emphasize the wild and untouched beauty of winter in Milford Sound.
a quick photo op along the milford sound highway
tasha amy stands on a rocky roadside, bundled up in a red jacket and beanie. Behind them, the misty, snow-covered mountains of Milford Sound rise steeply, creating a dramatic and rugged winter landscape.
braving the elements with a quick stop at monkey creek

FAQs About Winter In Milford Sound

Is Milford Sound worth it in winter?

Yes, Milford Sound is worth visiting in winter. The fewer crowds, stunning snow-capped peaks, powerful waterfalls, and unique wildlife experiences create a serene and magical atmosphere. The clear, crisp air enhances visibility, making for spectacular scenery and memorable photography opportunities.

How cold does it get at Milford Sound?

In winter, Milford Sound’s daytime temperatures range from 5°C to 10°C / 41°F to 50°F, while nighttime temperatures can drop to around 0°C to 3°C / 32°F to 37°F. The cool, crisp air enhances the stunning scenery.

What is the best time to visit Milford Sound?

The best time to visit Milford Sound depends on your preferences. Summer (December to February) offers warmer weather and lush greenery, while winter (June to August) provides fewer crowds, stunning snow-capped peaks, and powerful waterfalls. Both seasons have unique appeals for different types of travelers.

Can I go Milford Sound in winter?

Yes, you can visit Milford Sound in winter. It offers stunning snow-capped scenery, fewer crowds, and unique wildlife experiences. Ensure you prepare for cold weather and potential travel disruptions due to icy roads. Winter tours and cruises provide a safe and enjoyable way to explore the fjord.

Is it safe to drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound in winter?

Driving from Queenstown to Milford Sound in winter can be challenging due to icy roads and unpredictable weather. It is safe if you are prepared: check road conditions, use snow chains, and drive cautiously. Alternatively, consider booking a guided tour for a stress-free and safe journey.

Does it snow in Milford Sound?

Yes, it does snow in Milford Sound, particularly on the surrounding mountains, creating stunning snow-capped peaks. However, heavy snowfall at sea level is rare.

Do you need snow chains for Milford Sound?

Yes, snow chains are recommended when driving to Milford Sound in winter. The roads can be icy and snowy, and chains improve traction and safety. Always check road conditions before your trip and ensure you know how to fit the chains properly.

A mountain road winds through a valley, flanked by towering, snow-covered peaks. Orange traffic cones line the road, guiding the way through the dramatic and scenic winter landscape of Milford Sound.
a bit of sun peaking through the clouds and lighting up the snowy mountain peaks

Wrap Up: All You Need To Know About Visiting Milford Sound In Winter

No doubt Milford Sound is worth visiting in winter, and perhaps I may have even convinced you it is better than the summer months.

However, like any good thing, it doesn’t come easy, you will need to figure out the safest methods to drive there for you. Whether that may be booking a tour, or if you have experience driving in New Zealand taking a car.

Nevertheless what you decide to do, Milford Sound will become a highlight of your New Zealand adventures, so get ready!

Any Questions? Let Me Know In The Comments!


If you are exploring New Zealand in the colder months you may find yourself in Milford Sound in winter. So, let me tell you everything you need to know about traveling this way in June, July, August, and even September!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.

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