307 km, about a 4-hour drive away from Queenstown is the majestic Milford Sounds. Full of mountains, rivers, and waterfalls, it is considered one of the 8th Wonders of the World. The rainforest, the winding roads, the man made 1.2 km Homer Tunnel, the crisp clean drinkable water. It is breathtaking, beautiful, intimidating and well worth the long drive.
It is one of New Zealand’s most-visited tourist spots and it’s one of the most famous tourist destination. The Sounds get thousands of visitors a day and up to 1 million in total per year. With wild weather, avalanches are common, rainfall can reach up to 250 mm (10 in) in the span of 24 hours, 9 meters in a year. There is always snow at the top of the mountains, I saw it first hand in the middle of summer for New Zealand.
Next to the Tasman Sea, the boat ride is also worth seeing, with at least two permanent waterfalls and the almost guaranteed viewing of seals and possibly even dolphins and whales. The road to the water is so much fun. Refill your water bottle with the pure, fresh water from the river and look at the mountains that climbers use to practice before climbing Mount Everest, like kiwi climber, Edmund Hillary, who was the first person to climb the highest mountain in the world.
If you visit like I did, the bus from Queenstown to Milford and back is 12 hours, it is a long day, your butt will be sore but it is well worth it! There really is no place on Earth like it!