Mirror Lakes

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Mirror Lakes: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Bus & Boat

1. From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Bus & Boat

Take the hassle out of driving to Milford Sound and join a guided coach tour from Queenstown. Sit back, relax and enjoy magnificent scenery and informative commentary. Your experienced local coach driver will show you the best views along the Milford Road and connect you seamlessly with a 2-hour nature cruise. Travel in a spacious coach with USB charging ports. Marvel at the native rainforest, spectacular waterfalls and glacial lakes. Pause briefly in Te Anau before continuing along the spectacular alpine Milford Road. Admire incredible views at Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, Knobbs Flat or Monkey Creek and pose for photos. Be wowed by the glaciar-carved Milford Sound as you approach the visitor terminal. Seize your cruise and lunch passes from the driver who’ll help you find your cruise departure gate.  Climb aboard a purpose-built catamaran for a nature cruise along the fiord’s deep blue waters. Savor a freshly prepared picnic lunch. Marvel at the impressive natural landscape and keep a lookout for native wildlife like dolphins, seals and penguins. Be fascinated by live commentary from your skipper in the open wheelhouse. Get within touching distance of impressive glaciar-carved rock walls and feel the full force of the powerful 15,000-year-old Stirling Falls on your face. Awed and satisfied, rejoin your driver for the scenic return journey to Queenstown. 

From Te Anau: Milford Sound Tour with Cruise and Lunch

2. 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.

Milford Sound & Te Anau 2-Day Small-Group Tour

3. Milford Sound & Te Anau 2-Day Small-Group Tour

Day 1: Leaving Queenstown, travel around Lake Wakatipu with amazing views of "The Remarkables" Mountain Range with some stops to take fantastic photos. Then, enter Fiordland National Park and visit Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, Lake Gunn, Hollyford River, Falls Creek, the Darran Mountains, and Homer Tunnel. Next, board your cruise on a small boat for an informative and personal tour of Milford Sound. Get closer to the wildlife and nature, including the New Zealand fur seals basking on the rocks. See massive rock faces rising hundreds of meters out of the sea and waterfalls cascading from ancient rainforest high in the mountains. Marvel at the awe-inspiring Mitre Peak, an iconic steep triangular peak, rising high up above the reflective waters. As day 1 comes to a close, enjoy an overnight stay in Te Anau where you can have dinner at a local restaurant or take an evening stroll around the lake. Day 2: Start Day 2 with pickup from your hotel and first visit the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary. Take a guided tour of the sanctuary and see some of the rarest birds in the country, including the Takahe and Kaka. Visit your first Lord of the Rings attraction at the Dead Marshes and Rainbow Reach. Enjoy a viewpoint overlooking The Dead Marshes from an elevated position. At Rainbow Reach a cable bridge over the Waiau River, known as The River Anduin in the movie series leads you into the forest and Kepler Track. Next, explore the shores of Lake Manapouri and hear more about its history. Have a quick break at one of the local coffee shops before heading to the Mavora Lakes, which is one of the most famous LOTR sites in the region. After some free time here, continue back to Te Anau where you can take part in some more optional activities, with the final drop-off in Queenstown in the early evening.

Queenstown: Small-Group Tour to Milford Sound with Cruise

4. Queenstown: Small-Group Tour to Milford Sound with Cruise

Join a fully-guided, small-group day tour from Queenstown or Te Anau to the world-renowned Milford Sound; the crowning jewel of Fiordland. Highlights of the drive will include Lake Wakatipu, the Devil’s Staircase, the truly majestic mountains of Fiordland, Mirror Lake, the Chasm, and Homer Tunnel. You will also enjoy multiple stops along the way for photo opportunities and Kea bird spotting (the world’s largest alpine parrot). You will then travel through the mind-blowing Homer Tunnel, emerging as the valley descends sharply down to Milford Sound, with its hundreds of waterfalls cascading into the crystal clear waters beneath. At Milford Sound you will take an intimate cruise on a smaller boat that gets right up close with nature and wildlife. Onboard your cruise you will have up-close views of thousands of waterfalls, Mitre Peak, as well as local wildlife, providing you with hundreds of amazing photo opportunities along the way. Following your cruise you will begin the return journey back to Queenstown, stopping again in Te Anau for a quick break. At the end of the day, your guide will drop you back to your Queenstown accommodation, or you can opt to upgrade to a scenic, one-way flight back from Milford instead (to be booked during the booking process). Choose this option for the ultimate view over the mountains and region during your return journey.

Te Anau: Full-Day National Park Tour with Cruise and Lunch

5. Te Anau: Full-Day National Park Tour with Cruise and Lunch

Experience the rugged beauty of Fiordland National Park, a region rich with dense native bush, lakes, and waterfalls cascading from mountain peaks. Soak in the stunning views through a glass ceiling as you pass through the Eglinton Valley with its ancient alpine forest and the famous Mirror Lakes. Head to Upper Hollyford Valley and pass the stunning Christie Falls. Depart through the Homer Tunnel and enter the breathtaking Cleddau Valley. From here, descend into Milford Sound and board a scenic boat cruise. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch as you cruise along the fiord, keeping an eye out for dolphins, seals, penguins, and other marine life. See natural wonders like Mitre Peak, glacier scarred rock walls rising 1,200m vertically from the sea, and waterfalls that tumble from valleys high above. After your Milford Sound cruise, your guide will be waiting to drive you back to Te Anau, arriving late afternoon.

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Cruise and Scenic Drive

6. From Queenstown: Milford Sound Cruise and Scenic Drive

Depart from Queenstown and travel to Milford Sound for a cruise of the fjord. Your driver will share their extensive knowledge of the area as your drive down the picturesque Milford Road. See local natural landmarks, such as Mirror Lakes, Knobs Flat, and the famous Eglington Valley. On your cruise, head past the iconic Mitre Peak and sail past St. Annes Point Lighthouse. Enjoy commentary from your skipper as you pass the mighty Lady Bowen Falls, Lion Mountain, Copper Point, Seal Rock, Stirling Falls, and Fairy Falls. Head out into the Tasman Sea and keep an eye out for seals basking in the sun, pods of dolphins, or rare Fjordland Crested Penguins that can be found seasonally within the region. Keep warm with complimentary tea and coffee in the lounge and take in the scenery through expansive windows. Venture onto the outdoor viewing decks to breathe in the pristine alpine air. Head back to Queenstown with some photo stops along the way.

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Day Trip with Cruise & Flight

7. From Queenstown: Milford Sound Day Trip with Cruise & Flight

The coach journey there Departing from Queenstown, you’ll travel to Milford Sound in a comfortable, modern Mercedes van with panoramic windows for superior viewing, as your driver shares their extensive knowledge of the area along the picturesque Milford Road. Along the drive you’ll see local points of beauty such as Mirror Lakes, Knobs Flat and the famous Eglington Valley. This is followed by your 2-hour cruise of Milford Sound. The cruise Sit back and relax as your cruise makes its way out into Milford Sound past the iconic Mitre Peak. We’ll sail the length of the 16km fiord, out past St Annes Point Lighthouse, with informative commentary from our skipper who will highlight points of interest along the way including the mighty Lady Bowen Falls, Lion Mountain, Copper Point, Seal Rock and Stirling Falls. You’ll see towering peaks, sheer cliffs, cascading waterfalls and lush rainforest. Feel the spray of Fairy Falls and listen to the sound of nature thriving in its habitat. We also take you out into the Tasman Sea so you can enjoy the unique opportunity of approaching the fiord just as the first sealers did way back in the 18th century. Be sure to keep an eye out for seals basking in the sun, pods of dolphins, or rare Fiordland Crested Penguins that can be found seasonally within the region. Keep warm with complimentary tea and coffee in the lounge and take in the scenery through expansive windows. Or venture onto the spacious outdoor viewing decks to breathe in the pristine alpine air. Either way, you will be inspired by the majesty of the region. The scenic flight back Complete your journey with an epic birds-eye view of this untouched region as you fly back. Scenic flights from Milford Sound are nothing short of spectacular! Fly over snowcapped mountain ranges, tumbling waterfalls and sparkling lakes including the breathtaking and incredibly blue Lake Wakatipu upon landing in Queenstown.

Other Sightseeing Options in Mirror Lakes

Want to discover all there is to do in Mirror Lakes? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Mirror Lakes

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 378 reviews

I was nervous of the thought of missing my bus, but the young lady who answered my call was very helpful with direction to catch the coach. She remained on the phone until i came to the street where I can join my tour. Our driver was informative of places we visited and point out very interesting places and story behind it. He wished us a good trip on the boat and when we disembark after our tour. What a fantastic hospitality offered by the staff of Southern Explorer. Thank you for a fantastic day and experience❤❤ Gives me hope that there are great customer services exist in this Covid time. Thank you once again. JT from Hamilton

It was an amazing experience. Our tour guide was fabulous. He was friendly, helpful and relaxed. He gave us history and informative talks as we traveled along. The scenery is amazing. It is so beautiful and awesome it nearly brought me to tears. The boat trip was just as amazing. I would recommend anyone to go. It’s a trip you will never forget or regret.

Stunning scenery. We’ll planned tour with knowledgeable guides. Loved every second.

Amazing! Kiert was an absolutely amazing guide and we had so much fun! Thanks!!

All day trip was so worth it.Great service from your team.