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Best Milford Sound accommodation to stay at in 2021

Where to stay in this beautiful region and grab a discount on your accommodation costs.

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Although there’s only one road into Milford Sound and somewhat-limited accommodation options, the remote Milford Sound still attracts close to 1 million visitors each year thanks to its stunning natural landscapes. As well as hiking, kayaking, fishing and scenic flights, the most popular attraction is a day or overnight cruise that journies past waterfalls, seal colonies and towering peaks.

While it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to stay as close as possible, there is only one hotel option within 50 kilometres of Milford Sound – Milford Sound Lodge. If this is booked or doesn’t fit within your budget, you will need to consider staying in the closest town, Te Anau which is a two-hour drive away. If you have your own vehicle there is also Knob’s Flat, which is one hour away or Fiordland Lodge, one and a half hours away.

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Where are the best places to stay in Milford Sound?

Best budget accommodation for Milford Sound

Up until June 2019, the primely located Milford Sound Lodge offered dormitory accommodation. Since stopping this service, the closest budget accommodation is now about an hour’s drive away from Milford Sound, but you’ll need to have your own car to get there. So when looking for cheap accommodation in this area, you’ll need to consider staying in or close to Te Anau and factor in the transport costs to get you to Milford Sound.

Te Anau has a handful of budget accommodation options with both dorms and basic private rooms for you to choose from and your hosts will be happy to share information about how to spend your time in the region. Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers and YHA Te Anau are just a few minutes’ walk from shops and restaurants. These properties include kitchen facilities and common areas for you to relax in, so you can share travel stories and adventures with other guests. Wanting to get a little closer to nature? Barnyard Backpackers is a great starting point for some of the walking tracks that you may like to tackle while in the region. It’s located on a deer farm with sheep, horses and pets just nine kilometres from the centre of Te Anau.

Our top picks for budget accommodation for Milford Sound: Barnyard Backpackers Te Anau, Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers and YHA Te Anau

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Best luxury accommodation in Milford Sound

If you’re looking for luxury during your visit to Milford Sound, you won’t find as many options as in other parts of New Zealand. However, there are a select few properties that offer premium accommodation for you to relax in while you explore this magical region.

The closest is Milford Lodge with riverside and mountain view chalets costing between $735 and $805 per night. The lodge is 1.5 kilometres away from the boat terminal for day and overnight cruises and the only accommodation within 50 kilometres of Milford Sound.

If this is booked out during your travel dates, Cabot Lodge and Fiordland Lodge are located near to Te Anau. These properties provide a 5-star experience in a private location with a range of rooms and suites priced between $500 and $1,600 per night. Accommodating a maximum of 10 guests, Cabot Lodge provides an authentic farming experience, the best of NZ cuisine and breathtaking views from its luxurious suites. Fiordland Lodge is perched on a hill with magnificent views of Lake Te Anau. With hundreds of excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, it makes sense that this is the number one rated speciality lodging property in the area.

Our top picks for luxury accommodation for Milford Sound: Fiordland Lodge and Cabot Lodge

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Alternative Milford Sound accommodation options

Camping is popular in the Milford Sound region during summer. While it’s possible to camp in winter, freezing temperatures, snow and rain are a deterrent for most people. There are 10 standard campsites on the road between Milford Sound and Te Anau. These are operated by the Department of Conservation and work on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you have a caravan, Milford Sound Lodge does have limited campervan sites but you’ll need to book well in advance during the summer months.

Airbnb operates in Te Anau so if you’re having trouble booking at one of the hotels during the busy seasons this is one option to consider. You can also stay in Queenstown, which is around four to five hours’ drive away from Milford Sound.

Frequently asked questions about Milford Sound accommodation

Is Milford Sound cruise accommodation available?

Yes, there are cruises that you can book which include overnight accommodation, meals and sightseeing.

Is there backpackers accommodation at Milford Sound?

No there is not. The closest backpacker accommodation can be found at Gunn’s Camp, 70 minutes’ drive from Milford Sound. Alternatively, there is backpackers accommodation in Te Anau.

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