Experience Milford Sound from sea level with an experienced guide and a small group of kayakers.
Paddling here is awesome, whatever the weather and whatever your previous paddling experience (or lack of it!). You’ll enjoy 4 – 5 hours on the water with the freedom to explore the fiord, check out the wildlife (seals and occasionally penguins and dolphins) and marvel at the natural wonders of Mitre Peak, Pembroke Glacier and thundering waterfalls.
Small groups – maximum of 8 people per guide
Experienced kayak guides – who carry all the safety and emergency equipment, make all safety decisions, provide paddling advice and a comprehensive safety briefing
High-quality kayaking gear – please enquire for full list of "What we provide"
Competence in water and moderate fitness required
Minimum age 16 years
No paddling experience needed although energy, enthusiasm and a sense of humour all help
No Departures Currently Scheduled for the 2021/2022 season.
Milford Sound is around 5-6 hours from Queenstown and around 3 hours from Te Anau (the nearest town). You can drive yourself to Milford Sound and park at Deepwater Basin where you will meet our guides.
What to bring
Kayaking within this designated world heritage area is unbeatable - but often encounters a huge variety of weather. Here’s a list of things you need to bring along with you to make sure you’re suitably equipped for your trip:
Swimsuit or underwear (for wearing under wetsuit)
Plastic bag for wet gear
Soft shoes or sandals (note they will get wet)
Sunblock / Sun hat / Sun glasses / Insect repellent
Camera (disposable or waterproof)
Change of clothes, socks, footwear and rain jacket for wearing after kayaking
What we provide
Thermal top and leggings
Wetsuit vest, fleece top and hat and Pogies (paddling gloves)
Paddle jacket & Spray deck
Life jacket (buoyancy vest)
Dry bags (for your clothing and camera)
Double kayaks / paddles
Group safety and emergency gear
What to wear when kayaking
Please wear your swimsuit or kayaking underwear layer beneath warm clothes/waterproof jacket on pick-up (makes changing into paddling gear easier and quicker). The best way to carry your other gear to the launch point is in a backpack.
Safety & Risk
Sea kayaking has inherent risks and can be dangerous. In Fiordland, they are characterised by: remoteness, rapidly changing and sometimes extreme weather and water conditions, cold water and limited kayaking landing sites.
Detailed risk management and strict safety procedures are observed, however, there still remains an element of risk. RealNZ cannot absolutely guarantee participants safety. RealNZ accepts its legal responsibilities but cannot be held responsible for personal injury or for loss, theft or damage of/to your equipment outside legal responsibilities. Participants will be required to sign a liability form to this effect before starting a tour.
Changing conditions can mean that tours have to be modified. No two tours are the same. It is very rare but weather could delay your scheduled return by up to 24 hours e.g. road closures or weather conditions preventing kayaking. Clients on guided tours must listen carefully to and follow guides' instructions and adhere to safety requirements. Our reputation depends on your safety – we give it top priority and take it seriously.
Did You Know?
Bottlenose dolphins are often seen in Milford Sound, their acrobatic nature and social curiosity making them easy to spot. It is said there are up to 60 dolphins in the sound.
You may see other species too – the Common and Dusky dolphin can also make these waters home.
Did You Know?
Welsh sealer, John Grono, originally named the sound after his birthplace, Milford Haven.
Another sealer, Donald Sutherland was responsible for building the three thatched huts known as the 'City of Milford' and, in 1890, cutting the Milford Track through the bush.