Kayak to Lady Bowen Falls in Milford Sound


Added by Breanne McNitt

Experience New Zealand's Milford Sound via Kayak, and get up close and personal with waterfalls and seals.

There are multiple options for getting to Milford Sound.  

If you have a car and can drive, then just take the Milford Sound Highway from Te Anau, and once you get to the end of the road and see all the big boats, just park your car and get ready for some fun in the water.  

If you don't have your own car, have no fear, public transportation in New Zealand is great!  From Te Anau or Queenstown, there are multiple companies that will take you to Milford Sound.  Because I didn't have my own kayak, I decided to use a kayaking company to help me with this adventure.  So from Te Anau I was picked up by the crew with GoOrange Kayaks.  I highly suggest them if you want to do this adventure with a guide because, they picked me up from my hostel, and dropped me off at a new location after we were finished kayaking.

Once in Milford Sound, take Deepwater Basin Road to the rocky beach where you'll be able to load into the water.  Now it's time to get your splash skirt on, and carry your kayak to the edge of the water. 

In your kayak, and out on the water, I suggest making your way over to Lady Bowen Falls, and then cruising into the Sound a little farther to have a snack or lunch break on the beach to the left.  After a snack, kayak along the south west wall back to the beach you started from.  This side of the Sound is a favorite place for seals to play, and you may even get lucky and see one jumping in the water and catching a fish.

After a few hours in the water, you can stay somewhere in Milford Sound for the night, or get back on Milford Sound Highway and drive to your next adventure.

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Known for

Easy Parking
Picnic Area



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Great way to get away from the crowds

Kayaking is such a more intimate way to see Milford Sound than just hopping on one of the larger tour boats. I met a guy who worked a boat that happened to have kayaks, so we went out there on one of his days off, but there are loads of rental and tour options available. The rivers that feed into the sound are full of life, with endless nooks and crannies for exploring.

A must do!

I did this exact trip from Milford Sound! We road tripped over to sound and camped out the night before then work up bright and early for an amazing three hours with GoOrange. Our guide was awesome and filled with classic Kiwi sarcasm and knowledge of the history and myths of the fiord. To top it off, it was beautiful sunny day! GoOrange provided us with snacks in between breaks while on the kayaks and brought us right next to the base of the giant waterfall. Luckily, the Fiordland rains most of the time during the year and the waterfall was rushing. We also turned into some small waves coming our way and road with the current. Totally exhilarating! Regardless of rain or shine, kayaking the Milford Sound is a hell of an adventure all would appreciate.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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