Where to Stay in Milford Sound: Milford Sound Lodge Review

milford sound lodge review

Knowing where to stay in Milford Sound is hard as the options are limited. Luckily, the Milford Sound Lodge exists only 1.5km from Milford! This blog is our Milford Sound Lodge Review including why it is the best option of where to stay in Milford. 

Where to Stay in Milford Sound: Milford Sound Lodge Review

Milford Sound is a spectacular place to visit, and an even more amazing place to spend the night. But where do you stay in Milford Sound? The truth is, even camping spots near Milford Sound are limited, and if you are looking for proper accommodation then your choices are even more so limited.

Luckily, the Milford Sound Lodge exists. Only a short two-minute drive from Milford Sound sits a lodge with something for everybody. Dorm beds, luxury chalets, and powered –making it not only ideal for its location, but for all budgets as well.

The last time Dan and I went to Milford Sound we spent the night in Te Anau. And while this worked fine, it made for a long day as we had to drive 1.5 hours to Milford Sound in the morning (and stopped a ton along the way), and then had to drive all the way back in the evening as well.

This time we opted to stay at the Milford Sound Lodge to save on the driving time. We love doing sunset photography and seeing as sunset isn’t until 9 pm these days, staying at the Milford Sound Lodge was the best option for us.

If you are trying to decide where to stay in Milford Sound and tossing up the idea of the Milford Sound Lodge, then this blog should answer all of your questions! This is our Milford Sound Lodge review, and why we think it is the best option for where to stay in Milford Sound!

the milford sound lodge is one of the best options of where to stay in milford
The Milford Sound Lodge! These are some of the cabins available.

Where is the Milford Sound Lodge?

It is located in the most convenient place, only a short 1.5 kilometres from the Milford Sound foreshore!

How do you get to the Milford Sound Lodge?

You need to drive or take a bus! Unfortunately, tours from Queenstown or Te Anau are full day trips so if you want to spend more than a day in Milford Sound and stay at the Lodge, then you will need to drive yourself or book a bus. That being said, getting a rental vehicle in New Zealand is easy and pretty affordable and driving yourself gives you the freedom to explore on your own terms!

Along the drive to the Milford Sound Lodge, you will drive on the road from the town of Te Anau to Milford Sound. Along this road, there are many gorgeous places to stop for photos or hiking. Some of our favourite places to check out are the Mirror Lakes, Lake Gunn, the hike to Lake Marian, the Chasm, and the Key Summit hike!

What facilities are there?

At the Milford Sound Lodge, you will find cabins, standard double rooms, dorm rooms and powered sites. But besides accommodation, you will also find a café, a restaurant, a common area with a beautiful fully stocked kitchen and seating areas.

For people camping, the common areas are a great place to hang out (especially when it is raining.) There are tons of toilets and hot showers as well. We camped there for two nights and it felt like pure luxury! The common area was great for meeting other travellers and the kitchen is fully decked out with supplies and kept super clean!

For those who don’t want to cook, the onsite restaurant has great reviews and is also reasonably priced with mains for dinner ranging from $26-$39. Be sure to reserve a table for dinner advance though as they do book up! The restaurant also has a breakfast and lunch menu.

the milford sound lodge common area
The common area at the Milford Sound Lodge

What about the internet?

They do have Wi-Fi at the Milford Lodge that is available at an extra cost to you. We bought some as we need our computers for our blog and social media, but if you can go without I would advise you to do so, The internet is very ‘touch and go’ out there and sometimes it doesn’t work at all for a period of time.

Enjoy the peace and quiet of Milford Sound and stay off your phones if possible!

For weather forecasts, booking cruises or other activities, or just general info you need you can ask reception who have access to the internet and will be happy to answer any of your questions or make bookings on your behalf.

How much does it cost?

The price to stay at the Milford Sound Lodge varies greatly depending on the type of accommodation you choose. A powered site is the cheapest option at $30 per person while a riverside chalet could cost up to $585 for a night for up 2 people and 2 children.

For a complete list of updated prices, visit their website

the milford sound lodge revew

Other things to know before you go

It rains a lot in Milford Sound. In fact, it rains more often than it doesn’t, so bring waterproof clothing with you! Don’t worry though, Milford Sound is just as spectacular in the rain as more waterfalls emerge!

Sand flies are a serious problem in Milford Sound, and therefore there are lots of them at the lodge too. Bring bug repellent or make good use of the free repellent on offer in the lodge lobby. When it is windy or in the night the sand flies die down, but on a calm day, you will absolutely need the repellent. These little guys are small but fierce and leave a very itchy bite behind on your skin.

powered campsite at the milford sound lodge
Our campsite!

Our Thoughts Overall – Milford Sound Lodge Review

We spent two nights in our van at the Milford Sound Lodge. We had a fantastic time partly because of the facilities at the lodge, and partly because we were so close to Milford Sound!
We loved being able to take hot showers and cook in a clean kitchen. It was nice just to walk around the Milford Sound Lodge property as well as enjoy the views!

However, our favourite thing about staying in the lodge was the close proximity to Milford Sound itself. Because of how easily we could get to Milford we went all the time! The first evening we arrived we were able to hang out at Milford Sound for sunset, the next morning we got up early and headed over for our boat cruise and kayak. Then, we went back to camp for lunch and then went back to Milford for an early evening snack and to watch the sunset again!

The thing about Milford Sound is that it is a hectic tourist spot from the hours of about 10 am and 4 pm. But anytime outside of those hours it is actually peaceful. On the nights when we hung out at the Milford foreshore for sunset we were two of only four people in sight. The tide goes out and we would walk out to the water in silence. No tour buses, no chaos, just serenity! To us, this is the best time explore Milford Sound – and without staying in the Milford Sound Lodge it would be a lot harder to stay out for as long.

milford sound at sunset
At sunset, Milford Sound is so peaceful!

We would definitely stay at the Milford Sound Lodge again. In fact, staying there is probably the only way we would ever visit Milford Sound. We got tons of time to explore Milford and relax as needed without a long day of driving to and from Te Anau.

For more information on the Milford Sound Lodge or to book for yourself, click here!

Where to next?

We have written lots of information about exploring Milford Sound that you might find helpful such as a guide to the scenic drive between Te Anau and Milford Sound, how to find the secret Milford Sound Swing, a guide to a boat cruise in Milford Sound, as well as a guide to kayaking in Milford Sound!
There are lots of other neat things to do in New Zealand nearby such as Mount Cook National Park or Queenstown. Check out all of our New Zealand blog articles here!
-Bailey

4 Replies to “Where to Stay in Milford Sound: Milford Sound Lodge Review”

  • I would like to ad, that the campsite is not for tents, only for campervans. As we came to the Milford Sound after hiking the Routeburn Track, we did stay in the dorm of the Milford Sound Lodge and to be honest those were not that nice – they were damp and smelly eventhough a fan was running all day. And to use the toilets and showers we had to go to the campsite – no fun in the middle of the night, when you have to walk through the darkness for about 150 meters (one way).

    • Hi Gabby,
      Thanks for the comment and thanks for clarifying about the tent…yes, the campsites are essentially parking spaces where campervans (self-contained or not) can park and have access to power and water.
      Sorry to hear the dorms weren’t up to scratch, we only camped there and thought the facilities were quite nice but we never got a chance to check out the dorms, so thanks for that!
      Overall, we recommend the Milford Lodge because of its amazing location. There is no other accommodation so close to Milford and it makes it very convenient for visiting Milford for sunset/sunrise.
      Did you enjoy Milford Sound and the Routeburn Track?
      Cheers,
      Bailey

  • Hello Bailey, yes, you’re right – the location of Milford Lodge is really good and they also have a shuttle to the boats a few times a day, which helps if you don’t have a car (although walking is fine too). And there aren’t many alternatives where you can stay, so yes, this is probably the best place to stay, but I thought people should know that the dorms might not be what they expect.
    The Routeburn was fantastic – we walked it in two days, which was no problem, although you can take more time. We chose it because the Milford Track was fully booked, but a lot of people said they liked the Routeburn even more than the Milford Track. The Routeburn goes right through the area that Isengard was in the LOTR movies – and that’s the feeling it has.

    • I know what you mean, the Routeburn Track is amazing! We hiked as much of it as we could one day in winter and then completed the whole track in summer…definitely was a highlight of our time in NZ for sure.
      Did you get a chance to do many other hikes in NZ? Any other favourites?

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