Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Underwater Observatory

Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Underwater Observatory: Hours, Address, Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Underwater Observatory Reviews: 4.5/5

Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Underwater Observatory

Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Underwater Observatory
4.5
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
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Popular mentions

4.5
254 reviews
Excellent
156
Very good
65
Average
25
Poor
6
Terrible
2

cassandraw224
Christchurch, New Zealand12 contributions
Cruising Milford Sound and the Underwater Observatory
Apr 2021
We did the Milford Sound Discover more cruise with a visit to the Underwater Observatory. This was a fantastic experience right from the time we checked in at the visitor terminal to the disembarking at the end of the trip. The staff were friendly and helpful. The complimentary tea and coffee was appreciated. The pre paid picnic lunches were great. The Captain got us very close to the waterfalls. We managed to see dolphins, and some seals. If you wanted to you could experience 'a glacial facial' - a water spray from the waterfall. The underwater observatory was great to visit and informative and made the cruise on the sound even more special. My only complaint would be that the commentary was difficult to hear inside the boat. It was clearer outside. Would absolutely recommend this trip to everyone and it was excellent value for money.
Written 15 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia ora Cassandra, Thank you so much for your awesome review. We're stoked you had a great time in Milford Sound and all our staff looked after you. the underwater observatory is pretty cool! Thanks for your feedback on the sound, we will take this on board and discuss with our team in Milford. Thank you for choosing to experience Milford Sound with Southern Discoveries and for your recommendation to future travellers. Ngā mihi, Ciara
Written 15 April 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

KarliJoll
Hamilton, New Zealand6 contributions
Milford Sound cruise, kayak and discovery centre visit
Apr 2021 • Family
Our two families did this trip yesterday and just loved it. The staff on board the cruise boats are wonderful. We saw dolphins and seals on our cruise around the Sound. We then docked at the Discovery Centre where we got to experience the underwater observatory and then went kayaking. Both activities were brilliant especially due to the awesome knowledge imparted by the staff and guides. These people really know their marine life! Highly recommend.
Written 12 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia ora Karli, Thank you so much for your awesome review. We love reading reviews like this from our customers. Our guides are so passionate about what they do and we're stoked you enjoyed your time with them. Ngā mihi, Ciara
Written 15 April 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

boyd86
Derby, UK22 contributions
Amazing experience and efficiently ran.
Dec 2019
We booked on to the cruise, kayak and underwater observatory. It all started well with a tasty cooked breakfast buffet before heading up on the deck to take in the stunning scenery. Helpful commentary to support the views. We were dropped at the kayak hub where we were swiftly kitted up and put on the water. After a relaxing kayak around the bay we had a guided tour of the observatory, leaving plenty of time to take it all in and ask the experienced guides questions. Luckily the boat remembered to come back and get us for a return to the ferry terminal!

We were lucky to have sunny and dry weather but either way this was a great experience and good value for money. We even saw dolphins, seals and a lone penguin! The staff were super friendly and helpful and the whole experience ran very efficiently.
Written 12 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

gpbc
Ottawa, Canada83 contributions
Amazing Bus and Boat Trip
Nov 2019
On Nov 15, we took a Southern Discoveries Tour from Queenstown to Milford Sound. The bus driver took us on a long drive to get around the mountain ranges but the views were wonderful. There were dense rainforests, glacier-carved valleys, and beautiful waterfalls. He mentioned so much about the history of the land and the people. Eventually, we drove through the Homer Tunnel, which is 1.2 km long. Once we came out, our bus seemed so small compared to the spectacular mountain valley.

Milford Sound is actually a fiord that is flanked on both sides by sheer mountain rock face. It’s 16 km long. There are two permanent waterfalls and hundreds of temporary ones coming down the mountains. Given that the fiord gets over 200 days of rain, there will be more waterfalls on a rainy day. There are seals, dolphins, penguins in the area who might be seen. We boarded a cruise boat that showed spectacular views even though it was a very rainy day.

On the last part of the cruise, we were dropped off at the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory, which is suspended 10 metres below the water. The underwater guide taught about the sound, and the diversity of the underwater fishes and vegetation. The top of the water in the fiord is fresh water and the remaining is seawater. We boarded the boat again and made our way back to the main port.

After the cruise, we headed back to Queenstown. The trip took about 10 hours but it was worth it.
Written 19 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a great review of your trip with Southern Discoveries. We agree taking the coach to Milford Sound from Queenstown is definitely worth it. The journey is as spectacular as the destination. Thanks, Ciara
Written 14 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chenel
7 contributions
Milford Sound Scenic Tour
Jan 2020 • Family
Lovely boat to cruise on, a very smooth ride and helpful employees. We got breakfast and lunch passes, the food was very delicious!
We also went kayaking, and down to the observatory, both were amazing experiences!
I would definitely recommend Southern Discoveries for a Milford Sound scenic tour!!
Written 17 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kia ora Chez we're stoked to hear you had a great time in Milford Sound. Thanks so much for your awesome review and your recommendation to future travels. Thanks, Ciara
Written 14 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

j527
Christchurch, New Zealand1 contribution
Would recommend going to other companies other than Southern Discoveries
Jan 2020
Milford is a must have when visiting NZ. But Southern Discoveries is not. The attitude their customer service gave was daunting, disappointing, and a disgrace to the beauty both Milford and their hardworking guides have to offer.
Written 15 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
We're really sorry to hear you had a negative experience with our tea. Good customer service is so important to us, we would really appreciate if you emailed us directly at marketing@southerndiscoveries.co.nz to tell us what happened so we can look into it further and make improvements. Ciara, Southern Discoveries
Written 14 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

inda2
Young, Australia36 contributions
Worth every penny!!
Jan 2020 • Friends
Wow! What an amazing trip!!! Drove ourselves to Milford sound then joined the boat for cruise and kayak and underwater observatory. Kayak is a must. Just such an amazing experience being at water level in the quiet in such stunning surroundings. Highlight of our trip so far.
Written 9 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thanks for this awesome 5 star review. Kayaking in Milford Sound is pretty special and it's pretty awesome to hear it's been a highlight of your trip. Have a great time on the rest of your trip. Ciara, Southern Discoveries
Written 14 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Anna Nguyen
Sydney, Australia7 contributions
Wonderful cruise and kayaking experience
Dec 2019
We did a half-day cruise with kayaking and picnic lunch and loved everything about it!

The Southern Discoveries team was super nice, had a great sense of humour and seemed really passionate about what they do. Our cruise stopped at a big waterfall on the way, where the captain got as close as he could so we all got a nice refreshing splash of water. We also saw three cute little seals sunbathing. Apparently another Southern Discoveries cruise saw dolphins earlier that day so our captain really tried to circle back and forth in the hope that we would too -- too bad we didn't, but I loved how our tour guides showed their effort.

Kayaking in Milford Sound is amazing. Crystal clear glacier water, big mountains with snow tops, it's an incredible feeling! The water was fairly calm and we didn't kayak too far out so would be suitable for all levels of kayaking experience. A special shout-out to our kayaking guides, Joe and Jared, who said they loved seeing their names mentioned on tripadvisor -- you guys deserve it!!!

A couple of tips we learned: if you drive, like we did, parking at Milford Sound is very expensive ($10/hour). Apparently there is free parking further down, which we didn't check, but even the paid parking area is quite busy, so definitely budget time (and $) for this. Picnic lunch on the cruise was nice (fresh sandwiches, cookies, fruit, cheese and crackers), but the cafe at the Milford Sound information centre (where the car park is) looks very nice too, so we think it would have been ok to buy lunch from there instead. Lastly, if you have time you should check out the Southern Discoveries team's profiles at the observatory -- hilarious.
Written 1 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

32Morten
Finland377 contributions
Ok place
Jan 2020 • Couples
This was a bit disappointing experience. We saw fish and corals but it didn't make difference. Anyway, it is good way to have a look to the deep waters without intervening too much.
Written 1 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

belwells
Norah Head, Australia533 contributions
Four Seasons in a Day
Dec 2019
Started the cruise in rain. The sound was filled with waterfalls and mist. The waterfalls were spectacular. The boat got really close to the falls, you could put on a raincoat and have a glacier facial. Refreshing. We saw seals on rocks. On the way back we did the underwater observatory. Well worth the extra money. Got to see the sound from a different perspective. Loved seeing the fish.
Written 31 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Underwater Observatory

Southern Discoveries - Milford Sound Underwater Observatory is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
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