A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Fiordland National Park vs. Milford Sound for Hiking, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound can help you decide which place is right for you.

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park is a stunning, iconic, and breathtaking national park. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the hiking.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is a world renowned, remote, and iconic fiord. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include skiing and hiking.

Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Milford Track
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Milford Sound than Fiordland National Park, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Milford Sound is better known for its skiing, while Fiordland National Park is more popular for its food. Fiordland National Park is more touristy than Milford Sound and is known for its world renowned hiking trails and stunning natural environments. Milford Sound is well known for its iconic hiking trails, stunning boat tours, and dramatic mountains. Also, Milford Sound is famous for Mitre Peak.

How is Fiordland National Park different from Milford Sound?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound Better for Skiing?

Fiordland National Park
Milford Sound

Milford Sound is a very popular place for skiing and snowboarding. However, Fiordland National Park is not a skiing destination.

Milford Sound offers world-class skiing that is fun for everyone. Many locals head to the snow-capped peaks to enjoy skiing, but if you're unfamiliar with the area, a ski tour is your best option.

Fiordland National Park is not a skiing destination.


Is the Food Better in Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Fiordland National Park
Milford Sound

Fiordland National Park is a decent place to visit for its restaurants. However, Milford Sound is lacking in options for its restaurant scene.

Fiordland National Park may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Te Anau is a town that serves as the basecamp for the park, and there are a range of restaurants and cafes there. Once you're in the park the dining options are limited, so it's best to come prepared with your own food supplies.

While Milford Sound is not famous for its food, you'll find what you need there. You'll find a restaurant or two in the small town of Milford Sound. Your best option is the Milford Sound Lodge. In the park you'll want to come prepared with your own food. Many organized tours include a picnic lunch.

Is Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound Better for Hiking?

Fiordland National Park
Milford Sound

You'll find first-rate hiking in both Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound.

Many people visit Fiordland National Park specifically for its hiking. The park has world class hiking, and this is the main activity for most visitors. There are three main trails in the park, as well as many shorter hikes that you can do. Milford Track is probably the most famous hike, and it is often considered one of the best hikes in the world. Routeburn Track is a multi-day trek that passes through a variety of environments and landscapes. Other popular trails include Kepler Track, Hollyford Track, and Dusky Track.

Known for its hiking, Milford Sound draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. The Milford Track has long been considered one of the world's best hikes. It's also, arguably, the most famous hike in New Zealand. The 53 kilometer trek takes you from Lake Te Anau through stunning scenery, alpine settings, and across spectacular suspension bridges.

Is Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound Better for Families?

Fiordland National Park
Milford Sound

Fiordland National Park is an amazing national park to visit for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Milford Sound is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Fiordland National Park is very family-friendly. It's the largest national park in New Zealand, and it makes a great playground for the whole family. It's the perfect place to go for a hike or learn about the natural world. There are dolphins and seals, waterfalls, and glowworm caves. There are also fun adventures like kayaking and jet skiing.

Milford Sound is a very family-friendly place to visit. The outdoor wonders will impress the kids as much as the adults. There are shorter walks that are family-friendly and the boat rides are also fun for the whole family. You can take a scenic flight or visit the stunning Mirror Lakes. This really is a playground for both kids and adults.


Is Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound Better for Couples?

Fiordland National Park
Milford Sound

Fiordland National Park is an amazing national park to visit for couples. Also, Milford Sound is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

Fiordland National Park is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. Couples who love the great outdoors will be in heaven in this stunning national park. There's gorgeous scenery, romantic boat trips, and world class hikes that are not to be missed.

Couples visit Milford Sound frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. This is one of the most stunning natural areas in the world, and the romance comes from the spectacular beauty, world class hikes, and breathtaking surroundings that will leave you awed and inspired.

Is Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Fiordland National Park
Milford Sound

Fiordland National Park is an amazing national park to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Milford Sound is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

A large number of backpackers visit Fiordland National Park, as it is a very popular national park for budget travelers. As the largest national park in New Zealand, this is a world class backpackers destination and it is filled with amazing multi-day treks and once in a lifetime experiences.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Milford Sound. The area's remoteness and high price tag make it a bit challenging for backpackers and budget travelers. If you have plenty of time and enough money, it is truly a not to be missed destination.

Is Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Fiordland National Park
Milford Sound

Milford Sound is a decent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Fiordland National Park is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Milford Sound. There are buses in the area, but private vehicles or organized tours are your best option for getting around.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Fiordland National Park. Public transit is basically nonexistent in the park and there are few roads as well. Even so, having your own car is important as it gives you the flexibility to reach the sections that you want to visit.


Is Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound a more walkable city?

Fiordland National Park
Milford Sound

Fiordland National Park is a decent place to visit for its ease of walking around. However, Milford Sound is lacking in options for its walkability.

Fiordland National Park is generally not a very walkable national park. There are trails throughout the park and it's possible to access it on foot via Routeburn Track from Mt. Aspiring National Park.

Milford Sound is not a walkable national park. This is one of the most remote places in New Zealand so you really must have a car or organized transportation to get around.

For even more information, also check out Is Fiordland National Park Worth Visiting? and Is Milford Sound Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Milford Sound or Fiordland National Park?

How long in Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound?

Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound both offer a nice selection of activities for visitors. In our opinion, Fiordland National Park has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Fiordland National Park than Milford Sound. In general, 3-6 days is a good amount of time for Fiordland National Park, and 2-6 days is enough time in Milford Sound.

Families should spend more time in Fiordland National Park than Milford Sound. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Fiordland National Park, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Fiordland National Park than Milford Sound. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Fiordland National Park that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Fiordland National Park than Milford Sound if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Fiordland National Park.


  • How many days in Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound? Ideal Length of Stay
    Fiordland National Park 3-6 
    Milford Sound 2-6

One day in Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound?

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the world famous destination of Fiordland National Park. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

You'll find skiing around the iconic fiord of Milford Sound. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Most people head to the area for the hiking. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Fiordland National Park. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Milford Sound is a popular choice for travelers. A weekend here is typical. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


Five days in Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound?

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the stunning destination of Fiordland National Park. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This national park offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Milford Sound is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Most people head to the area for the hiking. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

A week in Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound?

You'll find around the beautiful national park of Fiordland National Park. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Milford Sound. Most people head to the area for the hiking. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Eco Tours in New Zealand, The Best Thrill-Seeking Tours in New Zealand, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in New Zealand, and The Best Luxury Tours to New Zealand.


Which place is cheaper, Milford Sound or Fiordland National Park?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Fiordland National Park is $97, while the average daily cost in Milford Sound is $117. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Fiordland National Park $48
    Milford Sound $67
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Fiordland National Park $96
    Milford Sound $134
Compare Hotels in Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound

Looking for a hotel in Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Fiordland National Park


Hotels in Milford Sound


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Fiordland National Park $42
    Milford Sound $14

Is it cheaper to fly into Fiordland National Park or Milford Sound?

Prices for flights to both Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Fiordland National Park $23
    Milford Sound $34

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Fiordland National Park $20
    Milford Sound $38

Tours and Activities in Fiordland National Park

For Fiordland National Park, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Te Anau: River Jet Boat and Bike Ride Tour with Local Guide: $130

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Fiordland National Park $8.07
    Milford Sound $13


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound, we can see that Milford Sound is more expensive. And not only is Fiordland National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Fiordland National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Fiordland National Park and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Milford Sound would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Milford Sound than you might in Fiordland National Park.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Fiordland National Park Expensive? and Is Milford Sound Expensive?.