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Milford Sound dive trip details

Travel to dive in the Fiordland National Park:

Milford Sound is located in the Fiordland National park, on the west coast of the lower South Island, New Zealand. Milford is a two hour drive from the nearest town of Te Anau. Queenstown is the gateway to Southern New Zealand and from here is a two-hour drive to Te Anau or four hour direct drive to Milford.

By far the best way to travel the local area is by camper van rental which takes care of your transport and accommodation.


The cruise / dive day overview:


During the summer we meet at 9 am at Deep water basin boat ramp in Milford.

We cruise the entire Fiord for 4 to 5 hours and conduct two guided dives (for qualified divers) during that time on sites that we choose depending on weather and diver experience. You will have ample time to enjoy the majestic surroundings.

We supply hot drinks, and snacks for your surface interval between dives. We make sure you get an extreme close look at the thundering waterfalls that plummet down the sheer vertical mountain faces.


We also offer single dive afternoon trips on demand in peak season starting at 4pm and finishing at 7pm.


Altitude consideration:


The history of Milford Sound guided diving over the last 20 years show over 8000 participants have safely dived and driven back over the pass the same day without incident. Flying out, however is not acceptable. Although at sea level, diving in Milford Sound requires special planning in order to be able to leave the same day as the Milford Highway ascends to an altitude of 945m. Extra planning is required due to lower atmospheric pressures at altitude which speeds up the release of stored nitrogen in the body of a diver.


As well as planning our diving to limit depth and nitrogen levels we use industry accepted dive tables and leading dive computers in order to be able to safely leave the same day from Milford Sound back to Te Anau.


When planning multiple days diving or deeper dives we strongly recommend that you stay overnight although for a normal days diving you should be able to safely leave the same day given a suitable wait time of a couple of hours after finishing the dive tour.


If you have any concerns for your well-being relative to the altitude consideration please ensure you book accommodation in Milford Sound for after diving, it's a beautiful place to stay and is considered by us to be best practice.


Dive Plan / equipment info:


We supply high end scuba diving equipment with warm 7- 8 mm semi dry suits, under vests, gloves, hoods and booties.. everything you need to dive. You will be thoroughly briefed on any equipment that is new to you. We conduct two guided dives for qualified divers (First time divers see details below). We plan for altitude considerations, perform multi level dive profiles to allow a broad depth range and finish dives with an extended safety stop to thoroughly off gas before surfacing. All diving is directly guided by experienced PADI instructors who will make sure that what ever your diving level you are well looked after.


The Milford Sound marine reserve:


Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) marine reserve was established in 1993. It became one of the first marine reserves in Fiordland and covers 690 hectares along the northern side of the fiord from the head of the sound to Dale Point. Fiordland's marine system is considered to have the highest concentration of black coral trees in the world (the trees are actually white). Normally growing at depths of 100 metres plus, due to the large amount of rainfall draining into the fiords and the high mountains blocking light from the water these beautiful giant corals have migrated to shallower depths perfect for viewing by lucky divers. Along with red, white and numerous other soft corals a Milford Sound dive is a chance to see marine life completely unique to the area. Add that this marine reserve is in a world heritage park commonly referred to as the 8th world wonder and you know you are in for a spectacular experience above and below the water. With out a doubt Milford Sound deserves it's fame a place of immense beauty and power.


The vessel:


"Pacific Runner", our speedy ship is purpose built for diving. She is a 7m catamaran powered by twin 150 outboards making for a stable top speed of 40 knots fully loaded, has an extended dive platform with drop down ladder that makes entering and exiting the water easy, has an onboard toilet in the forward cabin, naturally oxygen and a first aid kit are kept onboard for safety. The boat is perfectly suited to carry a maximum of seven divers and makes a great ride.


First time diver experiences:


Unqualified divers are able to do a single private dive directly taken care of with one of our instructors. You are able to scuba dive to a maximum depth of 12 metres dependent on personal confidence during the dive. You must be a very confident swimmer and have good medical fitness. Milford Sound is a fantastic opportunity to experience scuba diving for the first time. If you are diving in Milford you are seeing all of the Fiord's beauty and wonder..above and below.. Make friends with the fish, get your photo taken with the black coral trees and feel the amazing sense of weightlessness that only a diver knows. The total Milford experience. We generally take a maximum of 2 first timers per trip. Please inquire if you would like arrange a trip for a group of 3 or more first timers.










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