Deepwater Basin

Rosco's Milford Kayaks - Departure Location

This is where you will meet your guide and begin your trip. Look out for the green tent, the yellow kayaks and your Rosco's guide at the end of Deepwater Basin Road!

Deepwater Basin Road
Milford Sound
Fiordland National Park 9679
New Zealand

Please note: Milford Sound is 4+ hours' drive from Queenstown and 2+ hours' drive from Te Anau, road and weather conditions permitting, so give yourself plenty of time to get here - or book yourself on our Day Safari and let us do the driving for you! 

Click here to view a map of the departure location. 

If you have any problems before you leave, give us a call.
FREEPHONE (inside NZ): 0800 476 726
Phone: +64 (0)3 249 8500

Please be aware that there is no phone reception once you leave Te Anau and enter Fiordland National Park.


We kit you out with all the specialist paddling gear you need, including a buoyancy aid, spray skirt, spray jacket, thermals, a fleece, poggies (like gloves but better), a dry bag for your camera... and, of course, a quality sea kayak with a foot-operated rudder!


The essentials:

  • Camera
  • Water bottle
  • Food/high-energy snacks
  • Personal medication
  • Soft shoes or sandals
  • Swimsuit/underwear

Optional extras:

  • Rain jacket
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat & sunglasses


You must be at least 14 years old to kayak with us. However, on water-taxi-assisted trips, you must be at least 16 years old. Proof of age may be requested before your trip commences.    


Trip departure times may vary from those advertised - make sure you check your booking prior to arrival. Rosco's Milford Kayaks reserves the right to cancel or change any part of any kayaking trip or the Day Safari road trip from Te Anau. This could be due to, but not limited to, adverse sea, river, road or weather conditions. 

Note: If we cancel a kayak trip due to such considerations, we will give you a full refund; if we cancel the kayak portion of the Day Safari, we will substitute a boat cruise and provide a partial refund.

If YOU make a cancellation at least 48 hours in advance, you will receive a full refund. No refund will be given in the event of the following:

  • Less than 48 hours' notice given.
  • No show or late for trip departure.
  • Staff deem a client not suitable to participate due to ill health or intoxication.
  • Staff deem a client not suitable to participate due to a lack of kayaking ability / experience / physical fitness.

Note: All our trips are smoke, alcohol and drug free.


All our trips are English speaking. You must have a basic understanding of English in order to follow our guides' safety instructions.

Are you prone to sea or motion sickness?

The difference between really enjoying your kayaking experience or not can be as simple as taking medication. We strongly recommend taking “sea legs” (available from all good pharmacies or drug stores). The trick is to take two tablets the night before your trip and then take an extra tablet or two if you feel sick during the trip. Our outer fiord trips (Morning Glory, Afternoon Delight, Twilight Classic, Stirling Sunriser) have conditions that are more affected by swells. If you need to be picked up from a trip and transported back to our base using our water taxi, there will be a flat fee of $50 NZD charged. Please take this into consideration when booking any of our kayak tours.


Check out our FAQs below or get in touch!

Is sea kayaking Milford Sound for me?

If you’re keen to escape the crowded tour boats and really get amongst nature with a local guide then YES! We welcome first-time paddlers and pros alike! With several totally different adventures to choose from, there’s a trip to suit everyone.

How many people do you take in your groups?

Our groups are always small - usually six to eight paddlers with a local guide - so it’s a good idea to book early to avoid missing out.

Can I rent a kayak to explore Milford Sound by myself?

Nope. Unfortunately, our concession to operate in Milford Sound does not allow for rental options.

How fit do I need to be?

That will depend on the adventure you are considering. Our Milford Cruiser trip is designed for anyone wanting to experience the fun of paddling regardless of fitness. At the other end of the scale, you’ll need moderate fitness and stamina in order to complete our Morning Glory trip with a smile on your face!

Get in touch if you’re still unsure which trip is for you.

What if the weather is bad?

Your safety and wellbeing are our top priority. Strong winds can cause us to cancel sea kayaking trips from time to time. Rain, on the otherhand, is “sweet as” and all trips will proceed as normal; just be prepared to witness some of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls!

What time of year should I come?

Kayaking in Milford Sound is an amazing experience no matter what time of year you decide to try it. We’ve summed up some of the general differences in the seasons for you below:

Winter (April – October)

  • More settled weather conditions usually result in very calm water – ideal for exploring Milford from a sea kayak.
  • Fewer crowds make winter the premium time to visit Milford Sound if you prefer peace and quiet.
  • Fewer motor boats cruising Milford Sound mean less noise and more tranquility – just the splash of our paddles.
  • Mirror-like reflections of famous icons like mile-high Mitre Peak mean more photo opportunities.
  • Let's face it, fewer sandflies (often none at all) make your day in paradise even better!

Summer (November – March)

  • Long daylight hours allow us to operate a number of sunrise and twilight trips, which dodge the noise of tour boats, planes and helicopters.
  • More time in the day means you can fit in other Milford Sound experiences, such as walking on the famous Milford Track and various other tracks in the park. 
  • It's naturally busier in the summer, but that means we're able to offer a greater variety of trips - there's something to suit everyone!
  • The New Zealand Fur Seal and Fiordland Crested Pernguin breed in the summer months, so you're more likely to have a rare wildlife encounter.
  • Sun's out - guns out! In the summer, you can wear fewer layers and dry off quicker when you get wet!

Will I see wildlife?

This entirely depends on the day! There are a variety of creatures who inhabit and visit Milford Sound, including seals, dolphins, penguins and even the occasional whale! However, it's entirely up to them whether they come and say hello, and many of the species are rare and endangered - we cannot guarantee a sighting.

Will I capsize?

Not usually – capsizes are fairly rare as our double kayaks are seriously stable. However, if you do capsize, your guide will be close by to help you back into your kayak quickly. You will also receive a full safety briefing prior to your trip commencing.

What is the difference between a boat cruise and a kayak trip on Milford Sound?

Hands down, there’s no comparison! Our sea kayaks go places the cruise boats only dream of! This allows you to get up close and personal with our world famous fiord and all of its inhabitants, minus the noise and crowds. That's one of the reasons Lonely Planet rates Rosco’s Milford Kayaks the best way to experience Milford Sound.

Why the early starts in summer?

Three of our trips start fairly early in the early summer (Nov – Feb): our Day SafariMorning Glory and Sunriser Classic. All of these trips seek to maximise quality paddling conditions on the water in relation to the length of the trip. Every fine, sunny day during summer months results in a strong day breeze developing mid to late morning which can make conditions fairly challenging. Our early starts make the most of the calmer water conditions for excellent photo opportunities and chances to spot wildlife.

Where can I stay in Te Anau and Milford?

Te Waka Lodge, situated in the heart of Te Anau, is a lovely B&B style accommodation offering three self-contained guest rooms, each with private ensuite. Two sun-facing queen cottages each have full kitchen facilities, electric heating and comfortable furnishings. One cottage has wheelchair access. The third room is an upstairs king suite with its own entrance and sunroom dining area. This suite has beautiful views of Mt Luxmore. Continental breakfast is included in all room rates. 

Milford Sound Lodge is the only accommodation in the heart of Milford Sound and provides a unique opportunity to stay in Fiordland National Park when most of the visitors have left in the evening. Learn about their range of accommodation options here

© Rosco's Milford Kayaks 2015