IMPORTANT INFORMATION

MEETING

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.

WHAT WE PROVIDE

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!

WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING

The essentials:

  • Camera (no drones - see FAQs below)
  • 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

 AGE POLICY

You must be at least 14 years old to sea kayak with us, and 16 years old to take one of our water taxi assisted trips. 

That said, this can still be too young for some of the longer/harder paddles, so you may be moved to a more suitable trip on the day. Our guides use their discretion, based on years of experience, to assess younger paddlers' ability and weather conditions and match you up with the most appropriate trip on the day. Proof of age may be requested before your trip commences. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent/caregiver/guardian on all of our trips.

CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS

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 / age.

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

ENGLISH COMMENTARY

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 per kayak. Please take this into consideration when booking any of our kayak tours.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

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.

Which trip is right for me?

That will depend on the adventure you are considering! We have a range of trips available to suit every level of fitness and kayaking ability. Our paddle rating indicates how easy or tough each trip can be. Make sure to read the full trip descriptions. Spaces are limited, so please choose with care - we cannot refund you if your guide deems you unsuitable to paddle.

How fit do I need to be?

If you are in good health and have completed a few of NZ's half-day hikes, you should be sweet! Kayaking is a physical activity so it will require some effort at times - that's why we have a variety of trips to suit everyone. Any pain is soon rewarded with spectacular views and a memorable adventure!

If you have any physical conditions you are concerned about (injuries, medical conditions, poor swimming ability/confidence, general fitness, pregnancy), please disclose these to your guide prior to your trip departure. 

Please get in touch if you’re still unsure which trip is for you or if you have any physical conditions you are concerned about.

Can I kayak if I'm pregnant?

We can't guarantee that kayaking while pregnant at any time will be safe for you and your baby, so you do so at your own risk.

However, if you are active and normally kayak, there should be no issues, given an uncomplicated pregnancy.

Please observe the following:

  • You must disclose your condition to your guide prior to your trip departure.
  • You must fit our kayak equipment comfortably in order to participate. 
  • If the guide deems you unsuitable for the trip and weather conditions on the day, the Operator reserves the right to alter, rebook or cancel your trip.
  • If you are beyond 28 weeks, you must have a letter/certificate from your medical professional stating it is safe for you to kayak, confirming your pregnancy dates and that there are no complications.

Please note: You may feel uncomfortable at times and Milford Sound has limited beaches to stop on for stretching and toilet breaks.

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.

Can I bring a drone on the trip?

Unfortunately, you cannot bring drones on our kayaking trips due to our location and NZ rules for safe drone use - we've seen several unsuccessful attempts made to launch from the water and these can be disruptive to the experience of other clients out with us.

If you wish to fly a drone at any other point during your visit to Milford Sound, this is possible but you must have prior permission to fly a drone in a National Park and next to a controlled airspace (Milford Sound has an airport). If you want to know more about where you can and can't fly your drone while on holiday, please check out the following websites:

www.airshare.co.nz/tourist-questions-answered

www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/apply-for-permits/drone-use-on-conservation-land/

Where can I stay in Milford Sound?

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