The Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory is New Zealand’s only floating underwater observatory. It offers a new perspective on the stunning area and is a unique way to experience the wonder that is Milford Sound. Visitors in the area can marvel at one of the most beautiful environments on the planet and enjoy the magic of the underwater world that was previously exclusive to divers.
The Milford Discovery Centre
As well as an immersive underwater experience, this attraction also offers a unique, interactive learning journey. As the only floating structure on the stunning Milford Sound, guests can explore the beautiful area from a new perspective. The Milford Discovery Centre covers everything there is to know about the local natural history, geology and the environment of Piopiotahi (Milford Sound).
Visitors will journey through stories of the early European settlers and the Maori visitors. The history of the Milford Road, Milford Track and Homer Tunnel build are also explored in the Discovery Centre.
The Underwater Observatory
After learning all about the fascinating Milford Sound and local area, guests will descend down the stairs into the large underwater viewing observatory. This area is 10 metres below sea level and air-conditioned for maximum comfort.
The colourful creatures that live under the sea can be seen up close, and rare species such as black coral is available for all to see. Gaze upon the fish and other wildlife that reside in the Milford Sound, and experience them in their natural habitat. The Underwater Observatory is a unique opportunity to experience the real-life ecosystem that lives below the surface of the fiord.
Visiting Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory
As the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory is the only floating structure within the Sound, it is only accessible by boat. Boat trips are run regularly to the centre, and it is best to book in advance. Entry to Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory is $36 for adults and $18 for children, and it takes around 45 to 60 minutes to see the whole centre. Bear in mind that there are 60 stairs to descend to reach the viewing area and it is not wheelchair accessible.Back to Local Insights Page