Fiordland Weather

Milford Sound and Fiordland’s climate overall is cool temperate.

Winter Time May - August

The coldest months are May to August when the winter sun is at a low angle and frosts produce ice on the sunless valley floors.   During winter Fiordland’s steep mountain ranges can cause avalanche conditions on the Milford Road.  This is constantly monitored and on rare occasions the Milford Road may be closed until safe. Driving during these conditions can be challenging and we recommend you leave your vehicle in Te Anau and letting us safely show you the special location on your journey to Milford Sound.  Our experienced, local drivers know the Milford Road and our small groups ensure you receive that extra personal service.  "Forget the snow chains, forget the ice, remember Milford Sound". Find out more about the Milford Road.

Read more about the pros and cons of traveling to Milford Sound in winter here .....

Summer Time October - April

November to March are the warmest months, with temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius.  At Milford Sound these temperatures are moderated by a prevalent sea breeze.  Water is what makes Fiordland a lush place with countless lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls.  You should be prepared to enjoy some rainfall during your stay. 

What is Milford Sound & Fiordland like on a wet day?

When it rains in Fiordland the landscape is dramatic - the steep rock faces stream with waterfalls, mist hangs around the tops of the mountains and rivers and streams rage. To really experience this awesome environment you need to put on your coat and get out there to embrace this wildness.

It is recommended you bring suitable clothing for cool and wet weather year round.

Whatever the weather all you need is the right attitude to enjoy your day in Fiordland, and the ability to cast aside your usual interpretations of what is good and what is not.  If you need some help with this then let our guide’s enthusiasm show the way.

What is the Best Time of the Year to visit Milford Sound and Fiordland?

Fiordland is known to have "4 season in one day", and the weather is very changeable, influenced by the Tasman Sea and great mountain ranges. Each season offers a different view of the area, each with its own uniqueness.  Winter brings snow, ice and clear days (and lower rainfall), then spring with the new growth and alpine flowers.  Summer offers visitors warmer, longer days, but also awesome rain fall on occasions.  Autumn is lovely with less people around and the general slowing of the area and growth of plants.  To get the best from the area you need to appreciate wild Fiordland in all its seasons and weather moods.

Seasons in Fiordland

Season Month Average daytime

Temps (Celsius)

Summer January 23
Summer February 20
Autumn March 16-18
Autumn April 10-12
Autumn May 8-10
Winter June 5-8 (early morning frost)
Winter July 5-8 (early morning frost)
Winter August 6-9
Spring September 10-12
Spring October 12-13
Spring November 16-19
Summer December 19-22