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How to find the infamous Milford Sound swing, Southland NZ

The Milford Sound swing is a gorgeous photo spot located in Milford Sound (in the Southland region of NZ). It is a perfect spot to take that Instagram worthy shot. If you have seen the Milford Sound swing on Instagram and are wanting to take a photo of it when you visit then this post is for you! 

The Milford Sound swing is a rather new attraction and is not found on your usual itinerary or on the information signs. I have created this post so you can take the amazing photo without spending hours wondering where it is!

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if the photo was worth the hype but once I got there I decided it was even though it was pissing down with rain (FYI the wettest months in Milford Sound are October, November, December so be careful if travelling during these months and take a good rain jacket!) Check out the bottom of this article for other important things to remember while travelling to Milford Sound. 

A photo of the infamous milford sound swing

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What is the Milford Sound swing?

Quite possibly the best photo spot in the whole of the Milford Sound. This is saying something considering Milford Sound is full of incredible, picture-perfect scenery in every direction you turn. If you are a fan of Instagram you will likely want to snap the swing for your feed.

The swing is really long and I later found out this is because it is built for 2 people! So if you have a buddy and a self-timer take a photo of this shot as it was meant to be taken. Not like me… #loner.

Another photo looking down on the milford sound swing

Where is the Milford Sound swing?

The Milford Sound swing is located in the little village of Milford Sound directly opposite the wharf on a cute, secluded beach. About 5 minutes walk from the car park opposite the cafe.

How to get to the Milford Sound swing

The Milford swing is located just to the left of the main car park opposite the cafe. I will describe how to get there with pictures below.

Steps (1,2 and 3!)

1. Drive to the Milford car park at the end of the Milford Road as outlined in the photo below.

Instructions on how to get to the milford swing

It is important to note that the car park costs $10 per hour (minimum of 1 hour) and you pay at a parking booth via credit card. Input your registration number, time of stay and if you want a receipt it can be emailed to you. Beware of the busy times for parking are when people are out on a cruise. I would suggest waiting for a cruise to end and give 30 minutes for people to make their way to the car and move on. This way you are not driving around aimlessly waiting for a car park to become available.

Check out Milford Sound tourism for more information on parking

2. There is a track directly above the car park facing the water. Walk LEFT (opposite direction of the warf) to the Foreshore Walk and look for the sign like the one below so you know you are on the right path.

a photo of the foreshore walk on the way to milford sound swing

I aimlessly walked around toward the warf walk entrance. I got a hunch I was in the wrong direction as I couldn’t see a beach up ahead. So, make sure you don’t get tempted to walk where everyone else is going!

3. Keep following the path over a bridge. The Milford Sound swing is located off the track and on a secluded beach. Look for a little opening in the track where you will be able to see the swing, turn RIGHT onto the beach and you will find yourself at the swing!

instructions on how to get to milford sound swing from the foreshore walk

Note: If it is high tide you will likely have to walk close to the shrubbery to access the swing. If you are keen to get your feet wet or have hiking boots then you are good to go!

Other things to do in Milford Sound 

Try a cruise! 




Try a flight, kayak or bus trip! 




Accommodation options in and around Milford Sound

There is only one public accommodation option in Milford Sound itself which is the Milford Sound Lodge. Your other options include camping along Milford Road. There are 8 Department of Conservation campsites along Milford Road. View the DOC camping options here. 

I recommend staying at one of the many accommodation options in Te Anau or for a little more peace and serenity I recommend Manapouri.

a beautiful moody photo of milford sound
Photo credit: Peter Hammer on Unsplash

Below are a few different accommodation options for you around Milford Sound. 

  • Fiordland Lodge is a luxury accommodation option looking over Lake Te Anau and the surrounding mountains. They have a restaurant, open architecture and are well known for their impeccable hospitality. 
  • Fiordland Lakeview Motel and apartments are located on the shores of Te Anau with beautiful gardens and only a 10 minute walk from the town centre. 
  • Te Anau lakefront backpackers is located on the lake front only 5 minutes walk from the town centre. Apart from dorm beds they also have glamping and camping options!

Milford Sound: Know before you go

  • Bring plenty of insect repellant as the sandflies in Milford Sound are numerous and pesky.
  • Bring another person as the swing is actually made for 2 people.
  • The view from Milford Sound swing will be average on a bad day. Ensure you have looked at the weather forecast and plan your trip accordingly! You will want to get the best weather possible to enjoy the remarkable scenery.
  • Milford Sound is known for its wet weather so make sure to bring a rain jacket!
  • Sunset is a perfect time to take a photo at the swing!  

I hope this article has given you enough information to access the infamous swing! If you have any questions as always, please pop them in the comment box below!

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