If you’re an eco-conscious traveller looking for the ideal base for Milford Sound, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of sustainable accommodation options you can tap into. Whether you’re choosing to stay at the fjord itself or happy to spend some time in the nearest towns, here are 10 great hotels and stays worth checking out.
Milford Sound Lodge is the only accommodation provider in Milford Sound. As such, its room options are quite wide-ranging: there’s everything from upscale riverside and mountain chalets to budget-friendly backpacker hostels and forested campervan sites. Taking care of Milford Sound’s unspoiled beauty is just a part of daily operations; the lodge’s sustainability measures includes repurposing any food waste on a local pig farm, using old coffee grounds as fertiliser for the local school’s vegetable gardens, recycling as much rubbish as possible and only using eco-friendly cleaning products on its premises.
Fiordland National Park Lodge offers the perfect base for travellers keen to explore its namesake national park (including the famous fiord we all know and love) and the nearby town of Te Anau. Along with a selection of budget-friendly hotel, motel and backpacker-style rooms, the accommodation also offers special package tours so that its guests can truly revel in their natural surroundings. Sweeping views of Lake Te Anau are another bonus and the lodge is located quite close to the start of the Milford Track, too.
Knobs Flat is an eco-friendly accommodation that practically sits at the midway point on the road between Te Anau and Milford Sound. Whether you opt to stay in the serviced campground or you’d rather unwind in one of the six studio units, you can be sure that all facilities are going to be as sustainable as possible. Environmentally-conscious travellers are even encouraged to partake in local conservation projects during their stay – its staff are directly involved with habitat restoration pursuits at the nearby Eglinton River – and the accommodation has its own recycling and energy reduction practises in place.
Aden Motel is located in Te Anau, the closest town to Milford Sound. During their stay, guests will be within walking distance from the beach and Lake Te Anau, as well as getting to enjoy a number of eco-friendly hotel features like BBQ facilities, a lovely garden, children’s playgound and outdoor seating area. Each unit comes with a full kitchen and some are even pet-friendly. Aden Motel’s staff will also help guests organise local activities so that they can get the most out of nearby natural attractions like the Kepler Track and Te Anau Glowworm Caves.
Here’s a nice, environmentally-conscious option to consider if you’re spending some time in Queenstown before visiting Milford Sound. Sherwood Queenstown is a hillside retreat with stunning views of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. Everything there was designed with sustainability in mind: LED lighting, furnishings made primarily out of upcycled materials and solar panels are among its notable features. Other highlights include a restaurant, a picturesque garden with picnic facilities as well as yoga and meditation classes for those needing a well-being boost.
Set adjacent to a local park that’s within walking distance from Te Anau’s picturesque lake and the town centre, The Village Inn strikes the ideal balance between convenience and a peaceful setting. The hotel features studio rooms, superior rooms and self-catering family units; all of which are fitted with heat-pumps and air-conditioning and have easy access to the property’s landscaped gardens. There’s also an on-site restaurant that’s open for breakfast and dinner, plus a lounge bar area with a fireplace where guests can unwind after a long day out.
Ecoscapes is located within an hour’s drive of Queenstown, just 26 kilometres (16.1 miles) outside of Glenorchy. A spectacular location with easy access to lots of hiking and water-based activities is part of its appeal; but its in its sustainable practises that Ecoscapes truly thrives. The retreat’s two guest units are designed to blend with the surrounding environment; local contractors and suppliers were also at the forefront of the accommodation’s construction. On top of that, all water, waste disposal and energy systems are operated locally; and food prepared on the premises uses ingredients sourced from Ecoscapes’ own vegetable garden and from regional produce growers, vineyards and craft breweries.
Nestled within a remote hillside just outside of Queenstown, Hidden Lodge is the ideal boutique accommodation for travellers wanting to immerse themselves in the region’s natural environment. The lodge’s very own rescue hens provide the eggs used in the complimentary breakfasts guests get to savour; locally sourced seasonal produce is also used for all meals prepared on-site (gourmet dinners are available at an additional cost). Along with comprising four luxurious guest suites with unobstructed lake and mountain views, Hidden Lodge also boasts its own wood-fired natural hot pool, sauna and gym facilities.
Kingsgate Hotel Te Anau is sure to impress with its verdant gardens and stunning lake and mountain vistas. The hotel is not only handy to the local township it is en route to many of the region’s incredible natural wonders: the Kepler Track is just 19 kilometres (11.8 miles) away, while Lake Manapouri, the Glowworm Caves and Milford Sound are also well within reach. There is a bar and restaurant on-site, and 94 guest rooms available – some have adjoining beds for families travelling with kids.
If you like the idea of staying in a sustainable and fully self-contained apartment, Queenstown’s Element Escapes have got just the thing. There are two boutique holiday rental locations available (one right at the heart of the township and the other on the Frankton end of Lake Wakatipu), each featuring a range of studio, two- and three-bed suites with modern furnishings and all your living essentials. On the environmental side of things, the accommodation ensures all its cleaning products and bathroom amenities are eco-friendly and that its sustainable policies for staff and guests are being followed accordingly.