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Bowen Falls Walk

Get up close and personal to watch the Bowen River plunge 162 m into Milford Sound on the Bowen Falls walk. It is the tallest waterfall in the Sound and one of two permanent waterfalls. Most people only ever see the falls from a distance as they cruise the sound. And for 15 years, that was the only option.

The Bowen Falls walk leaves from the Freshwater Basin Terminal and takes you a short ride along the shores of the Sound to a small jetty. From the jetty, the track meanders through native bush for a few minutes before leading up to a viewing area. You will find yourself walking through beech trees and other native flora. Along the walk, you may also see birds such as kea, weka, bellbird, tūī, kererū, kiwi (Northern Fiordland tokoeka), tomtits, fantail, grey warblers and many more.

The viewing area allows the best possible view of the impressive Bowen Falls, but also offers a view of Mitre Peak on the other side of the fiord. Waterproof equipment is necessary on this walk—unless you don’t mind being rained on by the mist from the falls!

Quick Facts

        • Location: Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand
        • Time needed: 30 minutes (including boat ride)
        • Distance: Unknown
        • Difficulty: Very easy
        • Bikes allowed: No
        • Route: Return
        • Elevation: None
        • Wet Feet: Yes
        • Toilets: There are toilets at the Visitor Centre.
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: Unknown
        • Last Updated: May, 2020
  • Track Highlights

    This track is the only way to get close to Bowen Falls, the tallest waterfall in Milford Sound.

  • Track Quality

    The track has just been reopened and as such is in good condition. It is a gravelled and short path.

  • Hazards

    Potential rock falls and slips

  • Transport

    Milford Sound is a stop on InterCity’s bus network.

  • Water

    Water can be found at the Visitor Centre.

  • Driving Instructions

    Milford Sound is 120 km from Te Anau along the Milford Road (SH94).

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    The Milford Sound Lodge and Pio Pio Cafe is the only dining available in Milford Sound.

  • Area & Track History

    This walk is on the shores of Milford Sound. Milford Sound was created through the movement of glaciers about 400 million years ago. Today, the Milford Track and Milford Sound are one of New Zealand’s most popular attractions.

    The track was closed for 15 years and reopened in 2018. After problems with rock falls and slips, the track closed. Instead of repairing the entirety of the track, the walk now consists of a 120 m boat ride (5-10$) followed by a short walk.

  • Camping & huts on or near the walk

    No camping on this walk

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

Map of Bowen Falls Walk

Here is the map for Bowen Falls Walk showing it’s location in New Zealand. You can change the view on the map to satellite if you prefer to see an image of where the walk is instead.

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