Palisade Falls, New Zealand

Palisade Falls in May 2011

I have to admit, Milford Sound is probably one of my favorite places on the planet. The combination of the amazing peaks thousands of feet above sea level and the multitude of waterfalls, not to mention the wildlife, all make for a really wonderful experience. I’m not really sure that I wanted it to end, though it was just a teensy bit chilly.

The two hour (or so) cruise around Milford Sound is definitely worth it. We saw dolphins and seals, went under waterfalls (Stirling Falls), and had a jolly good time. Palisade Falls is one of those waterfalls that is hard to miss, though nobody on the cruise specifically mentions it, as far as I can remember. It might be on the guided sheet.  One website seems to indicate a height of at least 180′ (55 m), though it also suggests another 25 m portion, for a total of 260′. I guess that seems like an appropriate height. It seemed pretty tall, to say the least. And while many of the waterfalls disappear quickly after the rain, this seems to be one of the more constant waterfalls in the Sound.


  1. From Te Anau, head north on NZ-94 to its very end at Milford Sound. (From mid-May to October, you may want to check to make sure that the road is open to Milford Sound…It can close randomly, or snow chains may also be required.)
  2. At Milford Sound, park, head to the cruise area and board your cruise.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 262′
Length of Hike: not applicable

Another view of Palisade Falls, making it seem even taller than 260′ (80 m)

Where in the World in Palisade Falls?


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