Underwater Observatory
In the Fiordland Region
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Home : Activities : Underwater Observatory

The Milford Deep Underwater Observatory is nestled in Harrison Cove, beneath Pembroke Glacier, amongst the towering mountains of Fiordland National Park.
Visitors descend into the large, fully air conditioned, undersea chamber to view the spectacular marine life of Milford Sound.

Spacer Explore the Depths of Milford Sound
The beauty of Fiordland continues below the sea. Milford Sound contains unique and beautiful marine life, and the underwater observatory is the perfect way of getting up close to observe it.

The underwater observatory is nestled in the idyllic Harrison Cove; set amongst the towering mountains and brooding waters of Milford Sound.

Visitors disembark at the Harrison Cove terminal and descend the 10.4 metres to the underwater viewing chamber. From within a metre, observe the intimate and undisturbed life of a vibrant underwater community. Watch the ever-changing underwater environment as corals, anemones, sponges and fish species carry on unaffected within their own natural habitat.

Include a visit to the Milford Deep Underwater Observatory with a scenic cruise on the Sound, or if on limited time, take a short cruise and visit to the observatory.

Spacer Life Under the Water
Unlike an aquarium, the fish are free to come and go; it is the people who are contained. As visitors look out a window at the marine community, the fish just carry on unaffected. This provides a unique opportunity to observe real life situations deep below the surface of the fiord; quite different from the artificial environment of an aquarium.
Overlaying the sea water in the fiord is a layer of fresh water, the result of high annual rainfall in Fiordland. This combined with the narrow shape of the fiord cause a phenomenon known as ’Deep Water Emergence’. This creates a similar environment to the deep ocean, but at a much shallower depth in the fiord, allowing visitors the chance to see deep sea species close up.

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Milford Deep Underwater Observatory
Milford Deep Underwater Observatory