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A few questions for Zapper & others

Australia
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A few questions for Zapper & others

Firstly, I should explain that I first visited NZ some 28 years ago, and recently I returned to the north island for 10 days in March this year, just loved the beaches, wineries, cafes, etc. (Most sightseeing we did years ago). Enjoyed East Cape, Forgotten Highway & Coramandel Peninsula.

Now we have just booked another trip to the south island ln the last 2 weeks of November. Because we missed out on certain places 28 years ago, we now want to see those attractions, eg. Milford Sound, Catlins, Dunedin, Abel Tasman Nat.Park, etc.

We have arranged a rental car (small) for our needs, and prebooked our accommodation for another 10 day trip.

Zapper I read & saved your condensed travel ideas for Milford Sound (great reading). We are staying at Te Anau for 2 nights, and I've booked a morning cruise at Milford Sound (11am-12:40pm?) but not transport to & from Te Anau.

My question is....."In late December, is it safe to drive on the Milford Road, in regard to snow & ice? (I guess this if like trying to pick the winner of the Melbourne Cup). You also mentioned that is safer not to leave your car at the public car park, near the Pub, why?

I'm happy driving along narrow winding roads, and through mountain passes (eg. Homer Tunnel). We would leave Te Anau around 7:45am, allowing ourselves time for the journey & stops.

We also intend to spend the remainder of the day, after the cruise slowly driving back along the Milford Road, and some bush walks.

Would we be better off, getting a coach from Te Anau?

Any advice is most appreciated.

Australia
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1. Re: A few questions for Zapper & others

Just a quick message again, no need to reply to my original message, I have since emailed Fiordland Tourist Bureau at Te Anau, and the lady there has given me all the information I sought.

Many thanks.

New Zealand
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2. Re: A few questions for Zapper & others

Sorry widebay, I went away for 5 days and missed your post :(

New Zealand
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3. Re: A few questions for Zapper & others

....and then I just hit enter before I finished! :) Hopefully you have all the answers you were looking for. You should have no problems driving the road during December, it should be well on the way to being summer!

Did you get an answer re the public carpark? I composed that post from mostly vbc's answers over a period of time, so don'tt have actual experience of some of the things suggested. I think it wouldn't be safe as it may get broken into if it's in an open area- deserted overnight. I remember he did tell them where to park but I can't remember where he said??

Te Anau
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for South Island, Te Anau
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4. Re: A few questions for Zapper & others

Just rousing myself from winter hibernation to dispense some gems of wisdom, then back to sleep again.

Widebay, your car would 'probably' be safe in the public car park at Milford Sound. Although Milford is full of visitors during the day, at night there are only the resident locals, most of whom work on the tour boats etc. It's a small community, and everyone knows everyone else, so if someone does anything silly it soon gets around. However, the public car park is just across the road from the Pub, and there will be very few cars in it at night, so you can imagine that someone might get carried away in a fit of liquor fueled bravado.

If you ask at the Real Journeys desk when you check in for the cruise they MAY allow you to park overnight in the coach park, which is close to the terminal building, and well away from the Pub. Up to 100 coaches park there during the day, but at night it is practically deserted.

To my knowlege there has never been any instances of vandelism at Milford Sound, however there has been on the road into Milford, at the Divide car park, and other parking spots for the walking tracks where cars may be left for a few days. It's always a possibility anywhere, and you should take normal precautions.

Now back to sleep.

Australia
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5. Re: A few questions for Zapper & others

Zappers & VBC, thank you for your reply. I got an email back from the Fiordland Tourist Centre, at Te Anau, and they told me similar information as to your information, regarding the carpark at Milford.

Also said the road should be okay, said that avalanches can happen in spring (November) when the snow is soft, but all the hotels/motels get updates each day regarding the road conditon.

Apparently, I will need to get some snow chains for the car (probably wont use them, but don't want a fine either, $750 is to much to pay for not having them). I used snow chains before, when we visit the ski fields in NSW.

Really looking forward to this trip, and especially, places like Milford Sound, Abel Tasman National Park, a cruise/walk in the Marlborough Sounds, a bit wine tasting at Blenheim & Waipara, and a slow drive across the Catlins.

Once again, many thanks.

6. Re: A few questions for Zapper & others

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