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Milford Sound-where to leave TeAnau vs Qtn

Stafford, Virginia
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Milford Sound-where to leave TeAnau vs Qtn

After reading so many forums I now have perplexed myself yet again. I was originally going to stay the night in Te Anau then from there take the coach to Mil. Sound. Then I read about the beautiful drive for the day taking it from Qwntn. In reading the best would be to go in early morning or afternoon, would it be best to revert back to coach to TeAnau, do a glow worm cave tour that day stay night and then do early trip to Mil Sound?

I know morning and eve hours are best to take photos and I am thinking best to see wildlife too

Any suggestions would be appreciated...12 days and counting!

New Zealand
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1. Re: Milford Sound-where to leave TeAnau vs Qtn

If doing the trip from Queenstown it takes about 13 hours. It is considerably shorter from Te Anau. My preference is definitely Te Anau. However that requires two nights in Te Anau which many visitors don't have.

If doing the trip from Queenstown and the weather and your finances allow, fly back to Q'town afterwards. So enjoy the fantastic drive, take the cruise, fly back :)

Stafford, Virginia
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241 posts
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2. Re: Milford Sound-where to leave TeAnau vs Qtn

Thanks WL! I can either stay two nights in Te Anau or go from Qwntn. I think I will do two in Te Anau instead of Queenstown because after Te Anau I will head to Wanaka for a night then have to go back to Qtn to catch my flight out. Thanks for telling me your preference =)

Cheers!

New Zealand
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3. Re: Milford Sound-where to leave TeAnau vs Qtn

Te Anau is lovely, you won't regret it. The glow worm caves are wonderful. Take a late afternoon cruise so you return across the lake at dusk, it's gorgeous.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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4. Re: Milford Sound-where to leave TeAnau vs Qtn

Hi again Laura,

Go for the two in Te Anau. You will still end up traveling the exact same roads as you would leaving from Queenstown, it's just that you won't have to do them all in one day.

I've been doing heaps of research into Milford Tour Companies lately as I'll be taking my second Milford tour in a few months time. I came to the conclusion that as well as a less arduous trip, there is another advantage to doing a tour from Te Anau. Tours from Queenstown all seem to travel the roads and cruise the fiord at the busiest times of the day. Meanwhile there are tours that leave Te Anau about 8am in the morning which get to avoid the majority of the bigger tourist buses that come from Queenstown.

In case you're interested, I've booked my family's tour with a company called Trips and Tramps. While I can't comment at this stage on just how good they are, I liked that their small tour size means they are more flexible with stops along the stunning Milford road (which IMO is better than the fiord). I have already put in my request for a couple of short walks (that most other companies don't have the time or flexibility to do) and they were very amicable to my requests.

South Island
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5. Re: Milford Sound-where to leave TeAnau vs Qtn

The advantage of leaving from Queeenstown is that its much easier to get a plane or helicopter back to Queenstown from Milford Sound. There is very little air traffic from Milford Sound to Te Anau and unless you are travelling in a group of 4 or more it will be difficult to get a flight out and very expensive.

The best way to see Milford Sound is coach cruise fly ......... end of story

It really does not matter how you go to Milford Sound its such an amazing place you can't help but enjoy it . The road to Milford is regarded by many visitors as a better experience than the cruise in the fiord. Flying out of Milford Sound to Queenstown is still regarded as the best option.

In my opinion the larger coaches are the best way to travel, you sit higher up which allows you to see more, plus most of the larger coaches have glass roofs and that gives an excellent view as you travel alongside and through the mountains.

Stafford, Virginia
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6. Re: Milford Sound-where to leave TeAnau vs Qtn

Thanks again Oskar for your opinion. You are thinking the way I was. If I go from Te Anau I would see the same scenery but breaks up the long travel in a bus. plus getting there earlier than the Queenstown bus! So may be less crowded.

I am looking at Real Journeys as well as Trips and Tramps. I am an avid hiker so I will look into how you did the request for small hikes as well. I didn't get that far in their site the other day.

I do like the sound of flying and seeing the country from the air, but I guess I am not willing to pay the extra 200-300 for that part.

Are the roads REALLY bad/windy...this girl gets motion sickness on windy roads, LOL! I already have alot of my motion sickness stuff sitting by my backpack. =) Six days until I leave (starting off in Sydney for 3 days before I get to New Zealand) I can't wait!!!!

Wanaka, New Zealand
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7. Re: Milford Sound-where to leave TeAnau vs Qtn

Hi again,

I know what you mean about the flight options being too expensive. I console myself in the knowledge that by coaching back I'll hopefully get the chance to make more interesting stops that I'd miss out on if I was in a plane.

I emailed Trips and Tramps and made a few requests before I booked. Their replies were really friendly, they offered us some free lunches (not sure if this is standard or was a special at the time) and they said that because their timetable is flexible, they're happy to make alterations to suit the interests of their customer. This is why I ultimately booked with them.

As well as most of the usual stops that other coaches do such as the Chasm walk, the short walk I was particularly keen on doing was the gantry walk at the start of the Lake Marion Track. It's a 1km detour down the Hollyford Road which is the reason most tours don't include it as an option. It takes you to the Lake Marion Rapids, which from the pictures look lovely, and it also looks like a suitable walk for my young son.

fiordlandlocalnz.com/articles/…

I'll be travelling in the winter season, but I've noticed that Trips and tramps have a summer version called the Big day Out which allows you to explore the Hollyford Valley in detail. Given that it's only a few dollars more expensive than their standard one it might be worth emailing them to find out a bit more information. It may even include a walk to Humbolt Falls which are at the end of Hollyford Road and they look stunning.

Anyway, whatever tour company you go with, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. As for the road, it is windy, but you should be fine on a small dose of motion sickness meds. Besides, the frequent stops the coaches make should help keep the seediness at bay.

Edited: 14 February 2010, 00:42
Stafford, Virginia
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241 posts
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8. Re: Milford Sound-where to leave TeAnau vs Qtn

I did see their site and the different tramps to go on. I like their 2 day Milford cruise/kayak one as well.

I will post my experience when I get back and let you know how/who I used. I am ok with not doing the fly back as well. And I never thought with all the stops the motion sickness might not be as bad. But I don't let it hinder me from experiences.

May I ask what area you are coming from in NZ.

I've already started my packing!

Wanaka, New Zealand
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9. Re: Milford Sound-where to leave TeAnau vs Qtn

Yes, please do let us know which company you go with and how the trip turns out. After helping people with their planning, it's always nice to hear some feedback on their holidays.

I really should change my profile location as 'New Zealand' is pretty vague. I have lived in quite a few NZ locations in my lifetime, but my present home is in Franklin, a large market farming district just south of Auckland. It's a really nice place to live, despite being fairly overlooked on the tourism circuit.

10. Re: Milford Sound-where to leave TeAnau vs Qtn

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