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Milford Sound sunset cruise & drive back to Te Anau

Toronto
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161 reviews
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Milford Sound sunset cruise & drive back to Te Anau

We are planning to take the 4 pm cruise to Milford SOund in late November. Does anyone have any comment about this and whether it gets too dark for the drive back to Te Anau?

New Zealand
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for South Island
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1. Re: Milford Sound sunset cruise & drive back to Te Anau

It probably gets dark about 9:30pm late Nov, earlier if it's raining.

Depending on how many times you stop it might be dark by the time you arrive back in Te Anau.

auckland
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2. Re: Milford Sound sunset cruise & drive back to Te Anau

In my opinion, driving back to Te Anau in the late evening may prove difficult, as weather conditions can vary and it isn't always the easiest drive.It IS a most beautiful drive, and the other consideration should perhaps be if you want to maximise your chances to see this most beautiful countryside.If it were me, I would try to choose a tour early afternoon.

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Milford Sound sunset cruise & drive back to Te Anau

You could do the overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner. Leaves around 4.30pm & returns around 9.30am on the following morning. realjourneys.co.nz/Main/…

Or stay at Milford Lodge that night in one of their riverside chalets and go kayaking on the Sound the following morning...

milfordlodge.com/pages/…new-riverside-chalets

roscosmilfordkayaks.com/our-trips/…

We have done both of those options on different trips & can highly recommend them.

Just a couple of ideas to play around with :)

Colorado
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for Western Australia
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4. Re: Milford Sound sunset cruise & drive back to Te Anau

We did this exact thing in March. We left Te Anau in the morning, spent several hours hiking to Key Summit, then drove to Milford where we took the last cruise of the day at 4:30. It was fantastic, as there were only about 12 people on the boat. We were back in Milford by 6:30 and back in Te Anau in plenty of time for a late dinner, as we'd done our sightseeing on the drive up.

This was our third Milford Sound cruise and by far the best...the buses and hoardes of tourists had all left and we felt that we had Milford to ourselves. The drive back was easy and there was absolutely no traffic. I'd highly recommend taking the last cruise of the day, weather provided of course.

Te Anau
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5. Re: Milford Sound sunset cruise & drive back to Te Anau

You will be leaving Milford around 6pm. Plenty of time to drive back to Te Anau. Milford is always weather dependent, but it's likely to be the same at 4.30 as it is earlier in the day, so it's not really a consideration.

As Melnq says, it's the best time to see the sound, as all the tourists will have gone, although it's not too bad in November usually.

Don't get too excited about the sunset. It just disapears behind the mountains, with no drama, so it's a "Sunset Cruise" in name only, but the early evening is the best time in the Sounds, other than early morning.

Have a great trip.

Toronto
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6. Re: Milford Sound sunset cruise & drive back to Te Anau

Thank you all for you advice, all very helpful. Yes, we plan to sightsee before the cruise so the trip back will strictly be focusing on the road. This really helps us to decide on the 4 pm cruise.

7. Re: Milford Sound sunset cruise & drive back to Te Anau

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