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To cruise or not to cruise?

Watford, London
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To cruise or not to cruise?

Needs some advice on the best way to see Milford Sound. I will be there for 3 full days and have 3 options.

Option 1 - Take an overnight cruise which will leave me with one day of walking.

Option 2 - Take a 2 hour cruise and have the remaining time free for day walks.

Option 3 - Just do 3 x1 day walks and the scenic drive.

Can any one advise which of these will be the best option to get the most out of our trip to Milford Sound?

Thanks in advance for the asvice!

San Francisco, CA
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1. Re: To cruise or not to cruise?

I loved the overnight boat trip, which gives you time in the area with fewer people around.

(Milford Sound is quite small; calling it a cruise implies a bigger boat and a longer trip to me.)

Keep in mind that sandflies are bad out at the end of Milford; for hiking, you might enjoy the many hikes on the spectacular road there more than three days at Sandfly Point.

You might also consider staying in Te Anau, which is a small town but unlike the end of the road at Milford also has places to eat and a lot more services (Fiordland Cinema, banks, etc).

Edited: 01 April 2011, 20:24
New Zealand
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for South Island
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2. Re: To cruise or not to cruise?

There is very little walking to do at Milford itself.

As mentioned, stay in Te Anau which has a good range of accommodation and restaurant options (Milford has one lodge, one cafe and millions of sandflies!) plus Te Anau has many wonderful full day, multi-day and short walks.

The drive along the Milford Road is gorgeous. I suggest you do the 2 hour cruise, then return to Te Anau early afternoon to enjoy some of the many short walks from the road. Key Summit is fabulous …govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/…

Hope this helps, happy planning :)

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: To cruise or not to cruise?

We did the overnight cruise a few weeks ago and had a great time and would highly recommend.

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4. Re: To cruise or not to cruise?

The best way to appreciate Milford Sound is to explore it by boat, so yes, do a cruise! I've only done day cruises, but have heard that the overnight cruise is great as it's even more serene with fewer people around.

As WanakaLakes suggested, my choice would be to stay in Te Anau and do one or more of the wonderful walks from the Milford Road. The Humboldt Falls and onto Lake Marian is supposed to be good. From Te Anua there are many superb walks to choose from, including up to Mt Luxmore on the first part of the Kepler Track.

Happy walking!

South Island
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5. Re: To cruise or not to cruise?

Milford Sound is ideal for the day cruise and the best overnight cruise is Doubtful Sound. The shorter Scenic type cruises in Milford Sound are long enough and if you can afford it take one the heli or fixed wing flights from Milford Sound airport and fly over the area. To me this was better than spending the extra money for an overnight cruise

Adelaide, South...
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6. Re: To cruise or not to cruise?

...or you could try the kayak tour!


Did this with a friend a few years back and we had an absolute ball even though it was bucketing rain the whole time. We got up close and personal with a bunch of seals, paddled right up to one of the waterfalls, and rafted up right in the middle of the sound for hot chocolate - fantastic!

They've got a variety of tours that take in beginners/sunrise/sunset and you can also combine with flying or walking. Highly recommend!!

7. Re: To cruise or not to cruise?

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