We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Coach-Cruise-Coach from Queenstown to MS.. which one?

Boston, MA
Level Contributor
309 posts
7 reviews
Save Topic
Coach-Cruise-Coach from Queenstown to MS.. which one?

Hi,

I have been researching the coach-cruise-coach options from Queenstown to Milford Sound for early April and found many bus companies, all varying in prices... Miltre Peak ($175), Southern Discoveries, GreatSights ($226), BBQ Bus ($192), Naked Bus ($129)

I can't seem to find what the major differences among these guys are, except that some provide lunch.

Could you help me? Are there any companies better than the others? We are a group of 7 (with seniors and small children). We would prefer the bus that will make many stops and allow people to get down for taking photos, etc.

My other question is that is it possible to buy tickets in QT one day before the travel date in early April?

Milford Sound Nature Cruise
22 reviews
from US$58.90*
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from...
154 reviews
from US$190.00*
Milford Sound Mariner Overnight Cruise
94 reviews
from US$245.20*
Likely To Sell Out
Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
71 reviews
from US$215.40*
New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,534 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Coach-Cruise-Coach from Queenstown to MS.. which one?

You could wait and book last minute, but are you confident there will be 7 empty seats on a bus?

I haven't done a bus trip so can't comment on which stops the most often.

Best of luck :)

Boston, MA
Level Contributor
309 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Coach-Cruise-Coach from Queenstown to MS.. which one?

Thanks WanakaLakes.

I will wait for others to shed some lights on the buses.

Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
1 post
34 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Coach-Cruise-Coach from Queenstown to MS.. which one?

We took the Relaxing Journeys/Greylines Tour to Milford Sound on Feb 22, 2013. We booked and paid ahead of time from the US. I believed the further from the actual tour date the cheaper it is but during peek time they are all pretty much the same. Book ahead and make the most of the time while you are away. Why waste time standing at a booking office? Our hotel was very helpful in communicating with the tour bus driver where we could walk to meet the bus (half a block). At Milford we were given a pass for the boat cruse with Jucy Cruize – a smaller boat which was able to go very close to water falls and view seals on rocky shores. This tour includes a box lunch – Ham sandwich, cheese and crackers and fruits. Tea and coffee from the galley. Total time cruise time about 2 hours.

Seat belt law enforced on buses, for little one car seat not provided. Verify ahead of time with tour operator.

Spectacular vistas. Overall the tour was done really well with informative and continuous commentaries by Russell, our driver. Not recommended for motion sickness prone, non English speaker and non visual people. As I did not have to drive I was able to fully enjoy the fantastic scenery. There were no children on our bus but there were on the cruise. As long as your children can handle a 12-hour tour, most of which is on the bus, you should be ok.

Oz
Level Contributor
13,383 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Coach-Cruise-Coach from Queenstown to MS.. which one?

Hi,

Do you really want to submit yourselves, the children and the other passengers to a twelve to thirteen hour bus trip?????

Why not Coach/Cruise/Fly or travel from Te Anu.

Cheers,

Christchurch, New...
Level Contributor
64 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Coach-Cruise-Coach from Queenstown to MS.. which one?

Depending on how much time you have look at hiring a people-mover travel to Te Anau to stay one night then leave reasonably early the next morning to get on the road before the hoards of tour coaches come through then you can stop where and when you like and have places like "The Chasm"to yourselves. The road isn't overly difficult to drive just be courteous of others that want to travel faster and pull over for them. Travelling back from Milford you can easily travel to Queenstown in the one day.

Boston, MA
Level Contributor
309 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Coach-Cruise-Coach from Queenstown to MS.. which one?

Thanks for all the replies.. I think we have passed the point where we were deciding between driving to or taking a coach tour to Milford Sound. It was decided because one of the possible drivers in our group was not so keen on driving 4.5 hours back to Queenstown after the cruise. (and we need to come back to Queenstown that day because of other reasons) .. hence, the coach! .. flying will be too expensive for us :(

It was exactly my concern about putting the small children in this long bus ride. That's why we need to find a tour bus that makes many stops and allow passengers to get down and stretch their legs along the way. One other important thing is that the coach must have a restroom.

Now we are leaning toward taking the Naked Bus. Any thoughts? Which boat company does the Naked Bus use?

South Island
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
1,421 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Coach-Cruise-Coach from Queenstown to MS.. which one?

Naked Bus use the Real Journeys boats. Friends who recently did the Naked Bus day trip from Queenstown said they made 3 stops between Queenstown and Te Anau and made another 9 stops betweeen Te Anau and Milford Sound. The coach is luxury with a glass roof, toilet and the drivers give an excellent commentary.

This particular Naked Bus trip is actually run by a small Queenstown company called Milford Sound Select and it may be more economic to book direct with them as children's fares are discounted.

April is not a busy time and you should be able to book the night before.

Enjoy Milford Sound.

Edited: 17 March 2013, 19:57
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
309 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Coach-Cruise-Coach from Queenstown to MS.. which one?

Thanks, SouthIslandBill! That was really useful info.

I did look into Milford Sound Select web site just now. It didn't clearly say that it used Real Journeys boats. As far as I understand, Real Journeys offer big boats, right? But the Milford Sound Select web site says its boat feature "Smaller groups to ensure a relaxed and enjoyable experience"

Big boats would be our choice since some of our group members are prone to motion sickness. :(

Allahabad, India
1 post
Save Reply
9. Re: Coach-Cruise-Coach from Queenstown to MS.. which one?

hi dear ,

by now u must hv been back from ur trip to milford with naked bus. how was it? i iintend to take the same tour. is milford sound select co more economical? how about the cruise boats they use? were u satisfied? do they pick up from the hotel?

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Coach-Cruise-Coach from Queenstown to MS.. which one?

My husband and I (early 60's) did the trip in early March with eco tours. You get lunch on the boat. We drove around the south Island and thought having someone drive us was a treat. It is a long journey with plenty of stops and the driver was excellent with his commentary. Got a great deal thru GraboneNz. We ended out flying back to Te Anau from Milford and picking up the same bus to take us back to QT which was one of the highlites of our trip. All in all don't drive go one a tour you will not regret it.