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Milford Sound is a must on my 3 nights visit to Queenstown?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Milford Sound is a must on my 3 nights visit to Queenstown?

I am holidaying with my family in NZ in late March 2014. Have planned 3 nights in Queenstown at Garden Suites at Frankton.

Just need to know whether it's advisable to dedicate 1 full day to visit Milford Sound from precious schedule or should I sightsee around Queenstown itself without wasting much time driving on the road?

San Antonio, Texas
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1. Re: Milford Sound is a must on my 3 nights visit to Queenstown?

I think it's a must if there is heavy rain, due to the crazy amount of waterfalls on Milford Road then. Consider a bus tour though, as it's an extremely long day from Queenstown to Milford Sound + cruise + the drive back. If you're more into hiking you may find it better to do some of the trails around Glenorchy and/or Wanaka though.

New Zealand
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2. Re: Milford Sound is a must on my 3 nights visit to Queenstown?

Please don't think of driving to Milford for the day - the round trip with cruise is 13 hours - and the Milford Road has a high tourist accident rate due to tired drivers.

Either take the bus there/back or if your budget allows do the ultimate trip - bus there, cruise, scenic flight back to Queenstown.

Perth, WA
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3. Re: Milford Sound is a must on my 3 nights visit to Queenstown?

If you take the bus trip does it stop at many places along the way? Thanks.

New Zealand
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4. Re: Milford Sound is a must on my 3 nights visit to Queenstown?

Yep - there are a number of tours, read the websites for details.

and before you ask - I haven't done a bus trip so can't recommend one over the others.

Do a Google search and some reading :)

Edited: 01 February 2014, 21:20
San Antonio, Texas
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5. Re: Milford Sound is a must on my 3 nights visit to Queenstown?

I did the Real Journeys tour, and there were I believe four stops on the way between Te Anau and Milford Sound. Two with time for impressive short hikes, one to use a bathroom with a nice view of a couple of waterfalls, and one at a really pretty stream with scenic views of the mountains rising up sharply not too far before the avalanche zone. I went during avalanche season so the bus couldn't stop in the most scenic areas on the way to and just past the Homer Tunnel (cars aren't allowed to either that time of year), but I think they do stop for views in a couple of places there at other times of the year when it's safer. I don't know what the scenic stops are from Queenstown to Te Anau, but I think the bus stops in Te Anau long enough to get a quick breakfast or buy some souvenirs, or even better, just enjoy the view of the Kepler Range behind Lake Te Anau. Loved our tour guide on the trip, and the buses had huge side windows as well as overhead windows. The overhead windows were awesome for the area once you start getting a couple of km from the tunnel, as the mountains just tower straight up above the road there. I highly recommend doing the bus tour and cruise with Real Journeys. Just an awesome company whose workers seem to have a lot of pride in what they do.

San Antonio, Texas
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6. Re: Milford Sound is a must on my 3 nights visit to Queenstown?

Also, I don't think there are any stops on the way back between Milford Sound and Queenstown, other than to drop passengers off in Te Anau. The driver also doesn't give the guided tour on this return trip, since 90% of the bus is sleeping then.

Edited: 02 February 2014, 00:38
San Antonio, Texas
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7. Re: Milford Sound is a must on my 3 nights visit to Queenstown?

I shouldn't say short hikes: more like quick 15-20 minute walks. One was at some ponds that had impressive reflections of mountains behind them in morning viewings and another was up a wide valley with cool mountain views.

Auckland Central...
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8. Re: Milford Sound is a must on my 3 nights visit to Queenstown?

Stay in Te Anau. It's not such a long drive from there to Milford sound but it will take all day. Avoid the mid day cruises as they are the ones the coaches go on. The early afternoon ones are way less crowded.

South Island
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9. Re: Milford Sound is a must on my 3 nights visit to Queenstown?

Every bus tour into Milford Sound is different and every driver will give a different commentary so there is no point in saying one company is better than the other. If I was going into Milford Sound for the first time I would try and choose a company that does the most stops. If you can afford it, fly back to Queenstown after the cruise in the fiords. Milford Sound is a must visit and coach cruise fly from Queenstown makes the best use of your limited time.

10. Re: Milford Sound is a must on my 3 nights visit to Queenstown?

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