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Milford AND Doubtful Sound??

Washington, DC
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Milford AND Doubtful Sound??

Hello!

My husband and I have booked two nights (Dec 26 and 27) in Te Anau. We will be coming from Queenstown and going to Wanaka afterwards.

*Are we short on time to see both Milford and Doubtful Sounds? We originally thought we could squeeze a partial day cruise and go on a whole day sea kayaking trip in.

*Sounds like the drive to Milford is better than the actual Sound. Thoughts on just taking a leisurely drive on Dec 26 toward Milford Sound, but not booking an afternoon cruise?

*Doubtful Sound seems to be a whole day event. Thoughts on a cruise vs. sea kayaking?

Thank you!

Jennifer

New Zealand
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for South Island
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1. Re: Milford AND Doubtful Sound??

I also think the drive into Milford is the true highlight, rather than the cruise.

And kayaking at Doubtful is magical, you'll love it :)

San Francisco, CA
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2. Re: Milford AND Doubtful Sound??

Even with two full days, you'd be pushing it.

Both are full day trips (or longer). If you decide to drive to Milford, don't skip the boat ride.

South Island
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3. Re: Milford AND Doubtful Sound??

If you are serious about having the best Milford Sound experience do the day trip in a luxury glass roof coach. The drivers commentary and scenery combined will make the coach ride a highlight, but it would be a shame not to do the cruise during your visit to Milford Sound.

If you coach in (rather than drive yourself) it will allow you the option of flying out of Milford Sound back to Queenstown or Te Anau. Back to Queenstown is the easier flight to get, but it is sometimes possible to get flights back to Te Anau.

The most economic coach cruise fly option is when the cheaper half price standby plane seats are available. Don't book your flight until you get to Milford Sound and ask your coach driver to tell you of all the options for that particular day.

Enjoy.

クライストチャーチ
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4. Re: Milford AND Doubtful Sound??

Given a choice of the two I d have to say Milford is my pick..the road in is magical with so many little walks and viewing platforms...Going on a bus is fine but i really recommend you avoid the middle of the day...very very crowded at those highlight spots..i say take your car and take your time..

Doubtful was just a tad too long on the boat for my guests..but still an amazing trip..

most important for me is the weather..if its chucking it down..the waterfalls are spectacular..but i really feel you miss most of the best by not seeing the tops and the whole wide vista..

i think the boats are very very good indeed..probably stay ovenight is the best option...

I personally have used Real Journeys and thoroughtly recommend them.

Its even more special to be in there when the rest of the world isnt.ie before 10 or after 15.00

Washington, DC
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5. Re: Milford AND Doubtful Sound??

Thanks for the advice! We are now thinking that we will just focus on Milford Sound. We found a room in Knobs Flat (and plan to cancel our Te Anau room) so we can spend more time enjoying the drive from Queenstown and be closer to Milford Sound for a tour on our second day in the area.

Now we are left with the question - cruise or sea kayak? We have not sea kayaked before, but are a fit couple in our early 30s and are interested in the unique view of the Sound. From those of you who have done both - which is the way to go?

Thanks, again!

San Francisco, CA
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6. Re: Milford AND Doubtful Sound??

It's very very mild water, aside from the temperature, no real skill required.

I did Real Journey's overnight trip, which allows time for kayaking in the early morning before the other boats arrive. It was lovely, and I believe the kayak day trips are 3 hours on the water. I loved feeling alone in such a vast canyon.

But they won't go as far toward the ocean as the nature cruise.

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Milford AND Doubtful Sound??

We just got back from staying at Knob's flat. You have just made the best decision of your life - this place is truly magical - you will love it, and best of all you are already halfway to Milford Sound. Two nights at Knob's is barely enough but it will will be perfect for you. it will also allow you to take the first cruise of the day (9am) - we did the Red boat 9am scenic cruise and it included breakfast and was just perfect as the boat was pretty empty so it was really easy to move around, Excellent cruise up close to all the wildlife and waterfalls. When you get back to shore you realise how good your decision was as the place is truly hectic when you get back with buses everywhere.

Edited: 17 December 2010, 06:20
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Milford AND Doubtful Sound??

Hi Rossie,

With Knobs Flat's proximity to Milford Sound, did you encounter those annoying little sandflies during your 2 night stay? We're also considering a stay there.

Thanks!

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Milford AND Doubtful Sound??

Hi there- I did reply off line but not sure if it went through - Knobs flat accommodation, unlike most in NZ has fly wires to keep the things out. When we were there we barely noticed them - whatever, you must not miss staying here - it really is heaven on earth (to an Aussie anyway, who has never seen or been in such scenery). Pick the biggest room you can as the bigger rooms are further form the road. I have heard these things like water and Milford itself is bad with them because of that, but we had none there (1st week Dec), but knobs had just a few, and if you kept moving they didn't bother you. Stay as long as you can - there are few special places like knobs flat - just sit and enjoy the changing light in the morning and early evening as it crosses the mountains ...

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Milford AND Doubtful Sound??

Appreciated the reply and useful advice here and via email, Rossie_9.

Hopefully, we'll have the chance to visit Knobs Flat. The photos from their website look very appealing.