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Thread: Milford Sound / Te Anau

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Default Milford Sound / Te Anau

    We're heading off on a trip down to Milford Sound and Invercargill at the end of August (with a stop over at Kat's en route!! ). We'll be staying mostly in Top Ten campsites in their chalets cos they're cheap and well equipped and usually in great locations.

    Has anyone done Milford Sound and if so, would you recommend the boat or plane trip? Are there other alternatives?

    Plus, I know there's the glow-worm caves to visit - what else is there I should do, or avoid, down that way?

    Cheers
    Moorf

  2. #2
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    Oct 2005
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    Papamoa
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    Milford Sound in a word is spectacular! I was there at the completion of the Milford track and we took a boat tour of the sound. It was awesome. I am sure a place would be cool to but I really liked the boat. It takes you RIGHT up to waterfalls, I mean you can feel the spray. Fun. I didn't do much else as we had to leave to get back but it is an amazing place.

    Have fun!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Wellington, from California
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    We took an overnight trip on the Milford Mariner & it was wonderful. It's so amazingly quiet at night & in the morning out on the water. We got to paddle around on kayaks they had on board & saw crested penguins up close. A pod of dolphins swam alongside the boat for awhile.

    The scenery along Milford Road is stunning, too so give yourself time to explore. We took a little side road to Humbolt Falls, which was well worth the time. We went in late September and here's one of our pics from along the road:


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    East Yorks via Invercargill
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    Hey Helen,

    I'm so glad you're finally heading over to Milford. This is actually a great time to go because the waterfalls will be massive, although there is a small risk the Milford Road might be shut.

    I'd recommend the boat trip - flying is nice but you want a beautifully clear and crisp day. At this time of year the boat is going to give you the more spectacular trip because the mist will be above you, rather than below.

    If you're staying at cabins in Te Anau I'd recommend

    http://www.teanautop10.co.nz/

    My dad used to help out there after he retired and it's a beautiful spot opening onto the lake and the town centre is only a two minute walk away.

    The glow-worms are a really unusual trip across - except they show you what they look like before you go down the caves and those bugs are UGLY! It makes it a lot less romantic, and I'd have rather seen the pictures afterwards.

    Depending on how much time you spend in Te Anau, my other recommendations would be to either drive to the control gates (signposted on the way to Manapouri - turn down towards the golf course) and take a walk along part of the Kepler track. It's lovely to walk in the bush along the lakes edge. If you feel really energetic you can walk right around the lake to get to it.

    The other option if you're in a spending mood is to head over the Doubtful Sound - I love this place more than Milford, but it's harder to get to.

    You need to take the trip from Manapouri (20 mins drive from Te Anau) and they boat you over to the Manapouri power station and you get a bus down a huge spiral underground round to the machine hall. then when you come out the bus takes you over the saddle and down into Deep Cove where you hop on a boat that takes you out into the sound. Doubtful is known as "the sound of silence" because they switch the engines off and it becomes eerily quiet. You're also really likely to have dophins swim alongside the boat. Doubtful is a narrower sound and looks like something out of The Lost World (not that I've ever seen a dinosaur there!)

    And just down Mokanui Street from the campsite is a great pub with some dining called the Redcliffe. My dad was a regular, and it had a lovely feel last time I was there.

    Any questions - please ask!

    (oh, and you're in Invercargill too soon - I don't arrive until Oct 11 )

    But have fun - I'm actually quite jealous you're heading to my two home towns before I get a chance to see them again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Dairy Flat, Auckland
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    Hi Moorf,
    We did the Milford Sound boat trip in March this year and it is spectacular but be prepared to get wet. We had the most terrible weather and a lot of low cloud .Had we gone on a better day then it would have been so fantastic. But we still enjoyed it and the more rain,the better the waterfalls. Here are some pics


    Caroline enjoying the lovely weather.





    I would say definitely do the boat trip. The guide said that the boat runs in all weathers but the helicopters are very much hit and miss depending on the weather. On a clear day you will have some fantastic views.

    Hope this helps

    Dave and Caroline

  6. #6
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    Sep 2006
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    Moorf, let me know how it go, where did you go etc as plan to go down to milford sound in february with me, OH, two children, a baby, MIL and puppy in campervan
    Mad are we??

  7. #7
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    Aug 2004
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    Oh WOW guys - thank you so much for all your info!!

    Wiki - I'm damned sure we can drive a few hours south to see you guys when you arrive! Just get those leccy blankets on!!

    Dave/Caroline - had one of those heart-welling moments after seeing those pics - can't wait to hear the power of the waterfalls. I know, I'm a soppy cow at heart, show me a seal frolicking and I'm blubbing...Sorry folks, but I'm praying for rain down south for the next few weeks!!

    Jen - I'm working on hubby to fork out for the overnight trip!

    Sophia - we'll give you all the gossip over a curry

    Best
    Moorf

  8. #8
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    Jul 2006
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    Dairy Flat, Auckland
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moorf View Post

    Dave/Caroline - had one of those heart-welling moments after seeing those pics - can't wait to hear the power of the waterfalls. I know, I'm a soppy cow at heart, show me a seal frolicking and I'm blubbing...Sorry folks, but I'm praying for rain down south for the next few weeks!!


    Moorf
    Well Moorf,they even have the seals there, so you had better take plenty of hankies


    Last edited by Dave in NZ; 22nd July 2007 at 12:44 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Auckland, from Edinburgh
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    A group of us went to Milford Sound on my first trip to new Zealand several years back (we'd been tramping in Dusky Sound). We took the overnighter on the Milford Wanderer (if it's still running) and the weather was good enough for us to get right out of the sound and watch the sunset. The next day we had seals, dolphins and penguins - and perfect weather!

    We're planning to head back down that way at the end of August and would love to visit Milford and/or Doubtful depending on time and weather. You'll need to get a set of snow chains for your vehicle as weather conditions can block the road even in late winter/early spring. I think there's now a manned booth just outside Te-Anau and they'll turn back vehicles if you don't have chains and they think the weather requires them.

    Check the Transit website here and particularly this page which gives you the live status of the road.

    Dougie

  10. #10
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    Aug 2004
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    Noted - hankies, snow chains and, by the looks of it, wet weather gear!! Thanks guys, some great info! Not long to go and I can't wait!

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