Ah! A very special day of my three-day trip.
Milford Sound was the main reason I wanted to go to Queenstown for the second time. If you are short of time, you can also directly go to Te Anau for visiting Milford Sound. If you know a little about New Zealand, you would know that Milford Sound is one of the most picturesque, beautiful, and highly recommended places to visit. Your trip to New Zealand can’t be completed without going to Milford Sound. You can visit NewZealand.com for official information about visiting Milford Sound.
Before I write about my personal experience of visiting Milford Sound, I will write a little about my accommodation in Queenstown.
Accommodation in Queenstown
My solo traveling rule has always been to find a place that is closer to the main city center. This makes it easier for me to visit the supermarket, buy a coffee, or catch a bus somewhere. (given the fact that I was relying on public transport while in Queenstown, I wanted to be closer to the city).
I stayed at Bella Vista Motel in Queenstown. It is super close to FreshChoice supermarket, skyline Gondola, and five minutes from Lake Wakatipu waterfront. I had the whole room to myself which came along with a small kitchenette and a private bathroom. I booked it through booking.com which always offers you great deals when it comes to prices and discounts.
The Milford Sound Trip
The journey from Queenstown to Milford Sound is nearly 288kms by road and can take up to 4 hours.
However, I would recommend you to take the bus tour. Why?
You can sit back and enjoy the views. Yes! It will take longer because the bus would stop by at places but that gives you a chance to take photographs at great locations and also know more about the Fiordland National Park region from your bus driver and guide.
I booked my trip with RealNz which included the return bus coach from Queenstown to Milford Sound and the cruise from Milford Sound. I was super lucky! I got the entire Milford Sound trip sorted in $129. Thanks to the great offer by RealNZ.
Since the holiday season had just started, you would be surprised to know that I was the only one from Queenstown to Te Anau on the bus( which nearly took 2 hours from Queenstown). Well, I did feel overwhelmed in the very beginning.
But who doesn’t like the whole bus to oneself?
Imagine going on a long road trip(288kms) with someone driving for you and you do nothing except for diving into the beauty around and watch your thoughts flow by.
I guess I would continue to cherish this bus trip for a long time now.
Here’s a glimpse of that!
On reading Te Anau, we had a stopover at the bird sanctuary where I had a chance to walk around Te Anau lake. Well, the driver was super nice with his knowledge about the Fiordland National Park and of course with his driving skills!
Around 13 people boarded the bus from Te Anau and then we continued our journey to Milford Sound.
The bus stops at several fascinating points between Te Anau and Milford Sound where you can take photos, stretch your legs, or sometimes even buy coffee. Yes, some stops may have toilets too!
Fiordland National Park is known for its breathtaking views, nature walks, snow, rain, and also streams and waterfalls. The water is so pure and fresh that we even filled up our water bottles from one of the streams on our way to Milford Sound.
This region of New Zealand is highly prone to earthquakes and avalanches and thus maintenance is highly difficult in this region.
Upon reaching Milford Sound, you will be asked to board your cruise(which is booked with the bus trip). This 2-hour trip is another exciting part of the journey. The cruise ship takes you to the point where Tasman Sea meets the Pacific and if you continue traveling on this route, you would end up in Australia after 3.5 days(this was told by our tour guide). Exciting isn’t it!
You can have a look at the photos from the entire trip on the Facebook page here: Milford Sound Photos
Before I sum up, I’ll quickly write some tips for your trip to Milford Sound.
- Book your bus and cruise in advance(especially if you are traveling in peak season)
- Carry your own food. For instance, I carried some homemade burgers(which I made in the motel a night before), chocolates, nuts, and fruits. It saves on budget and unnecessary munching.
- It would be good to carry your own water and a hot beverage on a really cold day.
- For clothing, the rule in New Zealand is layering! Check the weather and carry the layers accordingly. Sunscreen and sunhat is hihgly recommended for summer.
- General medicines(headache, nausea etc)
- Mobile charger(my bus had charging slots)
- A small diary where you can note down your pickup stop adderess and emergency contact numbers(just in case)
All the best for your travel journeys!
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog. I have uploaded photos from the entire trip on my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/103877284871707/posts/374133904512709/?sfnsn=mo
Feel free to share your experience or any feedback in the comments below.