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Book online or when we get there?

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melbourne
posts: 154
reviews: 22
Book online or when we get there?

My partner and i are having a short break mid september in queenstown... My question is should we book milford sound day trip online before we go or when we get there? Friends have told us not to pre book anything as booking when there is cheapest??? We are going for 5 days and id like to do.. Milford sound, heli scenic tour and maybe a nice drive somewhere??? Any suggestions?? Thanks

Texas
posts: 1,159
reviews: 28
1. Re: Book online or when we get there?

So, we were at Queenstown in early October. We did not book in advance.

My wife walked to different companies before she found one with availability for 4 adults the next day., the coach was full when when we left.

I would book in advance for a party of 6. Others will say not to book in advance.

If you don't want to be disappointed, early booking is always good. We will be back in QT in October and will book in advance.

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 21,824
reviews: 48
2. Re: Book online or when we get there?

One method to see how busy the tours is to check the online booking - this will show how many seats are still avaialble for each day's tour - Real Journey's website shows that anyway. If there are just a few seats left than book early.

But with only two travelling I think you should be fine booking once you are here.

Lovely drives in the area -

- up to Glenorchy

- over the Crown Range to Wanaka back via Cromwell and all the vineyards in Gibbston Valley

- Arrowtown

Happy travels :)

posts: 291
3. Re: Book online or when we get there?

Quite honestly, in downtown-Queenstown I have not seen local activities or Milford Sound excursions discounted for "last -minute" reservations. What you will find is a price variation betwn operators. Frankly I'd do my price comparison online. Spending your valuable holiday time going door to door sounds like a poor use of your vacations time

Think the key element is flexibility of itinerary - ie look at weather & pick activity suitable for that day. In high-season I would always recommend pre-booking Milford, but September is shoulder season

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
posts: 9,466
reviews: 120
4. Re: Book online or when we get there?

I am in agreement with Post 3. If you end up paying a little extra by buying early on line you will more than recover the cost in the saving of valuable holiday time and knowledge that your excursion is booked and paid for when you want it. My experience of many years of holidaying in and around Queenstown there is very little discounting with trips and excursions because quite frankly demand often outstrips supply thus the operators dont have to.

melbourne
posts: 154
reviews: 22
5. Re: Book online or when we get there?

Thanks for all the info...i am very excited to have a break and to see the sites..

South Island
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 1,266
6. Re: Book online or when we get there?

Since you are going to Milford Sound in September there is no need to book ahead. Coach cruise fly is the ultimate way to visit Milford Sound and if you shop around its possible to coach in, do the cruise and fly back to Queenstown for as little as $350. Don't book your flights until you get to Milford Sound.

Huge competition and lack of visitor numbers have driven prices down and many companies are discounting prices.

The scenic Heli flight in Milford Sound is rated one of the best available.

Enjoy.

melbourne
posts: 154
reviews: 22
7. Re: Book online or when we get there?

Thanks for that.. We have been looking at the scenic heli flight through Milford sound and stopping on the glacier on the way back to Queenstown.. Is it really worth doing the cruise at milford sound? We'd rather fly or heli than coach...

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 21,824
reviews: 48
8. Re: Book online or when we get there?

The road into Milford is, for me, the true highlight of the experience. If you can only do one thing then drive or bus to Milford - it surpasses the cruise.

Auckland
posts: 493
reviews: 84
9. Re: Book online or when we get there?

I have found, particularly for helicopter rides and some boat tours, that there are discounts available on the day as operators are trying to fill up flights.

South Island
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 1,266
10. Re: Book online or when we get there?

Some of the tour drivers have the ability to make the coach trip into Milford Sound a more enjoyable experience than the cruise in the Fiords. However the cruise In Milford Sound is still worth doing. The couch ride to Milford Sound with stops and commentary happens only on the way to MIlford Sound, the coach ride out, drives straight back to Te Anau/Queenstown. Hence many people decide to fly back to Queenstown after the cruise.

The Helicopter and fixed wing flights are brilliant. The discounted flights are only available if you book your Heli or small fixed wing after you arrive Milford Sound

Enjoy.