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Te Anau, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and the Fjords

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Huntington Beach, CA
posts: 3
reviews: 2
Te Anau, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and the Fjords

My husband and I will be in NZ in Dec. 2007 and part of Jan. We are considering a stay in Te Anau, using it as a base for the sounds and the fjords. Is it reasonable to get to the fjords from Te Anau? Thanks for your response!

socal

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 20,517
reviews: 45
1. Re: Te Anau, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and the Fjords

Te Anau is the perfect base for the Sounds. You can drive to Milford, just make sure you leave early in the morning to avoid finding all the view points already full with bus tours.

Doubtful Sound trips begin from nearby Manapouri, a short drive from Te Anau.

While in Te Anau don't miss the Glow Worm Caves and also the short nature film, Shadowland, which is simply stunning.

Huntington Beach, CA
posts: 3
reviews: 2
2. Re: Te Anau, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and the Fjords

Thank you for your response. I meant to put Dec. 2008 and Jan 2009 but you must have assumed that. One more question: is staying 4 nights in Te Anau reasonable, given the variety of things to do? Thanks again!

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 20,517
reviews: 45
3. Re: Te Anau, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and the Fjords

Yes, four nights in Te Anau is great. If it is raining on the days you plan to go to either Doubtful or Milford Sound, don't let that deter you. It's very spectacular with all the waterfalls gushing off the mountains.

In addition to the activities already mentioned there is lots of hiking in the area. One mistake made by many is trying to cram too many activities into too short a time. I presume this will be a holiday for you?... you don't want to return home exhausted.

Wanaka, New Zealand
posts: 788
reviews: 2
4. Re: Te Anau, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and the Fjords

Why not do the overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound seeing as you are spending a long time in the area. We did the Doubtful Sound day trip and it was 10 hours long, and in hindsight would have preferred the overnighter.

atlanta
posts: 205
reviews: 100
5. Re: Te Anau, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and the Fjords

We were there in high season this year and it took 1 1/2 hrs to get to Milford leaving at 7:00am, in plenty of time for the 9:30 boat, which is less crowded than later in the day. We really enjoyed The Fat Duck restaurant in Te Anau and the fjordland movie at cinema, and don't miss some time on the Kepler Track full of ferns and moss.

New Orleans
posts: 525
reviews: 16
6. Re: Te Anau, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and the Fjords

We were there in late Feb this year and stayed three nights in Te Anau. It was still high season so we booked ahead. We met several people who were not able to get the days/times they wanted...

We cruised on Doubtful Sound one day and then went to Milford Sound the next. We absolutely loved our day on Doubtful and would do that again in a heartbeat. We loved the drive to/from Milford but the cruise was less special probably because of the previous day's experience on Doubtful.

I'm glad we did both but we would not do the Milford Cruise a second time. We would spend the day hiking on the Routeburn track or some of the other hikes in the area.

For Milford, we chose the 10am cruise so were back at the dock when the tour groups were arriving. Our 10am cruise was not crowded. Also, we pretty much had the hiking trails to ourselves on the way back to Te Anau. Try to avoid the mid-day cruises on Milford, they are super crowded.

We saw Ata Whenua at the Fiorland cinema and it is fantastic. We wished we had the right weather and the dough for a helicopter trip after seeing that show.

Brighton, United...
posts: 35
reviews: 212
7. Re: Te Anau, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and the Fjords

check out www.doubtful-sound.com we did the overnight cruise with them & it was fantastic. Boat has a maximum of 6 people altho they are expecting a new boat on Oct this yr which i think will take 12.

Chris , the skipper is amazing. Lobster for lunch, catch your own fish for yr dinner although we had venison as well.

Old boat was a bit " rough & ready " but i think you appreciate the wilderness more on a small boat rather than one with 80 passengers on board.

It was one of the highlights of our trip - had some dusky dolphins watching over us as well.

They pick up from Lake Manapouri - if worried about leaving car overnight consider staying night before at Lake Manapouri Motor Inn - not flash but cheap,great views & they will look after yr car & diane will collect u & drive u down to the ferry - Chris meets u on other side of the lake.

8. Re: Te Anau, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and the Fjords

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