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queenstown to milford sound

Fonthill, Ontario
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queenstown to milford sound

We are travelling to New Zealand over the Christmas holidays and plan to start in Christchurch and end in Auckland.

What is our travelling time from Queenstown to Milford Sound?

Then Milford Sound to the glaciers?

Any more areas that we should visit in the south?

We are in NZ for a total of 10 days

Any suggestions for accomodations in Milford Sound and the glaciers?

2 adults with our teenage children

thanks for any suggestions

Te Anau
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for South Island, Te Anau
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1. Re: queenstown to milford sound

Queenstown to Milford Sound takes four hours, + any time you spend stopping for photos etc.

If you have the time you are better to base yourself in Te Anau (2 hours from Queenstown) and do the Milford Sound trip from there (2 hours).

You can't actually drive from Milford Sound to the Glaciers. I know on the map it looks as though you should be able to, but there is no road. You have to go back through Queenstown, and over the Haast pass.

Your best route is either down the West Coast past Franz and Fox to Qtn, then to Te Anau and Milford, Return either up the middle of the island past Mt Cook & Lake Tekapo, or through Dunedin, up the East Coast. Of course you could reverse any of these routes.

There is essenially no accommodation in Milford Sound. You can do an overnight cruise on the sound (www.realjourneys.co.nz) or you can stay at the Milford Sound Lodge, which is a back packers. If you are in a camper van you can probably overnight in the car park.

Fox and Franz have quite a few motels & hotels, but they are likely to be fully booked between Xmas and about mid March. You will probably get accommodation if you book now, but leave it much later and you will be fighting for crumbs.

(I think it would take about 8 - 9 hours to drive from Milford To Fox.)

Fonthill, Ontario
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2. Re: queenstown to milford sound

thank you for your information

do you think this itinerary will work

1st night- Christchurch

2nd night- Dunedin

3rd and 4th night- Te Aneu

5th night- Queenstown

6th night- Franz

7th night- Nelson

8th-10th night- north island

do you have any other suggestions how to get to te anua from christchurch?

thank you

melbourne
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3. Re: queenstown to milford sound

hi promogirl

this sounds ok, but the drive from Christchurch to Dunedin is quite a stretch but it can be done if you really want to go! I recommend you somehow swing by Mt Cook to have a look, but this will make the drive longer, is there a real desire/reason to go to Dunedin?

my photos are at: http://members.optusnet.com.au/~chris_laura/index.html

regards

chris

Te Anau
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for South Island, Te Anau
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4. Re: queenstown to milford sound

Hi,

Itinerary looks pretty good.

ChCh Dunedin is about 4 hours, so not really much of a problem, but would agree that it's worth going past Mt Cook if you can manage it, although you will be on the other side of Mt Cook at the Glaciers, and could take a plane of helicopter flight over it (Fantastic experience).

Dunedin is a nice little city, and the Albatross Colony and the wildlife viewing on the Otago Peninsula is worthwhile. Also the Southern Scenic Route starts from here (actually Balclutha, about 1 hour south of Dn.) If you like looking at seals, penguins, dolphins etc this is as good a place as any to do it.

If you decided to go past Mt Cook you would be better to take the inland route past lakes Tekapo and Pukaki. THis goes through Cromwell and Queenstown, so you would end up doing a bit of back tracking to get the the West Coast and the Galciers, but it looks different going the other way, and I don't think you would be disapointed. Overnight stops are Tekapo or Twizle, or Mt Cook village.

You can drive from Christchurch to Te Anau by either the east coast route (Hwy 1) or the inland route (Hwy 64??) in 8 - 9 hours, so your options of where to stay are wide open. We always do it in one day, and it's an easy drive.

There seems to be a perception that NZ roads are windy. THis is far from the case, on the South Island, at least. With very few exceptions you can maintain 100kph, and some of our roads on the Canterbury plains, (around ChCh) are gun barrel straight for miles. Some parts of some roads may twist and turn a bit, but not usually for very long. The main thing restricting your speed is likely to be other tourists driving slowly looking at the scenery.

You can't really go wrong. There are only 3 choices of route, and you will be on two of them regardless of which one you choose. It really comes down to your interests.

Towns, Farms, Wildlife. Go via Dunedin.

Mountains, Glaciers, Bush (forest), Go via the West Coast.

Open Plains, Turquoise blue lakes, straight roads, few people, Take the inland route.

All lead eventually to Milford Sound, and everyone goes to Queenstown, so whatever you choose you will have a fabulous holiday.

Cheers,

Barry.

melbourne
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5. Re: queenstown to milford sound

agree about the roads vbc,

the only really windy section of road we encountered were on the way from franz josef to queenstown.

surprised about dunedin only taking 4hrs from chc! but it sounds like you know.

take care

chris

Te Anau
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6. Re: queenstown to milford sound

Hi mtcook1,

On reflection you could be right about the driving time ChCh Dn.

We regularly drive Te Anau - ChCh in just over 8 hours, and reckon Dunedin is about half way, but we actualy do Tnu - Dn in 3-1/2 hours, which would make Dn - ChCh 4-1/2 hours, and if you drove a bit slower than I usually do it could well be 5 hours.

I guess the scenery is just so awsome we just don't notice the time.

Cheers,

Barry

melbourne
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7. Re: queenstown to milford sound

well that is one thing that we noticed about the driving whilst in NZ, Barry.

We weren't in any real hurry from one place to the next, but the hours semm to fly by because of the scenery. For example, when we drove from Christchurch to Franz Josef in one day, we had some nice rest stops, but the scenery as you are driving makes the time fly. Just some amazing stuff.

I know you are living in Nz Barry, but have you been to Mt Sunday?

Regards

chris

Te Anau
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8. Re: queenstown to milford sound

Hi Chris,

Afraid Mt Sunday isn't one of the places I've been to; Is it worth a look??

Usually we go to Surfers/Sunshine coast area, because it's my wife's favourite place in the whole world, next to Singapore, Bangcock, and of course Fiordland. (She's into warm weather and shopping)

Had a girlfriend in Melbourne many years ago, and spent a lot of time there, but apart from a brief stopover a few years ago I haven't been back. I remember some lovely secluded spots in the Dandenong's, but don't recall Mt Sunday. Spent most of my time on the beach, and in the bars. Ah, to be young again!!

I'm slowly weaning Jenny off Surfers, and our next holiday is Melbourne-Adelaide-Alice-Darwin. (Hope to find our fortune at Coober Pedy and fly home first class :) ) We've sort of gone off SE Asia at the moment, and Bali's definitly off the shopping list, so looks like Oz is the place for the forseeable future.

Cheers,

Barry

Te Anau
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9. Re: queenstown to milford sound

Ok, I Googled Mt Sunday, and discovered it's in NZ, at Erehwon, one of the LOTR sites.

Haven't been there, but Jenny's father and brother worked on Erehwon mustering years ago, and they will know it. Bob often talks about his years there, and he has some fabulous photos of mustering the high country betweeen Erehwon and Hanmer.

Did you know Erehwon is "No where" spelt backwards?

Barry

melbourne
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10. Re: queenstown to milford sound

barry,

I must strongly urge you to go to Mt Sunday, If you're ever going to Christchurch or elsewhere north of Te Anau. I visited NZ in April2005 and my wife and I drove to Methven and onto Mt Sunday for a day trip out of Christchurch and was blown away by the scenery there. It was awesome as there was hardly anyone else there at the time. It was absolutely stunning. I primarily wanted to visit because of it being used in LOTR TTT, but even my wife who can't stand the those movies was blown away. We spent about 3 hours just taking in the peace and quiet and scenery. We just absorbed as much of the serenity as possible!

Hope you like as much! Take a camera!

regards

chris