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3 days in Fiordland from Queenstown

London
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124 posts
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3 days in Fiordland from Queenstown

Can anyone suggest improvements on this itinerary to Fiordland from Queenstown?

I'm not sure whether we should stay a night at Milford Sound and do either kayaking or the Gertrude Valley walk the next day, or spend both nights in Te Anau which would be easier and do say the first day of the Kepler track or another walk on day 3. Can anyone compare and say which has the most spectacular scenery of a day hike we could do in the area?

Or would it be better to drive all the way to Milford Sound on day 1 and do an early morning cruise the next day?

We would like to get to Queenstown by the end of day 3 but this isn't essential as we will have another 2/3 nights there.

Day 1. Thu 27/12/2007 Arrive Queenstown from Auckland at 13.05, pick up car and drive to Te Anau. Fiordland Cinema. Key summit walk/Lake Marion walk? Stay Te Anau. Driving 2 hrs.

Day 2. Fri 28/12/2007. Drive to Milford Sound. Stops and photos, key summit walk/Lake Marion walk. Late afternoon Milford Sound Cruise e.g. 3.45pm Encounter Nature Cruise to avoid the crowds. Stay Milford Sound Lodge. Driving 2.5 hrs.

3. Sat 29/12/2007. Gertrude Valley walk 4-6 hrs. Drive to Queenstown. Drop car Queenstown. Stay Queenstown. Driving 4.5 hrs.

Te Anau, New Zealand
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1. Re: 3 days in Fiordland from Queenstown

Possible suggestions - Day one - toooo much, just concentrate on getting to Te Anau, once you arrive and settle into your accommodation, depending on time of year, you can go for a short walk around the lake shore etc. Fiordland cinema well worth the visit.

Day 2 Take the whole day to do as you have planned - lots of short walks and scenery to take in. Late afternoon cruise is a good option if staying in Milford Sound. Only accommodation apart from overnight boats - well worth it , is Milford sound lodge - backpackers. Milford is a spectacular place to overnight and worth the stay. Alternatively you can travel back to Te Anau and stay in the here again.

Day 3 - Gertrude Saddle walk is a great day walk however perhaps worth a few more hours. Dose make it a rather large day if traveling on to Queenstown. Perhaps worth taking in the lower Holyford Valley - Humbolt Falls(20min stroll) and the Key summit walk on the Milford Road at the divide(2hours return). All depends on the weather and what time of year you are coming.

Scenery wise - the walks on the Milford road are among larger mountains than the first part of the Kepler. Both very scenic!

Te Anau
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2. Re: 3 days in Fiordland from Queenstown

Hi KatieLondon,

I agree with small town lad - your trying to fit far too much in on some days - It looks like you havent accounted for driving times and where locations are in relation to each other... for example do you realise the Key Summit/Lake Marion are about 1.15hrs extra driving from Te Anau (and you wont even be in Te Anau until 4pm at the earliest!).

I would suggest something like this to fit everything in...

Day 1. Explore some of Queenstown then head to Te Anau, Fiordland Cinema in the evening a meal and maybe a short lakeside walk.

Day 2. Get up early (6am) drive to Divide (Key Summit Walk 3hrs), Drive to lower Hollyford Carpark (Lake Marion Walk 3 hrs), Arrive Milford Sound around 3.30pm - Here you have a couple of options...

Encounter Cruise, THEN Stay Milford Sound Lodge or Overnight Cruise on Milford Sound...

Day 3. Depending on how late you get to Milford Sound you could choose to fit in your cruise in the morning or do a kayak on the fiord or head to Homer Tunnel Carpark (Gertrude Saddle) - Please note that Gertrude saddle is a very trecherous track when there is ice or snow on the ground (Do not go if you are scared of heights and vertical drops either). Ensure you pay attention to the conditions so you can come back in one piece!

If you need to drive to Queenstown from Milford Sound its around 4.5-5 hrs (not including Gertrude Walk). I would suggest staying a night in Te Anau and relaxing in a sauna or a spa bath - after your 3 walks it may be quite nice...

Cheers

London
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3. Re: 3 days in Fiordland from Queenstown

Thank you very much for your advice. It will be late December so there should be plenty of daylight. However we will stay in Te Anau on the first night as you advise. And we will either miss out the Gertrude Valley Walk or stay the third night in Te Anau rather than driving all the way to Queenstown that day.

We may also do the kayaking morning trip on day 3 instead of the afternoon cruise rather than both so that day 2 is not as hectic.

Te Anau, New Zealand
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4. Re: 3 days in Fiordland from Queenstown

Enjoy your trip - Kayaking also a good option to see Milford sound from the bottom and realize how small we are.

5. Re: 3 days in Fiordland from Queenstown

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