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Best trip

Favourite part was the scenic drive from Queenstown to Milford sound with Brian’s knowledge on the... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
MonVerevou
via mobile
A most enjoyable day

Thoroughly enjoyed this day. Drove from Te Anau to Manapouri and boarded cruise on Lake Manapouri... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
nzsnrcitizen
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Reviewed March 8, 2014

If you want to see the fiords, you have 3 choices: a day/overnight excursion on the water; self-drive/coach to the fiords; and the tour company. My suggestion is to take the overnight cruise with Real Journeys and take the coach from Q'town. If you are going to come all the way to the NZ fiords, why limit the time to a mere 2 hours on the water? It's so much better to be on the boat late afternoon, overnight, and again in the morning - you get to see the fiords in different lights and time of day. First thing in the morning is so magical. At night, we had sea lions playing at the back of the boat, keeping everyone well entertained. The other benefit of the overnight is that you get to go in a tender for an up close and personal view of the fiords. We got lucky and saw a penguin coming back to shore and waddling up to its burrow. The Mariner is a great choice - double bed cabin with ensuite, nice meal, fantastic ship and crew. The meal included hot breads and dips, choice of soups, carvery, potatoes, veg and salads, and desserts/cheeses. A very nice spread for being out on the water. In the morning, we went all the way out into the Tasman Sea before heading back.
We don't generally like the tour bus approach, preferring to make our own way. I'm so glad that we chose to take the Real Journeys coach. First, the driver (Adrian) was amazing. He shared so many interesting stories and information with typically dry Kiwi humour. We made stops every couple of hours (morning tea, photos, lunch, little walks). Adrian knew exactly where to stop and told us where to stand for the best photos. We would have missed out on so much if we had driven ourselves; Adrian really did make the journey special. And the coach is specially designed so you can see out the windows very easily. As for tour company - Real Journeys is the only one that offers the perfect combo of the right excursion and fantastic staff! It's the only way to go.

Date of experience: February 2014
Thank KiwiRoadrunner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

Well set up coach that lets you make the most of the views on the way to Milford Sound. Several interesting stops on the way out, good for leg stretching. Good coach driver with local knowledge and information about plants and animals. Great boat cruise with a good commentary (nature cruise option), fortunate with the weather and sea conditions made for a gentle cruise. Return trip being straight back to Queenstown with only one comfort stop is a good way to arrange the trip, at this stage the scenery is a repeat of the morning (still jaw dropping) and dinner looms large in the mind. A pleasant, informative way to see a classic part of New Zealand.

Date of experience: February 2014
Thank Tim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

Just back from the day bus and scenic cruise tour to Milford Sound from Queenstown. Very long day, departing at 7am and returning around 7pm, but well worth it. A lot of time on the bus, but with Keith our driver & local guide it was like a really good geography lesson, I loved it! So knowledgeable and definitely added to the day out. The bus has a glass roof and the seats are tilted towards the windows so you get a great view. The cruise itself lasts around 1.5 hours and the views take your breath away. Downside is the lunch which was quite poor. Would definitely suggest you pack your own! That said would definitely recommend the trip!

Date of experience: March 2014
Thank McGClarkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2014

Scenically Milford Sound is magical and it is undoubtedly special to be on the Sound after all the other boats have left. We enjoyed our overnight but found it over-priced and were very disappointed in our accommodation. Admittedly we booked late and the boat was full but we paid top dollar and were given a cabin on the lower level which smelt of vomit and had a very high porthole which made it feel very claustrophobic. When I brought one of the staff to smell it, the cabin was re-cleaned which was a great improvement but it was a shame we had to ask. My mother who paid the same for her single as we paid for our double was initially delighted as it had a door to outside rather than an internal corridor but wondered why she had earplugs on her bed. She soon found out when she went to bed as there was an enormous generator backing onto her cabin which went all night and vibrated as well as making a very loud noise so she was unable to sleep. Those passengers who booked through a tour company seemed to be given the higher level cabins which were far more pleasant but the price was the same for all.
I subsequently raised this with the company but no one replied and I wonder about whether the reviews on Viator (which was the company we booked through) are edited as all the reviews seem perfect and mine was never published.
Overall I am glad we did it. The staff and food were pleasant, the scenery magical but I would strongly recommend that you should if possible check the location of your rooms!

Date of experience: December 2013
Thank Isolin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2014

The Milford Sound is a must see in New Zealand. The scenery is fabulous and the sea creatures are abundant. The cruise boat is very safe, and clean, the crew is exceptional. We took a chartered bus to the site, and found this to be the best way to go. The scenery on the way is fantastic, the driver gives lots of history and comments. There are plenty of stops on the way to eat and use bathrooms. Our only disaapointment was that we were not able to take the helicopter flight out. I think that is somewhat of a gimmic, i.e. they will only do the flight is they have their own quota of passengers. We were set up to do it then told it could not happen and very disappointed. Just a note to be aware so you are not disappointed too. Otherwise we reccommend the trip.

Date of experience: November 2013
Thank katy s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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