Milford Sound with Jucy Cruize

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I have been living in Queenstown for two months now, and figured it was about time we got out and explored Milford Sound, in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park. There are many tour operators providing trips to this iconic place, with the average price about $120-$150, for a full day trip from Queenstown.

Not wanting to pay this inflated tourist price, as we are both working and living here, I marched into the Jucy Cruize office and said I was a local, and got the tickets for $60 each.

Tropical Nomad Milford Sound

Lesson here is :*Ask for local rate*!

This applies to taxi’s, bars, some restaurants and coffee shops in Queenstown also. I am not saying lie but if you are looking to save cash…Ya know..  

Milford Sound is 295km from Queenstown (4 hours 15 minutes) but the bus takes 5 hours to get there, as it stops at a few places for photos along the way. We were really lucky with the great weather as this is one of the wettest places on earth.

The road passes through unspoiled mountain landscapes before entering the 1.2km Homer Tunnel, which was opened in 1954 after 19 years of hard labour, avalanches, rain, hail and storms.. It is one of the steepest roads I have ever been on, and really an amazing sight. 

Tropical Nomad Milford Sound

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Some Bad Service

Along the road to Milford Sound, we had a break in Te Anau. The bus stops at the designated coffee shop and we wandered in for a mocha. I have never seen such inflated prices and poor quality of food and drinks on all my travels. The woman serving us was a seriously moody bitch. Keeping in mind that this is a little gift shop/ cafe in the middle of nowhere. She should be delighted with the customers. A mocha was $5 for a take away. I seen her re-heat milk that was already in the jug (a big no-no when making coffee) and then try to charge me $1 extra for a take away cup. I handed her back the burnt milk with a shot of weak coffee and walked off.


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Aside from this brief experience, this was a great day trip and I highly recommend getting out to see this beautiful place if you are ever in New Zealand’s South Island. To make the trip even better I would say stay and camp for a few days or climb Mitre Peak like backpacking Matt  did, on his trip to Milford Sound. There is also one of the 9 Great Walks of New Zealand, the ‘The Milford Track’ , which I will do soon.


If you would like more information then check out  New Zealand’s South Island (Regional Guide)


  1. Hey Adam. The name’s Aaron. It’s midnight in Auckland, and I’ve just spent an hour reading your blog posts on Queenstown.

    I’ve been offered a job there after a search for something else other than gridlock and desks. Well, the desk will stay if I make the move. But basicially, I need something fresh, and my greasy love is snowboarding.

    Not sure if you’re still there, looks like you might be travelling. but I was wanting to get an unbiased view of the money stress of living there. (i read your “local rate” comment). It’s a steady, salaried job in the tech industry.

    It’s really the only thing holding me back. It seemed as expensive as Auckland when I was there, yet I am fighting with taking a huge pay cut. I guess I don’t want to give that up to be somewhere I can’t enjoy fully due to money. I guess that’s just my city boy side shining through.

    • Hey Aaron, I am in Thailand now. I made the big move to set up base here.. Honestly, Queenstown is great if you have a good job. It is pricey to live in. Rent was $180 pw, internet $40pm, electricity $80 pm, bus $35 pw, food is crazy expensive… You would need to be making $600+ per week to survive comfortably.. I loved it there because of all the cool places near by and things to do but it is no big city! Queenstown consists of a few streets and a large traveling scene.. It is a great place to live for a while, but 7 months was plenty for me! Get the locals card if you move there and things are about 10-20% cheaper..


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