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.
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.
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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)