Fiordland, Milford Sound (ex Queenstown)
Enjoy the best of Fiordland in two days - Milford Road, Milford Sound and Te Anau
We would like to show you the best of Fiordland. While many tours offer one day trips from Queenstown to Milford Sound & back, we regard such an option - with up to six hours each way on a bus - as an insane torment for travelers. Instead we offer a more relaxed 1 (or 2) night stay in Te Anau when you have more time to indulge and appreciate Fiordland’s beauty on the ground.
This trip is designed for travellers will a bit limited time, perhaps via weekend. We assume you arrive to Queenstown either previous night or early morning and leave Queenstown in the evening with the latest flight at 8pm (or next morning).
Welcome to our small-group (10 maximum) tour onboard our modern minibus, where you will be escorted around the area’s highlights and have the time and flexibility to add on any extras you wish to further enhance your visit to this remarkable area of New Zealand.
Day 0: Queenstown (perhaps it can be Friday)
According to your flight to Queenstown you will enjoy free afternoon / evening. (your accommodation is NOT part of this trip, we can assist if required). If you arrive early you can perhaps take a walk and enjoy the town's nightlife or we can arrange a cruise on TSS Earnslaw or a jetboat ride through the historic Skippers Canyon. We can discuss with you available options so you can make the most of your day. Or perhaps you might take a bus and already stay in Te Anau.
Accommodation: Queenstown (Te Anau)
Day 1: Lake Manapouri and Te Anau (perhaps it can be Saturday)
You will be picked up by your tour guide at 9am from your accommodation. Alternatively we can collect you from the airport depending on your flight arrival time and how this fits in with the rest of the group.
We will drive along Remarkables Range and Lake Wakatipu via the small and quintessential South Island villages of Kingston, Garston, Athol and Mossburn, through to Te Anau - the gateway to Fiordland National Park.
We will take a side trip via Lake Manapouri - arguably New Zealand’s most beautiful lake. We will see New Zealand's precious flightless takahe, kaka parrots and native owl (ruru) in the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary (free entry, donation welcome, open for the whole day).
There will be several options on how to spend the rest of the day in the Te Anau basin. Some options include:
Indulging in a bird's eye view by float-plane, plane or helicopter will give you a full appreciation of the fascinating scenery comprising endless mountain ranges, temperate rain-forest, lakes, tarns, rivers and fjords.
A cruise onboard the vintage motor sailboat ‘Faith in Fiordland’ will provide you with a relaxed experience on Lake Te Anau in the elegant style of days gone by, as well as providing a great insight into Fiordland’s nature.
Te Anau’s classic is a cruise to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves.
Trout fishing? Lake Te Anau and Waiau River are one of the best fly fishing destinations in the world.
Ride a bicycle or electric bike on a scenic bike trail along the epic Waiau River.
Enthusiasts will enjoy the mechanical collection on display at the Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum.
Accommodation: Te Anau
Day 2: Milford Road and Milford Sound and return to Queenstown (perhaps it can be Sunday)
We will spend the whole day on our scenic journey to Milford Sound and take a cruise on the fiord. We will show you the best scenic spots, take short walks and tell you about unique fauna and flora, history and stories. In the afternoon we will drive back to Queenstown to meet your evening onward flight.
We are happy to assist with all bookings and adjust your itinerary accordingly.
Doubtful Sound cruise - full day or two days (overnight cruise)
Exchange Milford for Doubtful or add a day or two in Fiordland. Doubtful Sound’s fjord is a less famous neighbour of Milford Sound. However, being far larger and more remote many travelers regard it as superior. Access to Doubtful Sound is only via Lake Manapouri or by a helicopter. For overnight cruises we recommend travelling on a smaller vessel which offers a more intimate experience.
Wairaurahiri Jet - highly recommended!! This is a full day trip on a jetboat over Lake Hauroko and along the Wairaurahiri River - this is a once in a lifetime experience taking you to one of the most remote rivers in New Zealand surrounded by mountains, temperate rain-forest. Plus you get to see the ocean too (conditions permitting).
Glenorchy - half / full day trip
Glenorchy is famous for its beautiful scenery, as the starting point of Routeburn and Greenstone & Rees-Dart Tracks and many movies were filmed in the area - Lord of the Rings, Race for the Yankee Zephyr or Top of the Lake TV series, to mention a few. We can be your guide or will provide an itinerary for you and you will travel at your own pace.
Wanaka & Cromwell Highlights - full day trip
The best of Central Otago. Perhaps you would like to visit a few wineries on your way along the Kawarau River - in Gibbston Valley or Bannockburn. Orchard and vineyards dominate the area around Cromwell. Fast car enthusiasts might like to visit Highlands Motorsport Park. Enjoy great vistas over Lake Wanaka, in Cardrona Valley and a charming historic gold mining pub and the highest sealed NZ road via the renowned Crown Range. In Wanaka there are several indoor activities such as the Transport and Toy Museum, Warbirds and Wheels Museum or for families with children you might like to consider a visit to Puzzling World.
Tour for private groups on demand - please register your interest here and we will be in touch asap
2 days / 1 night $499*
Single supplement $80/night
*Per person based on double occupancy / twin share (6 pax minimum)
These prices are based on a basic package (can be tailored according to your demand from a budget to luxury trip)
average of 3.5* accommodation - motel / hotel
Breakfast (cooked or continental)
a snack on the way to Milford Sound
Transport in modern and comfortable 11 seater minibus
Milford Sound Cruise
Main (in bold) and some optional activities
Milford Sound cruise (included in the price)
Milford Sound Helicopter flight - highly recommendable, perhaps the best short (up to 45min) scenic helicopter flight in New Zealand
Milford Track one day experience - guided or unguided, Clinton Valley (add one more day to the itinerary)
Jet boat cruise on Lake Hauroko and Wairaurahiri River - this is one of the most remote, still accessible places with remarkable scenery and virgin rainforest. (add one more day to the itinerary)
Mt Luxmore Heli Hike - experience Kepler Track - enjoy a scenic helicopter flight, be dropped on Mt Luxmore and walk back to Te Anau. (add one more day to the itinerary)