Milford Sound Day Journey: The Queenstown Conundrum

“Milford Sound day journey… for those who’re debating it in any respect, you simply gotta do it.”

That is the recommendation that we acquired from family and friends numerous instances earlier than our current journey to New Zealand.

At first, the phrasing of the assertion didn’t make sense to me.  I had identified for years that Milford Sound was thought to be one of many high vacationer locations on the earth, and that a number of organizations and people, together with Rudyard Kipling, had even proclaimed it to be the unofficial Eighth Surprise of the World.

Why would we be debating it? I believed.

Then, after attending to New Zealand and searching into methods to go to Milford Sound for myself, the query grew to become somewhat extra comprehensible.

Milford Sound cruise

Find out how to get to Milford Sound

Milford Sound is a fjord – a steep, slender inlet that has been carved into the earth by glacial exercise – located within the south west of New Zealand’s South Island. Although it is just 44 miles to the north west of New Zealand’s hottest vacationer hub, Queenstown (because the crow flies), the steep canyon partitions trigger it to be accessible by just one street, the Milford Sound Freeway, which runs 73 miles due North from the small city of Te Anau.

To entry Milford Sound from Queenstown, it’s a 178 mile drive, every means. Given the winding and undulating terrain, it’s a drive that requires a full 5 hours to finish.

Some guests to New Zealand are lucky to have sufficient time that they’ll take just a few further days to remain within the small cities in and round Fjordland Nationwide Park, to take pleasure in Milford Sound and the encompassing space at a way more leisurely tempo.

I’ve discovered that many extra guests are like me, nonetheless, having solely sufficient time of their itinerary for them to get to Queenstown. It’s on this state of affairs that the talk surrounding a go to to Milford Sound involves life.

Is a Milford Sound day journey price it?

Is Milford Sound price experiencing as a day journey, requiring a 5-hour drive in every route, permitting solely a pair brief hours to spend on the Sound?

In my expertise and opinion, it’s.

When dealing with the query for myself, I selected to heed the recommendation of everybody I knew who had skilled a Milford Sound tour earlier than me, and I made a dedication to visiting it, a method or one other.  Since we have been touring round New Zealand by way of mass transit, with Magic Bus, we didn’t have our personal automotive out there to make the journey, so I needed to look into choices for day-trip Milford Sound excursions.

Find out how to tour Milford Sound

After performing some analysis, I selected to make the journey with Kiwi Discovery.  It might be 5-hour bus experience in every route, with a 90-minute boat cruise by and round Milford Sound once we arrived.

Right here’s just a few different choices to guide a Milford Sound tour:

The drive out to the Sound was spectacularly stunning, and the bus experience itself actually couldn’t have been extra snug.  It was a comparatively new bus that had a glass ceiling, so all of the passengers may lookup and higher respect the towering cliffs that line Milford Sound Freeway.

We stopped at a number of viewpoints alongside the way in which, to absorb the sights of assorted rivers, waterfalls and canyons.  We arrived at Milford Sound correct round 2:00pm, and instantly boarded a big vessel for our Milford Sound cruise.

Our cruise round Milford Sound was 90 minutes in complete. We beginning on the inward most a part of the Sound and proceeded all the way in which out to the Tasman Sea, pulling into bays and glancing up towards waterfalls as we went.

As a result of the surroundings within the Sound was so spectacular, the 90 minutes that we spent on the boat actually glided by quick.  Nonetheless, it was such a singular and sumptuous expertise that I felt it was very definitely worth the 10+ hours of journey it required to make it potential, and…

I’d counsel to the identical to anybody else who could also be debating it.