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Miford Sound - A few more questions

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I’m curious to get some advice on Milford Sound, Track and Cruise. I’ve read a LOT of these posts (thank you!) but still have a few questions.

Background – I have 3 wks in NZ and plan to spend all of it or 19 days of it on the S.I in Nov /Dec 2014. I’m 35 and in good shape, like hiking and photography.

I am definitely doing the Milford Sound Hike after reading all the posts. I plan to drop off my car in Te Anau or QT prior to leaving on the hike and take the bus to Te Anau Downs. I think it sounds best to take the late boat from TAD to Glade Wharf since it’s only 2 hours to the first hut.

I’m struggling with staying at MS to do an overnight cruise (or day cruise with kayaking) or to go back to Te Anau or QT on the day I end the hike. I’ve also heard the road from Te Anau to MS is amazing and wonder is it worth doing the drive or part of it when I return to Te Anau? I wonder if that would be too much MS after hiking for four days.

I would appreciate any thoughts you may have on this dilemma!

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    Hi mhohol -

    Good idea to take the late boat to Glade Wharf - most of the overnight walkers do this very thing.

    <<<<I’ve also heard the road from Te Anau to MS is amazing and wonder is it worth doing the drive or part of it when I return to Te Anau?>>>>

    You've heard right, the Milford Road is amazing, and there are many walking opportunities. You will make this drive regardless, as there's only one way to get from Milford to Te Anau via road and that's the Milford Road. If you drive straight back to Te Anau, it will take about two hours, four to get to QT. If you opt to stop and explore (which I recommend), it can take all day to get back to Te Anau.

    If you'd like to explore on the drive back, it makes sense to spend the night in Milford, which would give you the whole next day to work your way back to Te Anau. I don't know how this would work with bus transport however, we always drive. I don't know if the track shuttles make any stops.

    One possible option might be to drive your car to Milford, park it there, and then take a bus back to Te Anau Downs to catch the boat. That way you'd have you car waiting for you in Milford once you finish the track - this would make exploring the Milford Road back to Te Anau easier, as you'd have the flexibility of making the stops you want.

    I don't know if there are any restrictions regarding leaving cars in Milford, but I kind of doubt it. A call or note to the DOC might be a good idea, just in case.

    Whether or not you'll have the energy or interest for more walking after a four day hike is anyone's guess, but if you do, there are some nice ones.

    There are several walks along Hollyford Road as well - some are just short walks to waterfalls, but well worth the effort.

    The most popular walk along Milford Road is Kea Summit, which is part of the Routeburn Track. It can be done in about three hours, and is well worth the effort on a pretty day - the views from the top are incredible.

    There are also some nice short walks through rainforest and some quite challenging routes. And then there are the walks around Te Anau - my favorite is the Kepler Track.

    No shortage of tramping opportunities if you've got the time and energy.

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