Best Company for Overnight Milford Sound

Aug 21st, 2005, 11:04 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 25
Best Company for Overnight Milford Sound

Anyone with any ideas on best overnight company at Milford Sound in mid-October? I'm not looking, necessarily, for 5 star, but 3-4 star accommodations....THANKS!
LynnLee is offline  
Aug 21st, 2005, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793
Hi LynnLee

The main company is Real Journeys, which used to be Fiordland Travel. Their website is
There are three boats, the Milford Mariner, the Milford Wanderer, and the MV Friendship. The Milford Mariner is the only boat with ensuite cabins and is what DH and I will be staying on in January.
You may want to make a reservation soon if you will be visiting NZ in the busy months. There were no "double" cabins left when we made our reservation. We did secure a "twin" room and are on the "double" waitlist, though.
You may want to consider taking the coach from either Queenstown or Te Anau (we are from Te Anau) because the drive from Te Anau to Milford can be crowded and difficult, and only the passenger(s) can enjoy the views! The buses have glass dome tops, from what I understand.

I hope that helps.
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Aug 21st, 2005, 08:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 445
Speaking from first hand experience - we overnighted on the Milford Mariner and it was fabulous. I'm going back 3.5 years (it was actually the end of October)and the boat was brand new, but we thought the level of accommodation was excellent given the boat's size. The stateroom was quite roomy and the ensuite adequate. The staff were friendly, helpful and informative and the boat's captain very skillful (especially when edging up to the cliff faces to get the best view of the waterfalls). The food was ok and plentiful. We found that as there was no after dinner entertainment and the guests didn't seem to mingle with each other at all that it was best to just sit out on deck (you'll find out why if it's a clear night!!) until it got way too cold and then to have an early night to make the most of Milford Sound in the early morning.

Believe me this will be a far more memorable experience than staying in the motel style accommodation on land.

You will only be able to take an overnight bag on board, however as Te Anau is normally the last place you stay before Milford most of the hotels there are happy to hold your larger cases till you get back.

We drove from Te Anau to Milford and found the drive very pleasant and not all that busy. The only part I did not like was the very steep, very narrow tunnel under the mountain that comes out into a very sharp hairpin bend (I was driving!!)but other than that it is an easy drive.
Daneille is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2005, 01:36 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 470
Wouldn't you get in a lot more sightseeing by taking a Milford sound daytrip (there are specialty ones of longer length), then overnighting in Te Anau, and finally taking the daytrip to Doubtful sound??

I'm guessing Doubtful really has the most fiord scenery, whereas Milford has more fame due to the road portion and a few particularly picturesque coastal views - both of which you don't benefit from overnighting on the sound. I may be biased against overnight boat trips because I have crewed on some troubled ones (re: privacy and sanitation) and my mother was a health inspector that found very chronic problems on boats. I'm sure NZ standards are superior, but it just may less romantic and a missed opportunity, doubtful-sound-wise.
viking is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2005, 09:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Having done Milford twice and Doubtful once, my 2 cents is that the fiord scenery is more dramatic on Milford. I think the overnighting is a good idea to get a bit of serenity before the tour busses arrive in the am. I really enjoyed early morning and sunset hours when I stayed at the lodge at Milford after my trek.
mlgb is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2005, 10:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 25
Thanks, everyone, for the input. I'll take a little of this and a little of that and I'm sure it will be much better for your help!
LynnLee is offline  
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