Milford or Doubtful Sounds?

Old Aug 20th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Milford or Doubtful Sounds?

We're in the early planning stage for a trip to the south island in late March 2007. Which Sound is preferable if our time is somewhat limited? Would you advise a day trip or overnight? Thanks!
MJOB1976 is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2006, 06:29 PM
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Most tourists visit Milford Sound as it's easy to get to and the cruises are shorter than those to Doubtful (1:40). The daytime Doubtful Sound cruise takes 8 hours (3 hours of actual cruise time) and includes crossing Lake Manapouri and some other stops.

Having said that, if it were me and I had the time, I'd take the Doubful Sound cruise. Fewer people!

http://www.realjourneys.co.nz/Main/Doubtfuldaytime/
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 08:10 AM
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I'd agree with the previous poster if you are looking for a cruise, however if you are interested in kayaking, I would definitely go to Doubtful. It was so serene and breathtaking. There also were not the various tour boats throughout the sound. Our group had 4 kayaks total and only once throughout our 4 hr trip did we encounter another group of 3 kayakers. We had the whole sound to ourselves.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 03:39 PM
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I found New Zealand a question of what you cannot see given your time alloted. Our whole trip was a compromise on what to see or not to see. We ended up at both Milford and Doubtful, and if there would only be one, we would overwhelmingly go for the overnight on Doubtful. You leave Lake Manapouri about noon, and back about 24 hours later.
Doubtful was just incredible. But, so was Milford in it's way. It is an easy day trip from Te Anu, a bit more tiresome from Queenstown. You will definately get the flavor of NZ fjords, and have an incredible ride on the Milford Highway.
During my planning, I opted to save the north part of South Island for another time in favor (in part) of both fjords. We are glad we saw them both, but that's us. For many, a day trip to Milford is perfect.
Good luck with your decision.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 12:35 AM
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We have been to both Sounds and enjoyed both. Milford was overnight. It was a bit expensive for the food presented but the bedrooms were comfortable. Meeting other people was fun too. It was amazing being out with only one other boat after all the tour buses had gone. We didn't get a chance to kayak as it was pouring but that made all the hills look like big waterfalls.
Doubtful Sound was a day trip and very interesting. There were a lot of "pushy" people on the bus and boat - worried about not getting a seat when there was enough and the day was fine and most people eventually stayed on deck. Perhaps I am not a tour group person.
An overnight trip there would be lovely I think.
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Old Aug 24th, 2006, 10:25 PM
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The "Triple Trip" to Doubtful Sound is a definitely the one to go for, rather than Milford Sound,

Stay over night in Te Anau (prounced as tee-ahh-now), go visit the glowworm cave on the afternoon you arrive, and then do the Doubtful Sound trip on the next day.

The Triple Trip involves a boat across Lake Manapouri, a coach over the mountainous Wilmott Pass down into Doubtful Sound, then a cruise along the Sound.... then the back the same way, so it takes the whole day.

Cheers,

Bill

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