Milford Sound

Jul 10th, 2006, 10:56 PM
Posts: n/a
Milford Sound

I can use help on this one...
Our cruise ship has the following scheduled for Milford Sound:
Scenic cruising Fjordland National Park via Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds.
Ports in Dunedin the next morning at 7am.

OR the other option is to take an off-ship excursion (costs additional $$) which includes:

2 Days/1 night
Day 1-
Upon disembarkation at Milford Sound Wharf you will board a chartered coah. Driving south from Milford, you will pass thru the magnificent
Fiordland National Park where photographic stops will be made to see at the Chasm & the Mirror lakes. Pass thru the legendary Homer Tunnel
and travel beautiful native forests. At Te Anau, there will be time to browse shops before an early lunch. Depart for Queenstown, crossing the
North Southland Plains to kingston, then continuing north along the eastern shoreline of Lake Wakatipu to Frankton. In Queenstown, you will
take a breathtaking gondola ride up to Bobs Peak w/spectacular views acrosss Queenstown & Lake Wakatipu to the Remarkables mountain
range. Check in at hotel. This evening you will make your way to the Steamer Wharf & board the 1913 historic steamship TSS Earnslaw to
cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Sheep station. Here you will dine carvery-style in the Colonel's house, which is splendidly sited
overlooking the lake. NZ wines will accompnay the meal. Return to Queenstown on the Earnslaw and walk the short distance back to the hotel.
Day 2-
Enjoy a full breakfast at hotel, then depart for Dunedin. En route, you will visit Arrowtown, a beautifully preserved gold mining village, retaining much
of its 19th-century character. You will have a chance to do some shopping & walk around its quaint tree-lined streets. Continue on thru the picturesque
Kawarau Gorge where a stop will be made to see bungy jumpers leaping off the Old Kawarau Bridge. Inside the new Bungy Dome wou can experience
what its like to jump, but without actually having to do it! Continue to Alexandra, where you'll cross the Clutha River. Lunch will be served at a former
stage coach inn. After lunch, continue to Dunedin, passing thru sheep farming districts of Lawrence and Milton. In Dunedin, a brief sightseeing tour will
intoduce you to the city known as the Edinburgh of the South. Dunedin has a large number of fine stone buildings such as the Railway Station, Law Courts
and the Otago Museum. Arrive at Port Chalmers where you will rejoin the ship.
Obviously, if we don't take the above excursion, we can spend the day at Dunedin doing what we want.
What would you suggest? Would you take the trip from Milford Sound?
They only drop off passengers taking their excursion--we cannot arrange anything else privately.

Thanks for any help in advance.
Jul 12th, 2006, 11:54 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 123
I was in Queenstown for a few days last year, and took a long day trip to Milford sound via Te Anau. We cruised the sound as well. I personally would recommended the optional excursion. I enjoyed the scenery of the ride between Queenstown almost more that of cruising the Sound (and I loved that too!). Queenstown is a beautiful small city/town at the foot of a lake and gorgeous snow capped mountains. You can take the gondola to the top for an incredible view. Queenstown reminded me a bit of Aspen, or of the charming ski towns in the US. I was finishing up a trip around the world in Queenstown, and of all of the places I visited, this area of Southern New Zealand was in the top 5(along with Angkor Wat-Cambodia, Tanzania, Zanbibar, and the Scotish Highlands). Hope this helps
SandyD1 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2006, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 123
Here is a good Queenstown website. I found the area to look exactly like the pictures
SandyD1 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2006, 04:33 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 50

I am a kiwi and I am lucky to have grown up in Fiordland which was my playground. It is a hard question you ask because very rarely can people say they have been into Dusky which is better than Doubtful which is better than Milford Sound!! The highlinght of a trip to Milford I believe is the drive in from Te Anau. More spectacular than the sound itself I agree. If you like remoteness, peace, quiet and spectacular mountainous scenery then stay on board. See if they will take a take you to Pigeon Island in Dusky. Great history there. If this is the only time you will ever go to NZ then go inland to Q town and through central Otago. Otherwise do the cruise and do the SOuth Island properly when you come back!!!
moovet is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 09:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 22
Oh, yes. New Zealand is gorgeous.
Milford Sound, Mt. Cook... some of the best photographic subjects in the world.

You have to go back after your cruise to explore South Island from top to bottom.

Someone else has a similar post on this board. They are on a Feb. Princess cruise. Check out the info on it.
StrayKat is offline  
Jul 15th, 2006, 08:42 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 235
Some of these replies have missed the point of your question. You want to know if you should take the "off ship" excursion to Dunedin, via Te Anau and Queenstown, or stay "on ship" and visit Dusky Sound.

Does the ship go into Dusky, or does it just cruise past the entrance? If it's just a cruise past, I would say go with the "Off Ship" excursion. However if you will be entering the sound and spending some time there then, it would be a pity to miss this fantastic part of NZ. Very few people get to see Dusky Sound. There are no regular tours to this area, and it is one of the most beautiful and remote parts of NZ.

Elsewhere on this forum Melodie made the comment that Cruise Companies rip you off with shore excursions and accommodation. I have done a rough calculation, and to see and do the things listed in the shore excursion, assuming two persons sharing a car and accommodation, would cost about NZ$220 per person. (2 days car hire, 1 night accommodation with meals, and the trip to Walter Peak on the Earnslaw). Of course you probably wouldn't do exactly the same tours, but this will give you an idea of whether it represents good value.

If this will be your one and only trip to NZ, perhaps you should do the shore trip, then when you hear people raving about their NZ holiday you will have some idea of what they are on about.
vbca is offline  
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