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Milford sound cruise time and Franz Glacier walk?

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Oct 18th, 2015, 09:05 AM
  #1
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Milford sound cruise time and Franz Glacier walk?

Hi,

Me and my husband are going to be in NZ between 23rd Oct-3rd Nov. We needed advice on two placesbr /> 1. Milford Sound- Want to know which is the best time to do the milford sound cruise? We will be coming from Te Anau and would like to make a few stops on the way to see the Mirror Lake, Gunn Lake, the Chasm and the Tunnel. Hence we were thinking of doing the 1:35 pm cruise with Mitre Peak. But after reading a few articles, a little worried if this is a good time. Apparently the lunch time cruises are very crowded. Kindly advice which cruise to take in that case (keeping in mind, the stops we want to make on the way). Additionally, any advice on which tour operator to go with? This is for this 28th October.
2. Franz Glacier- which exactly should one be doing here? the Heli walk or the normal glacier walk? Also any advice which tour operator to go with. This is for 1st November 2015.

Thanks,
Shivani
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Oct 18th, 2015, 09:18 AM
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. Franz Glacier- which exactly should one be doing here? the Heli walk or the normal glacier walk? Also any advice which tour operator to go with. This is for 1st November 2015.>>

when we looked this up for a previous poster it appeared that there are no "normal" glacier walks as the ice has retreated too far so it's the helicopter or nothing. Can't advise on which operator I'm afraid as we were able to do a glacier walk from FJ 2 years ago; it was a long walk out to the ice.
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Oct 18th, 2015, 01:40 PM
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We timed our visit to Milford Sound to do a mid-afternoon cruise. We got to the Sound in time for a late lunch, and then bought our tickets. The boat was about 20% occupied so had plenty of room to walk around and change seats when it suited us.
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Oct 18th, 2015, 06:59 PM
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Do you plan to spend two nights in Te Anau? (please say yes).

I find the best Milford cruise is either the first or last of the day - the buses from Queenstown arrive between 11-12, so IMO it's best to be there before they arrive or after they leave for the day.

Allow yourself the whole day to explore Milford Road and take a cruise - if you plan your arrival into Milford to coincide with an early cruise (say 9-10 am), you then have the whole rest of the day to explore Milford Road and it's many tracks on the drive out. Likewise, if you leave Te Anau early am and explore on the way in, then take the last cruise of the day, you can then drive directly back to Te Anau for the night.

You'll miss the bulk of the bus traffic doing this. It's what I do on every visit to the area.

Re: the glaciers - you can walk to the terminal face of either glacier on your own - loads of walks in the area in addition to these. No need for any tours unless you want to walk ON a glacier, in which case I would suggest a helihike.
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Oct 18th, 2015, 11:40 PM
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Thank you for your replies.
Melnq8- Yes we are in the Anau for two nights. We will be arriving into Te Anau the previous day and have not planned anything for the day as such.
The next day, i.e., the 28th October- we plan to visit Milford Sound. Don't want to take the morning ones, since I believe the Mirror lake should be timed for 10 am to get the best reflections (weather permitting!). Would the the 2:30 pm still be crowded then? Or should i just go for the 4:30 pm one?
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Oct 19th, 2015, 08:48 AM
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If it were me I'd take the 4:30 over the 2:30. As I mentioned above, if you're trying to avoid the bus traffic, early or late is better. 2:30 pm will put you in the thick of things.

I've not heard that about Mirror Lake - I think it's more about weather than time of day, and weather is always an issue in Milford. But it comes down to what's more important to you - reflections or amount of people.
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