What to Do in TeAnau if Milford Sound Rd is Closed.

Old Feb 21st, 2020, 12:40 PM
  #41  
 
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I live in Nelson NZ, and my DH and I have been trying to do the route down the West Coast through the Haast for the last two years!! Every time we have a trip planned, there are storms forecast. We will get there one day!!
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Old Feb 21st, 2020, 04:34 PM
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Yestravel, were you able to get to Milford Sound on one of the bus tours? If so, I'd like to hear how it went.

That's a lovely photo of the Wanaka willow tree. Coincidentally, right after I viewed your photo, a good friend, who's had a tough year battling serious health problems, sent me a link to meditational/relaxation video she's been watching, which opened with several minutes of the same fragile, lonely willow tree. It occurred to me that this tree, that gets regularly inundated and illegally climbed, that bears the force strong winds and snowfall, isn't just an oddity or visual delight, but also a metaphor for surviving against the odds.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 07:50 PM
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Yestravel, were you able to get to Milford Sound on one of the bus tours? If so, I'd like to hear how it went.
we go to TeAnau Friday and were greeted by spectacular weather. Saturday we went to the Overnight in the Doubtful sound which was wonderful. Monday we go to Milford Sound. Convoys for tourist buses will go a few times a day out and back. That began on Friday. good weather forecast too

We had a perfect sunny day Saturday and awoke to mist, light rain and low clouds this am, so we go experienced 2 different colors in the sound. Highly recommend this overnight, beautiful, great info and well run. Even food was excellent.
Cant get photos posted. Will try later.








Last edited by yestravel; Feb 22nd, 2020 at 07:55 PM.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 07:58 PM
  #44  
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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 09:22 PM
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I'm glad it worked out. Your photos of Doubtful Sound remind me of my own trip, though I did the overnight trip, which is too short in my opinion! It's a beautiful place and so is Milford Sound. Please let us know how your Milford Sound trip goes.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 11:21 PM
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Thanks for reporting in! Have been thinking of you and hoping it all worked out! So happy for you that it did! Looks beautiful.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2020, 04:34 AM
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Itís amazing how quickly the weather changes in NZ, isnít it? Glad you enjoyed some blue skies although the misty photo looks interesting and mysterious.
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 06:26 AM
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More beautiful photos, yestravel. I particularly like the middle one above - the water looks oily, an amazing effect.

We only did a day trip on Doubtful Sound but it was still wonderful. I found the combination of the boat trip - short bus ride - then cruise on the sound was particularly pleasant, especially as we had the drive to and from QT on the same day. Interested to discover what you thought of Milford Sound which we didn't see.
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 07:13 PM
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Monday was Milford Sound day...at long last. We were very fortunate to be able to get 3 convoys out, at 10, 12:30 or 2pm and 3 back each day.
Our day began at 7:30 when we arrived at Fiordland Tours. We proceeded on the 15 seat van to pick up scones, then go back for hot water and then to pick up lunches. At ~8 we began picking up the other 13 passengers. Since we were going in the 12:30 convoy there was time to kill. We were taken to the TeAnau bird preserve before proceeding out to the Sound.
The drive to the Sound before getting to the start of the convoy location is beautiful. We stopped at Eglington Valley for views of the Earl & Livingston Mts. Mirror Lake was stunning and the reflections from the Earl Mts are amazing. Then we passed the 45th parallel, the halfway point between Equator and South Pole. Knobs Flat was next stop. Somewhere near Cascade Creek we did a 45 minute walk thru a mossy old growth forest. Then we went to the campground and had coffee or tea and the date scones from Fresh Choice grocery. Tripplanner, sorry to say, Gunn’s Camp where you had home baked scones and coffee was wiped out. Nothing there after the storm.
We waited in the convoy maybe 15 minutes before beginning the arduous 50km drive to the Sound. The impacts of the catastrophic storm were everywhere. Our driver was constantly point out impacted areas. One place had been a forest and now the river came to the roads edge. The storm washed huge boulders down a riverbed. Much clearing and clean up had already taken place over the past ~3 weeks. How they ever going to repair this is quite the challenge for engineers.
We arrived at Milford Sound at 1:40, were handed our lunches and loaded onto the 1 hour 45 minute cruise. Of Course the cruise is beautiful. The sound is small compared to Doubtful. There were perhaps 6-7 other boats.
We had planned to fly back ala tripplaners TR. However, while the sound itself was clear with glorious sunshine, there were cloud banks out towards the Tasman sea and over Doubtful. Regrettably we had to go back in the van.
After close to 12 hours we were finally back at our BnB. This was a long, very long day for us.
My recommendation about which sound to see, is to try and see both. They are very different experiences. Milford is more dramatic and much smaller with other boats Cruising Doubtful is a more quiet, intimate experience. Equally beautiful.

Thanks to all of you who shared updates and thoughts. We loved TeAnau area. Oh, we also managed to fit in a wee hike on the Kepler. As many of you said TeAnau is well worth it even without Milford. We stayed on a knoll about 10 minutes outside the town and barely went into the town.

pictures to follow.
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 08:05 PM
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Wow! The sheer magnitude of the damage comes through in your report. So heartbreaking to hear about Gunnís Camp; so much history lost just like that. I cannot imagine what the road journey must feel like. Glad you were able to see Milford though.
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 10:06 PM
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Milford Sound on a sparkling day. We were fortunate the road had opened to tour vans and buses just 72 hours earlier.


Three convoys a day go into the Sound.

Just awesome

A permanent water fall, Bowen Falls. Bowen River plunges from atop of a 162-m cliff into the sound. They take the boat up nice and close and anyone outside gets drenched.

Mitre Peak

The clouds prevented our scenic flight back to TeAnau.
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tripplanner001 View Post
Wow! The sheer magnitude of the damage comes through in your report. So heartbreaking to hear about Gunnís Camp; so much history lost just like that. I cannot imagine what the road journey must feel like. Glad you were able to see Milford though.
the guide provided a fascinating narrative as we drove the 52 km. He knew every boulder in the river and every turn in the road. Despite the damage it was till a stunning drive.
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 11:46 PM
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Sounds wonderful! Too bad about road damage, but somehow I bet they get it back in shape.

We only went to Milford and drove ourselves, so we could stop as desired on way. However, as I recall we didn’t actually stop that often, because the weather was crappy when we started out, but fortunately turned glorious once we got there!

enjoying your posts and pics!
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by glover View Post
Sounds wonderful! Too bad about road damage, but somehow I bet they get it back in shape.

We only went to Milford and drove ourselves, so we could stop as desired on way. However, as I recall we didnít actually stop that often, because the weather was crappy when we started out, but fortunately turned glorious once we got there!

enjoying your posts and pics!
thanks! Howís it going in Spain?
The locals have a very philosophical view about it all. Just the cycle of the earth.
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Old Feb 25th, 2020, 07:26 AM
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Wow, you even got a view of the top of Mitre Peak!
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Old Feb 25th, 2020, 02:04 PM
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What ideal weather for your visit to the fiord. What luck! Worth the wait it seems.

Thanks for sharing, reporting back, being our "eyes on the ground" so to speak. I was curious and you filled in the blanks. I was wondering if you be able to make the stops and get out for walks along the way, if all the convoys would be driving in a single file, all making the same stops at the same time, with passengers unloading at the same time. I guessed they were more spaced out?

Amazing to think of mighty Milford Road and Sound sustaining such damage, but it's just another reminder that this NZ landscape is constantly being shaped by natural forces, be it extreme weather, earthquakes, volcanoes and more.

I just looked at the Milford Road status page. It says the road is open, but, "bus convoys only from Cascade Creek." Were private vehicles allowed to drive as far a Cascade Creek?

I've not done the walk at Cascade Creek, sounds nice.

I agree both fiords merit seeing. Milford Sound is much smaller but makes such an impact, almost enveloping you with its beauty, Doubtful, being longer and having three "arms", feels almost overwhelming in comparison.

Like you, my husband and I had our flight back from Milford Sound cancelled as well (this was many many years ago), so the scenic flight remains on the "bucket list". Seems like you had an amazing time nonetheless.
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Old Feb 25th, 2020, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
Wow, you even got a view of the top of Mitre Peak!
we have had pretty much perfect weather our entire trip. We did have to cut out Franz Josef due to the storm, but otherwise, sunny, clear, nice days.
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Old Feb 25th, 2020, 04:31 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Diamantina View Post
What ideal weather for your visit to the fiord. What luck! Worth the wait it seems.

Thanks for sharing, reporting back, being our "eyes on the ground" so to speak. I was curious and you filled in the blanks. I was wondering if you be able to make the stops and get out for walks along the way, if all the convoys would be driving in a single file, all making the same stops at the same time, with passengers unloading at the same time. I guessed they were more spaced out?
Up to Cascade
ake it was business as usual. We made a couple stops and other tours did too, at the same ones as us or others. Or they could just go straight to the convoy. I gave feedback to our tour company since i knew they sere trying to figure this all out. She said they were trying to keep things as before as much as possible, but were still trying to come up with what works best. Tripplaner did Gunns Camp which is now gone, we stopped at Cascade creek for scones. I think he had linch along the way. We ate on the boat which was not great.


Amazing to think of mighty Milford Road and Sound sustaining such damage, but it's just another reminder that this NZ landscape is constantly being shaped by natural forces, be it extreme weather, earthquakes, volcanoes and more.
yes, our guide mentioned that alot,

I just looked at the Milford Road status page. It says the road is open, but, "bus convoys only from Cascade Creek." Were private vehicles allowed to drive as far a Cascade Creek?
yes, private vehicles can do just as before up to Cascade Creek.

I've not done the walk at Cascade Creek, sounds nice.
it was nice and different from others we had done.

I agree both fiords merit seeing. Milford Sound is much smaller but makes such an impact, almost enveloping you with its beauty, Doubtful, being longer and having three "arms", feels almost overwhelming in comparison.
good descriptions. I agree.

Like you, my husband and I had our flight back from Milford Sound cancelled as well (this was many many years ago), so the scenic flight remains on the "bucket list". Seems like you had an amazing time nonetheless.
Happy that we could see the Sound and did enjoy the day, just too long of a day.

thanks, everyone for all your help.
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Old Feb 25th, 2020, 07:47 PM
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We didnít opt for lunch on the day of the boat trip as we wanted to concentrate on the scenery rather than eat. So we brought snacks and ate it at Gunnís Camp when we had our break. We did get to enjoy the lunches the day prior on our hike as we did order with them.
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Old Feb 25th, 2020, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tripplanner001 View Post
We didnít opt for lunch on the day of the boat trip as we wanted to concentrate on the scenery rather than eat. So we brought snacks and ate it at Gunnís Camp when we had our break. We did get to enjoy the lunches the day prior on our hike as we did order with them.
Smart of you. Lunch on the boat was not good. My sandwich was falling apart as the boat rocked. Only took 5 minutes to eat though. Guide offered it to me at Cascade Creek and I should have eaten it then.
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