Saturday, January 7, 2012

Travel Paradise Honeymoon - Milford Sound Cruise

Travel Paradise Honeymoon - Milford Sound Cruise
(Image by David)
Milford Sound Background
Milford Sound is accessible by road (Highway 94) from Te Anau,  and by air from either Te Anau or Queenstown.  The road journey from Te Anau to Milford Sound (120km) takes aproximately 2 hours, and is one of the world's great scenic drives.  From the air the trip takes approximately 40 minutes, passing on the way, the Sutherland Falls (580m, 1904 ft).

Although playing host to over 400,000 visitors annually, Milford Sound has a permanent population of only 150, made up of staff from the cruise boats which take visitors on the sound, staff from the Milford Hotel (which is exclusively for the use of walkers from the Milford Track), and fishermen, who harvest Crayfish (Spiny Lobster) off the Fiordland coast. 

With the exception of Milford Lodge, which is essentially a motor camp / back packers, and the overnight cruise boats,  there is no accommodation at Milford Sound.  The closest accommodation is in Te Anau, 2 hours drive from Milford.  There is also very little in the way of services.  Fuel is available, but expensive, and there is a bar, and a small cafe.  Fresh lobster can be purchased from the Fiordland Lobster Co receiving depot in Fresh Water basin,  behind the Milford Sound Airfield. (extracted from Tripadvisor)

My Experience
Time to set off
We set off from Te Anau around 7am, from here to Milford Sound is about 2 hours drive. That was a cloudy day in the morning, we have checked the weather is not bad, at least is not raining day.

The way from Te Anau to Milford Sound is long, there are few stops on the way, and has few rest room (toilet), but unfortunately, most of the toilets are very dirty and got hygiene problem. We really do not like the way of that. However, we were being forced to use it as we really want to...... :).

The road view  on the way is stunning, as last night was raining, so there were many waterfall from the mountain to another mountain, big and small, long and short, many different looks of the waterfalls there!!!

The picture is the  parking when you reach Milford Sound. The weather was not really good in the morning, but was keep changing and changing, the blue and clear sky appeared after 1-2 hours.

From the car parking to the port and the Cruise Reception needs about 5-8 minutes. There is a cafe just opposite the car park, please don't get the wrong direction to cafe which is not either i-site and cruise reception.

Please also watch your time, as some time there are many visitors, we need to get there earlier for registration. Bear in mind to complete you registration before the cruise depart.

There is a tunnel we were passed through, quite interesting.

The way from car park to the check point is also a enjoyable walk, the stunning landscape may drag your time on photography, so please watch your time tightly. We reached there a bit late, hence we did not have enough time to take picture in the morning as there was a reflection on lake of the mountain. After we came back from cruise, there was no more reflection as there wind cause the fluctuation of water, sad man!! So, if you want to take photo, please arrive there earlier!!

Cruise Company
1. Mitre Peak Cruise - NZ$68 for adult, NZ$16.50 for child. For the review from Tripadvisor, 47 out of 60 voted this place is Excellent, 6 voted Very Good, 5 for Average and 2 for Terrible.

2. Real Journey - For my experience, the service and package is affordable and good. There are few cruises Real Journey provided, 2 main categories - Day Cruise and Night Cruise. Depend on the time frame you have, of course, different type of cruise with different experience and feels. I was joined the Day Cruise, I am unable to comment on the Night Cruise.

3. Jucy CruiseNZ$65 for adult. For the review from Tripadvisor, 13 out of 17 voted this place is Excellent, 3 voted Very Good, 1 for poor.

4. Southern DiscoveryFor the review from Tripadvisor, 24 out of 38 voted this place is Excellent, 9 voted Very Good, 4 for Average and 1 for Terrible.

For Real Journey, this is overall more famous and bigger company in New Zealand, you should compare the price 1st for all these companies as they have sometimes in promotion or price changing before you buy the tickets and fix the date.

Overall, the hardware of the cruise of these 4 companies are almost the same.

On Board
You need to wait at the front of cruise to standby boarding on the cruise before 15 minutes cruise departing.

The whole trip is about 2 hours time on board. The cruise captain will drive you to the Milford Sound with many knowledgeable information for you to know about the history, creatures and so on.

Fortunately, the weather was not bad on the day, as long as no raining, then the cruise can start off. The captain told us the the trip was cancelled a day before as the weather, raining. So, bear in mind to check the weather before you book the tickets and fix the date.

One of the interesting is, there is a straight and big waterfall just in front of us. Captain will drive the cruise to the waterfall and almost close up to her. When the cruise heading to the waterfall, you will feel that like raining, the droplets will get you wet actually. However, there is a wonderful moment is the rainbow will appear just in front of you. The picture I took actually has double rainbows there, I was run away after took some pictuers as the droplet get wet of my camera. Good moment, please wear your raincoat if you do not wish to get yourself wet.

The season I went there is in summer, there was no snow at all. However, the landscape was giving a fresh thought of Milford Sound, what a beautiful world we have now actually!!!

This picture I very like. When I took this picture was on the way returning back to port. The background is the most famous mountain where we can see it from the post card everywhere in New Zealand. This is one of the landmark of New Zealand.

For starting, the cruise is quite interesting. We feel a little bit bore after 1 hour as the landscape almost same. The cruise was slow moving, you may have a rest inside the cruise, there are many comfortable chair and also selling drinks. Have a rest there.

Many visitors joined the same cruise with us, please to book tickets as soon as possible after you confirm the date and weather.

As a conclusion, Milford Sound is the one of the destination MUST visit. You can back to the nature, escaping from the big city, put down your busy job, forget your vex and so on and so on, Milford Sound is the place you can put down your stress and release yourselves, just Relax!!!

Please be careful on driving if you visit there in winter, the slippery of road will cause accident. That's why you must rent the chain for the car as well to make sure the safety is all in order.


Anonymous said...

每個地方都是MUST visit in NZ.. :( 我要大哭了拉...


The Travel Paradise said...

hi 小聖誕,NZ真的是一个MUST VISIT 的地方。。。由于时间有限,你要找出你最想去的地方。。。放弃一些地方是在所难免的。。。经可能就延长你的假期咯 :)

Anonymous said...

so i am 掙扎 which to 放棄?
掙扎了幾天...還在掙扎.... ing ><


honeymoon said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post. It looks like you have had an incredible time on your honeymoon. My fiance and I can't wait to go on our honeymoon, its only a few months away!

The Travel Paradise said...

You are welcome!! Come and visit my blog always~~~ ^.^

Rock Space W said...

awasome .. thank for sharing the interesting in new zealand

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