We picked a local tour company to take us to Milford Sound from Te Anau. So happy with our choice. Because Te Anau is relatively close to Milford Sound, there’s time to check out many amazing sights along the way. The Milford Road is a tour all of it’s own.
Fiordland Tours picked us up around 8am from our Airbnb house near the center of Te Anau. Great ~14 seater with good views from inside, plenty of stops, an excellent driver, and really interesting and entertaining commentary. We saw way more on this trip than would have been possible if we’d driven ourselves. The weather was so-so. In fact, we were wearing coats, scarves, and hats. But we needn’t have worried. If you go to Milford on a rainy day like this, it’s misty, (and mystical!) And there were plenty of waterfalls. If it’s not raining, and instead it’s clear and sunny, there may not be waterfalls. Which just goes to show, we all need to visit more than once.
Fiordland Tours take you to Milford via Mirror Lakes, the Chasm where you can see granite shaped by fast flowing water, Gunns Camp, and a walk along Lake Marian Track. Here’s some of the pics we took along the way.
We also learned about an amazing hike to Key Summit on route to Milford. This became the plan for our next day in Te Anau.
On the way to the Sound, you’ll drive through a long tunnel. It was around here that we saw the Kea. Kea are alpine parrots. Kind of fearless, and they want your lunch.
If you see the Kea, look out in the parking lots for the mobile coffee service. There are very few coffee opportunities around Milford. If you see a black van with a coffee sign on the side, this may be your chance! We didn’t have coffee because the one time we tried, Susie had just closed down for the day (5pm). The van had a proper espresso coffee maker. I wish we’d been a bit faster.
While I’m writing this, I’m looking for great sources of information about places we went to. This blog stood out: https://www.off-the-path.com/en/new-zealand-south-island-road-trip/ Take a look especially if you’re trying to figure out a South Island Itinerary.
Thanks for reading!