Milford Sound Day Trip FAQ's
Is lunch included on the Milford Sound trip?
We offer a picnic lunch at an additional cost of NZ$19 per person. This consists of ham sandwich with egg, tomato, lettuce and cheese (vegetarian option does not have ham), piece of fruit, juice drink and cheese/crackers. Alternatively you may bring along your own lunches. Most customers eat their lunches on the boat during the cruise. You can buy lunch, snacks and refreshments during the cruise. The coach also stops in Te Anau (small town on the way to Milford Sound) where you have the opportunity to enjoy a coffee/tea, snacks, buy lunch etc. during the morning break. On the return from Milford Sound we also stop for an afternoon coffee/tea break in Te Anau.
Is there somewhere we can buy lunch in Milford Sound?
We offer a picnic lunch at an additional cost of NZ$19 per person. This consists of a great sandwich, piece of fruit, fruit juice, cheese/crackers and a granola bar. You can buy lunch, snacks and refreshments during the cruise. The coach also stops in Te Anau (small town on the way to Milford Sound) where you have the opportunity to enjoy a coffee/tea, snacks, buy lunch etc. during the morning break. On the return from Milford Sound we also stop for an afternoon coffee/tea break in Te Anau.
Do you have vegetarian lunches?
Yes we have a vegetarian version of the $19 lunch pack. This consists of a salad roll, piece of fruit, fruit juice, cheese/crackers and a granola bar. When you book your lunch pack make sure you let us know your vegetarian preference.
Do you have a guide or commentary?
This will be the highlight of the trip, our drivers are your guides. They are passionate about this area and have and incredible in-depth knowledge about everything you will see and experience on your trip. They are walking encyclopaedias, history books, naturalists and great drivers, they will transform what could be a long bus ride into the most enjoyable day you will ever have.
Can we bring our own food on the Milford Sound trip?
Yes you can. However because you are travelling on a coach with others, we do not allow any food that will leave a strong odour in the bus.
What is the weather going to be like on the day I travel into Milford Sound?
Milford Sound has one of the highest rainfall levels in the world, in fact it is situated in a rainforest, albeit complete with large mountains. The good news is this creates spectacular waterfalls cascading down in every direction. Milford Sound does have picture perfect fine days, when the waterfalls are not so active, local humour has it that these are the days when 'it is about to rain'. Remember to ring in to confirm your trip the day before, so we know you've arrived and you can check that weather and road conditions haven't caused any hiccups.
If the Milford Sound flyback option is cancelled do we get a refund?
Due to inclement weather flights are cancelled occasionally. If you book a coach - cruise - fly and flights are grounded we will refund your "fly back" portion of the trip.
Does the Milford Sound Day trip take the whole day?
A day trip to Milford Sound is approximately a 12 hour journey, the cruise is nearly 2 hours. Milford Sound is not far from Queenstown 'as the crow flies' however the terrain between is very mountainous and rugged without roads. To get there by road we have to take a long and scenic detour to the south before heading west - the coach trip is spectacular and varied.
Are children free on the Milford Sound Select bus?
Small children (infants) under the age of 3 are free of charge however, please note that a seat is not guaranteed if the coach is at full capacity. The fare for a child (up to 15 years) is only $99.00 so if you do not wish to have your small child sitting on your lap the entire journey we recommend you purchase them a ticket.
Do you go to Milford Sound everyday?
We operate a daily trip to Milford Sound every day except for Christmas day and when the road is closed due to inclement weather or road conditions.
How long is the Milford Sound boat cruise, is the boat large?
The modern vessel we use is large and purposely built for the local conditions.The cruise lasts approximately 1hr 45min and goes right out to where the Milford Sound opens out to the Tasman Sea.
I am driving into Milford Sound, can I just book the cruise?
No, the Milford Sound cruise is part of the package. We would strongly advise not driving into Milford Sound, the area receives some of the world's highest rainfall, which when things suddenly get cold can make the road treacherous, our drivers have many, many years experience and are equipped to deal with all situations.
Do you have a discounted Milford Sound trip fare for NZ Gold card holders?
We do not have a discounted fare for NZ Gold card holders however we offer our best price at $194.00 per person if you book through our website. This includes the coach to Milford Sound, cruise then coach to back to Queenstown. Click here for details.
Can we take our baby pram on the Milford Sound bus and the boat?
Yes we have plenty of space to store your pram on the coach and you are welcome to go aboard the boat with a pram.
After seeing Milford Sound we would like to bike back to Queenstown from Te Anau, is this possible?
Yes we do have limited space to take bikes, please call us to confirm. You would still have to pay the full fare for a Queenstown return trip.
I hear we need insect spray in Milford Sound, is this correct?
Milford Sound and the National Park is in rainforest and the sandflies can be annoying particularly if you have sensitive skin. We would advise taking insect repellent when you are outside the bus or boat.
What is your Milford Sound trip cancellation policy?
No refund is available for cancellations after the tour has commenced or in respect of any service or part of service not utilised. If a reservation is cancelled prior to 48 hours prior to departure a 20% cancellation fee will be retained. After 48 hours prior to departure, but before 24 hours prior to departure a 50% cancellation fee will be retained. After 24 hours prior to departure, no refund will be given for a cancellation. If a trip is cancelled due to road conditions, we will put you on the next available trip, if this is not possible, we will refund you. Remember to ring in to confirm your trip the day before, so we know you've arrived and you can check that weather and road conditions haven't caused any hiccups.
What to wear to Milford Sound
Wear Comfortable clothes and shoes so you can kick back and relax. it is a good idea to take a few extra layers as the temperatures outside can vary. We suggest a light showerproof jacket, warm top and hat for the brief outside excursions like the short walk to Mirror Lake and the Chasm and going outside on the boat cruise.
If I forget something can I go to the shop at Milford Sound?
There aren't any shops in Milford Sound and we generally go straight from the bus to the boat. Remember to take a bottle of water, some snacks, some cash as we do stop at the shops in Te Anau. Also take a light jacket, camera (remember some spare batteries) or if you use your phone for a camera, make sure it is charged. Sunglasses and a hat are handy on the boat - and of course your ticket.
What makes your bus different?
Our focus when getting a bus built was comfort. You have lots of leg space, reclining seats and a toilet at rear. Most importantly for the scenic trip, we have a glass roof on the coach. A key point of different between the Milford Sound Select service and others is how we drive the coach. We have made a conscious decision to stop more often than other operators as we believe Milford Sound is a once in a lifetime experience that needs to savoured not rushed.
Would we be better off just flying in and out of Milford Sound and save some time?
The road trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound is incredibly beautiful and diverse. What makes New Zealand road trips unique, and this one in particular, is the fact that the countryside changes all the time. One moment you are in rainforest, the next in rolling green farmland, then you are amongst rugged snow clad peaks, on the Milford Sound road this happens very quickly. This concentrated variety of spectacular terrain is what has made New Zealand the obvious choice for visual spectacles like the Lord of the Rings movies that were shot in the countryside we travel through on the way to Milford Sound.
Why is the bus trip to Milford Sound better than driving my car?
There is no comparison. The bus gives you a much better view with big windows, also a lot of the scenery is high above the road, the glass roof of the bus means you don't miss anything. On top of this our drivers are locals who can tell you the stories about what you are looking at, it gives the incredible new dimension when you know the history, the legends, and something about the flora and fauna. They can show you where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed, where to go for refreshments in Te Anau, and drive you safely back to Queenstown while you relax, maybe even have a nap. If the conditions deteriorate, no problem, they know the area well and can handle any situation.
How much space will we have in the Milford Sound Select bus?
We had our bus built specifically for this trip, we wanted great views, plenty of leg room and comfort, this is a great bus. Because we are not a huge company we limit our numbers, you won't be cramped. We see this works positively for traveller, this more personal space allows you to relax and if you want, get to know the other passengers - some great friendships have been made on our trips.
Can I use my cell phone or tablet?
If you are only thinking of using your cell phone for photos, sure, however for a good part of the Milford Sound road trip you will be out of cell phone range (your are in the wilderness) if you want to send any pictures etc. You will have to wait until we return to Queenstown to send off those messages and pictures. Be reassured that we do have a satellite phone on the coach for emergency calls in those areas without cellphone coverage. You can use your tablet on board the coach however there is no internet reception, please use your headphones if you are watching a movie on it. Make sure you charge up your devices before you get on the bus.
Do you have Wi-Fi on your Milford Sound bus?
Due to the nature of the terrain and the sparse population of the area we traverse between Queenstown and Milford Sound, wi-fi coverage is at best, intermitant and generally poor. We do not offer this service for this reason, poor weather and high mountains mean unreliable wi-fi coverage. Vast, either low, or unpopulated sections of the road mean that there is no cellular coverage. However feel free to use you phone or ipad to take pictures as these can be sent via the web when you are back at your accommodation in Queenstown.