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Which Milford Sound Tour?

Arizona
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Which Milford Sound Tour?

We will be in Queenstown the first week of Jan and wanted some suggestions on the best Milford Sound day tours from Queenstown. We are looking at bus tours and will not be interested in the flight tours, as they are pretty expensive. Are there any glasstop buses options available? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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Queenstown
Queenstown
Otago Region, New Zealand
Milford Sound
Milford Sound
4,735 Reviews
Te Anau, New Zealand
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South Island, New...
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1. Re: Which Milford Sound Tour?

Both Real Journeys or Southern Discoveries have glass roof coaches and excellent tours, either would be my choice.

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Real Journeys
Real Journeys
903 Reviews
Queenstown, New Zealand
Arizona
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2. Re: Which Milford Sound Tour?

Thanks Philange, I will look at both your suggestions. I was also looking at smaller buses like the BBQ bus, do these smaller buses stop along the way and give greater flexibility in terms of photo ops along the way to Milford Sound? Also when we book for the bus with glass roof, can we assume that the buses will be glass roof or will there be chances otherwise?

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Milford Sound
Milford Sound
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Te Anau, New Zealand
Queenstown, New...
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3. Re: Which Milford Sound Tour?

There's always a chance, there could be a problem with the coach and they may need to hire in another bus in order to run the tour or perhaps use an older bus. I reckon that there will be a disclaimer in the T&Cs with the glass roof.

The smaller bus will have a little more flexibility but keep in mind that it's such a long day from Queenstown to Milford that the operators don't have much, if any, scope to be flexible with the itinerary.

I've been on the glass roof coach once and I really wouldn't get all hung up on it, I didn't feel that it made much of a difference. A factor like your driver/guide will have a much bigger impact on your experience.

Edited: July 15, 2018, 3:38 pm
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Queenstown
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Otago Region, New Zealand
South Island, New...
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4. Re: Which Milford Sound Tour?

The BBQ bus is a great tour too, but it's not a glass roof bus as you asked about in OP, which is why I didn't mention that (or any other company).

The tours from Queenstown return is a 12 hour day, while they all stop on the way for the popular sights, they probably stop if you want to take a photo somewhere else, as it may not be safe enough to pull a bus over and they have a schedule to keep too as well. You could ask though, you never know your luck.

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Queenstown
Queenstown
Otago Region, New Zealand
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5. Re: Which Milford Sound Tour?

Hi OP,

I was in same situation as you and ended up booking real journeys (I travel in Sep), while both operators have largely positive reviews what swung the vote in favor of real journeys was their customer service, both me and my partner are quite finicky and we ended up sending them multiple queries both pre and post booking, the responses were always on point, polite and in a timely fashion.

I'm hoping the actual experience is as good as the customer service, having said that you can not go wrong with either of them.

PS : Glasstop options are available but not guaranteed by either operators, IMO it does not make a big difference

PPS : Jan might also be a good time to drive down, DE's can advise further if it is recommended or not as per weather conditions

Regards

California
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6. Re: Which Milford Sound Tour?

Please don't self-drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound and back! It's entirely too far for someone who doesn't know the roads (about 9 hours of driving). If you want to self-drive, spend two nights at Te Anau and drive from there. Keep yourself and other road users safe!

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Queenstown
Queenstown
Otago Region, New Zealand
Milford Sound
Milford Sound
4,735 Reviews
Te Anau, New Zealand
Te Anau
Te Anau
Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Arizona
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7. Re: Which Milford Sound Tour?

Philange, what other companies do you recommend if not having a glasstop bus is ok? Dhiraj M, please update with your experiences after you travel in September. deSchenke, We do not plan to drive since we won't have a car and also just want to relax and enjoy the scenery instead of driving.

Also was wondering if not having any bathrooms in the bus going to be an issue since it is a long drive?

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8. Re: Which Milford Sound Tour?

You stop in Te Anau which is around halfway (2-2.5hrs) for a rest break.

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Te Anau
Te Anau
Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Arizona
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9. Re: Which Milford Sound Tour?

Thanks QTN25, will decide and book the tour this weekend!

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