I would say around 80% of our guests have travelled down to the depths of Te Anau, Southland to visit the magnificent Milford Sound. They don’t call it the 8th wonder of the world for nothing!
Unfortunately, (especially over the colder winter months – currently going into spring) the road can be closed due to extreme bad weather. Today I’m writing to you after snow fell to 200m and swallowed up the road heading into Milford Sound. Is it not springtime?! I’m looking out the window at all of the freshly budding daffodils, brand-new lambs litter the paddocks and in the distance the mountains are dusted with fresh snow. This is spring in Fiordland folks, don’t let the season fool you! Regrettably, this puts our lovely guests plans on hold and for some, Milford Sound will have to wait for another holiday.
It seems like a good time to let everyone in on a little secret… Fiordland and Te Anau are more than just a gateway to Milford Sound. We have plenty to offer so let’s go through a few options for when Milford Sound isn’t an option.
Firstly, if you’ve got time and are able to transfer to the following day, contact your tour provider as soon as possible after you know the road is closed. Imagine everyone is in the same boat, (pun intended) they’re having to cram 2 days’ worth of guests into one, it pays to get in quick and reserve your seat before they fill up.
For some, adding a day on to your holiday isn’t an option so why not try Doubtful Sound instead? Real Journeys run cruises in both Milford and Doubtful Sound and are aware of Milford Roads status. They will often add an extra, shorter cruise that covers the inner fiord so they are able to cater for the increase in people visiting Doubtful.
Doubtful Sound should absolutely not be thought of as second to Milford. It has towering peaks and stunning secluded inlets with an eerie feeling of completely untouched wilderness. The abundance of wildlife will keep you on your toes as you look out for seals, dolphins or the very rare Crested Penguin. It’s hard to be disappointed over missing out on one fiord when we have another that offers so much!
Te Anau Glow Worm Caves<.strong> I can not get enough of this tour! Mum comes to visit - We go to the glow worms, long lost relatives come to visit – time to go to the glow worms, it’s Sunday afternoon and I’m looking for something to do with the family – let’s visit the glow worm caves. It’s a crowd pleaser and I enjoy every trip. No need to get in the car and drive for hours. It leaves from the lake side only 5 minutes’ walk from Getaway Te Anau. Check out our Glow Worm Caves Blog here.
Occasionally after a night of snowfall that blocks Milford Road, Te Anau will be treated to a magnificent blue bird day that show cases the area perfectly. Surrounding mountains have crisp white peaks that contrast amazingly with the blue sky. Hire a bike from Getaway Te Anau reception and follow your nose around the lake to the control gates where you can look back on the Te Anau township and all it’s glory. If biking isn’t your thing, it’s a stunning walk that hugs the lakeside and if you’re feeling fit, carry on past the control gates on to the start of the Kepler Track. Those of you biking will have to ditch the wheels if you are wanting to join the Kepler. Head back to Getaway Te Anau for a soak in the hot tubs and take in some more of our pristine wilderness.
I could go on forever adding tours and activities to have you thinking Milford who? We all know it can be heart breaking when you are set on doing a tour, but mother nature thinks otherwise. Head to the cinema to catch “Ata whenua” for your dose of Fiordland by air and relax with a coffee or beer. Don’t let it spoil your holiday, we are lucky to have magnificent vistas at every turn so please make the most of what we have to offer even if Milford is no longer part of your itinerary.
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