The 5-day Itinerary Queenstown, Te Anau, & Milford Sound.

Waiting for our flight to Queenstown.

Finishing a series of blogs about one trip can be a lot more difficult and time-consuming if you are also a full-time employee like ourselves. So before we totally forget all the details, we have decided to skip to the best part of all travel blogs: the itinerary with costs (of course!).

Day 1

Air New Zealand Covered Parking for 5 days: NZ$ 62.00
* A free shuttle is provided by Air New Zealand Parking to and from the airport.
– Departure from Auckland to Queenstown via Air New Zealand:
Airfare for 2 pax, rountrip, with travel insurance – NZ$ 476.00
– Arrival in Queenstown.
Connectabus to the town centre: NZ$ 8.00/pax
– Breakfast at the mall food court, we had McDonald’s & Teriyaki Chicken Don
– We tried to explore some of the shops while waiting for our bus to Te Anau.
– Coffee & hot chocolate at Movenpick.
Tracknet Bus to Te Anau: NZ$ 48.00/pax
Fiordland Hotel and Motel Overnight stay: NZ$ 70.00/night
Contact Person: Marichelle
Address: 91 Luxmore Drive, Te Anau
Phone: +64 3 249 7511
* A free shuttle is also provided for guests wanting to go to the lakefront and back to the hotel.
– Dinner at The Ranch

Day 2

– Breakfast at the Sandfly Cafe
– Te Anau Trout Observatory (bring $2 coins to be able to enter): NZ$ 2.00/pax
– Snack at the Sandfly Cafe
Real Journeys Coach + Milford Mariner Overnight Cruise @ Milford Sound: NZ$ 331.00/ pax
* Price is inclusive of accommodations (Double Bed Room), buffet dinner and breakfast, water activities, flowing hot drinks.
– Drinks at the ship’s bar

Day 3

– Souvenir photos by Magic Memories: NZ$50.00
Milford Sound Lodge Accommodations (Double Room): NZ$ 89.00/ night
– Coffee break at The Blue Duck Cafe
Southern Discoveries Encounter Cruise + Underwater Observatory: NZ$ 180 (approx). We purchased this deal from a fundraising auction on TradeMe.
– Dinner at The Blue Duck Bar

Day 4

– Muffins and Coffee at Milford Sound Lodge
– Real Journeys Coach to Queenstown: NZ$ 164 for 2 pax
– Lunch at Miles Better Pies
* A must-try when you head to Te Anau during Spring and Summer.
– Arrival at Goldridge Resort (Courtyard Double Room): NZ$ 81.99/night
* This was booked thru NakedBus.
– Connectabus from the resort to the town centre: NZ$ 4.50/ pax
– Cake and tea at Patagonia Cafe
– Darkride Queenstown: NZ$ 25.00/ person *with discount voucher which you can get from The Station.
Address: 1/7 Earl Street Queenstown.
– Dinner at the Fish & Chips shack (We don’t recall what it’s called)
– Cold beer at the lakefront
– Free shuttle back to the resort
– Spa & Sauna at the resort

Day 5

– Doughnuts at Fergbakery just beside Fergburger.
– Shotover Jet + Scenic Heli Flight (with Remarkables landing): NZ$ 570.00/ 2 pax
* Take note that when booking this tour, the Remarkables landing is not possible at all times because of the weather. So be prepared to just enjoy the flight around Queenstown.
– Shotover Jet souvenir photos with DVD: NZ$ 59.00
– Fudge from The Remarkable Sweet Shop
– Connectabus to the hotel and to the airport: NZ$ 20/ 2 pax
– Flight back to Auckland.

As you have noticed, we didn’t include the exact amount that we spent on food. We weren’t quite sure about the prices because some of the restaurants didn’t issue receipts (yes, we keep all the receipts from our travels). But because we decided to bring cash to pay for all our food purchases, we ended up with a total of NZ$ 336.00.

This wasn’t much of a “budget-friendly” trip even if we tried our best to settle for the least expensive accommodations. Nonetheless, it was a breathtaking experience that we won’t hesitate to try again.

Safe Travels,

The Travelling Pair

Milford Sound Part 2

A rainbow in the fiord. (Taken while we were on board the Southern Discoveries Cruise)

Upon disembarking the Milford Mariner at approximately 9:00 am, we had to wait for the Milford Sound Lodge shuttle to pick us up from the wharf. Although it would have taken us only 20 minutes to walk to the lodge, we opted for the shuttle because of our luggage.

Milford Sound Lodge offers a wide variety of accommodation options. If you are on a tight budget and do not mind to bathe and do your business in a communal restroom, then you are looking at spending about $ 33-85 (NZ) per night. However, if money isn’t an issue, then you can have your own private oasis for $245 and up per night.

Photo Courtesy: Milford Sound Lodge website – Double Room

In our case, we opted to book the double room (similar to the room shown above) for our second night in Milford Sound. It is a very cozy space with a functional heater and all the linens were provided. The room only has one socket, we’re not quite sure if this is the case for most or all of the rooms, that’s why we had to take turns in charging our phones and cameras. In terms of dining, you can cook your own meal in the communal kitchen or you can head to the Blue Duck Cafe & Bar. As for the communal restroom, it was generally clean. The shower cubicles were of good size and the hot water supply was abundant. Our only issue was probably the exhaust system, need I say more.

After checking-in, we decided to walk to the Blue Duck Cafe & Bar before heading to the wharf for our encounter cruise with Southern Discoveries. The cafe & bar are probably the only places to dine, unless you are on board a cruise that offers buffet breakfast and dinner options like that of the Milford Mariner.

The cafe offers a variety of hot drinks, pies, and brunch meals. During our initial visit we tried the pies, hot chocolate, and flat white. Taste-wise, it wasn’t different from what you can buy from typical cafes in Auckland.

12:30-ish, we were on board the Southern Discoveries boat. One important stop that we had to make during the tour was at the Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory. If you share our love of the aquatic life, then you will truly enjoy visiting this floating observatory. We got to see the Black Coral, a variety of fish species, star fish, sea cucumber, anemones, and more!

The Black Coral.

Back at the wharf, we decided to have dinner at the Blue Duck’s bar which is within the same vicinity as the cafe. This time, we ordered a platter of meat, a platter of nachos, and a pitcher of beer. We enjoyed the scrumptious meal while gazing at the fiord; it was the perfect way to end the day.

Upcoming posts: Out and About in Queenstown, The Hidden Gems of Te Anau, The 5-day Itinerary (with costs).