|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).