There are no words powerful enough to describe what it's like to wake up in one of earth’s most beautiful places, Milford Sound, so here's some photos of why an overnight stay on Milford Mariner is an experience you can't live without.
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Argh my eyes! All the pretty!
Once they prised me off the boat we boarded the bus back to Te Anau for the two hour return journey broken up by a rainforest walk to the gorgeous Chasm.
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As if the overnight cruise isn't incredible enough, another highlight of the overnight stay is that the bus travels in the middle of the day so you miss all the crowds on day trips. The bus arrived back in Te Anau early but instead of dropping us at our hotels the driver used the extra time to take us to Te Anau Bird Sanctuary for another look around. The Real Journey's overnight Milford Sound tour was amazing from start to end and I genuinely believe it was the most incredible tour I've ever been on. Next time I'll have to choose the option of taking a helicopter back to Queenstown just to improve on the experience.
Collecting our hire car, we then headed to adventure capital Queenstown surrounded by lakes and mountains that stole my heart. We chose to spend the afternoon in low gear with a wander around Queenstown Gardens (which is an adventure in itself trying to avoid being smacked in the head with a Frisbee - they have a Frisbee golf course which is actually a thing), and later stumbled across some Night Noodle Markets at the waterfront where we had our fill of yum. Queenstown, you rule!
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[caption id="attachment_3761" align="alignright" width="300"] Alexis Motel[/caption]
We stayed at: Alexis Motel & Apartments
We stopped at: Milford Sound via Real Journeys, The Chasm, Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, Queenstown Gardens
We wore (in spring): Except for the morning where a puffer jacket with hood was a necessity this was our warmest day so long sleeve tee, jeans and scarf.
Distance: Milford Sound to Te Anau is approximately 2 hours without stopping and Te Anau to Queenstown is just over 2 hours, although quicker by helicopter!