WHY CHOOSE THE 'EARLY BIRD' TOUR?
On our Early Bird schedule, things run a little bit differently so that passengers can get more out of their day!
With complimentary hotel pick ups in Queenstown beginning from 5:30am and departure from Te Anau at 8:15am, this tour drives directly to Milford Sound to catch the 11am scenic cruise, and additional sightseeing is done on the return journey from Milford Sound.
Passengers can expect to be back in Queenstown by 5:30pm with plenty of time to relax before dinner or a night out.
Enjoy our great Kiwi hospitality while you sit back and relax in our small, comfortable, air-conditioned premium Mercedes vans with panoramic windows. Take in the experience as we travel from Queenstown into the farm country of Southland and around the mountains into the breath-taking Fiordland National Park. The beauty of our Milford Sound Tours is that around every corner there is something new to discover and with our small groups, there is plenty of time to enjoy each stop.
MILFORD SOUND CRUISE
Our Milford Sound Tours then link up with a spectacular Milford Sound Cruise, where the wonders of the area will unfold. Being a spacious purpose built boat, the comfortable interior has large windows for great viewing of the magnificent surroundings. Keep a look out for native wildlife such as dolphins, seals, and penguins!
The duration is approximately 2 hours. There is complimentary tea and coffee on the boat or experience the fresh mountain water available.
- Pick up and drop offs from most hotel accommodation in Queenstown and 'Kiwi Country' on Miro Street in Te Anau.
- Travel in a comfortable small bus, fully air conditioned and equipped with a multi media technology.
- Full commentary by friendly and experienced driver/guide.
- Milford Sound Boat Cruise (duration 2 hours).
- Complimentary tea & coffee on the boat.
- A great selection of sightseeing stops in the Fiordland National Park.
- Optional short bush or alpine walks at some stops.
- Early return time of 5:30pm to Queenstown and 2:45pm to Te Anau!
The Fiordland National Park is located in the southwest corner of New Zealand's South Island.
It is the largest of New Zealand’s 14 national parks and the seventh largest in the world with an area of 12,500km2 (4826.3sq miles) The Fiordland National Park forms a large part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. During the cooler ice age periods of the past, glaciers have carved out many deep fiords, and glacial valleys.
The northern most fiord, Milford Sound is the most famous and dramatic of the 14 fiords located in the Fiordland National Park. Some of New Zealand’s largest and deepest lakes also lie partly within or in some cases completely within the Fiordland National Park's boundaries, these include Lake Te Anau, Lake Manapouri, Lake Monowai and Lake Hauroko.
Our Milford Sound Bus Tours are certainly an amazing way to discover and explore this amazing destination.
- The Sutherland Falls on the Milford Track to the southwest of Milford Sound is one of the world’s highest at 581m (1906 feet).
- Mitre Peak is one of the most photographed mountain peaks in New Zealand, it is also one of the highest mountains in the world to rise directly from the sea, rising to 1,692m (5551feet).
- The 54 km (33 miles) Milford Track with it’s spectacular waterfalls, steep canyons and lush green rain forest is often referred to as the finest walk in the world and has been thrilling hikers for over a hundred years.
- The Homer Tunnel is 1.27km (0.75 miles) long. It took almost 20 years to build with work starting in 1935. The entrance of the tunnel’s eastern portal is the highest point on the Milford Road at an elevation of 945m (3100 feet) above sea level.
- Milford Sound NZ is in fact not a Sound but a Fiord, having been carved out by glacial activity. Its deepest point is approximately 265m (869 feet) and the length of the Fiord is 16km (9.2miles). It is surrounded by spectacular vertical cliff faces.
- Lake Te Anau is the largest lake in the South Island and with an area surface size of 344km2 (133sq miles) and a maximum depth of 417m (1368 feet) it is the largest volume of fresh water in New Zealand.
- Lake Hauroko is New Zealand’s deepest lake reaching a depth of 463m (1519 feet) at its deepest point.
- Lake Manapouri is home to the Manapouri underground hydroelectric power station, it is New Zealand’s largest power station. Lake Manapouri is a natural lake and the drop between the lake and the sea is used by the power station.
Fiordland and Milford Sound weather can be very interesting and can see very dramatic changes on a day to day basis or in some cases by the hour, you can also see changes in the weather as you enter different areas of the Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. Fiordland and Milford Sound weather can be different around every corner.
The weather in Milford sound starts to warm up around November, and summer like conditions can last late into March. Milford Sound weather is at its warmest between the months November to March with temperatures around 18 to 25 degrees Celsius (64 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). The Autumn months of April and May bring a burst of cool mornings crisp still weather with temperatures ranging from 10 to 16 degrees Celsius (50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) In the Winter snow capped mountain peaks make for spectacular views around Milford Sound but be prepared for frosty mornings and quite cold conditions with temperatures ranging from below 0 in the mornings to single digits in the afternoon.
While you can often enjoy the Milford Sound areas scenic beauty with cloudless skies, when traveling to Milford Sound you should also expect to see some rain with the area having an average annual rain fall of 6.8m (22 feet) making it one of the wettest places on earth. A visit to Milford Sound on a rainy day can be even more spectacular with massive temporary waterfalls cascading down the spectacular vertical cliff faces.
DEPARTURES & DURATION
The Earlybird Tour will not be operating over the 2022/2023 summer season.
For more information about our standard 7:30am tour, click here.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
- Infant age 0-1 years old (inclusive)
- Child age 2-12 years old (inclusive)
- Adults 13 years and above
- Return flights can be arranged but are not recommended on our Early Bird Tour because all of our additional sightseeing is done on the return coach journey.
- Altitude Tours reserve the right to alter prices, times, itineraries or arrange alternative transportation and services.
Bookings cancelled up to 48 hours prior to departure are entitled to a full refund.
Bookings cancelled within 48 hours of departure will not be refunded.