If you are a crow the distance from Queenstown to Milford Sound is probably about 60 kms. As we are humans in a camper van and nobody has built a tunnel through the mountain its a 250 km circumnavigation.
Still never mind because it was a lovely drive. Now there isn't actually anything at Milford Sound except a ferry terminal. Several companies run boats out into the Sound. Until a few years ago there was just a small camp site nearby for tents and chalets. This meant the nearest place where the large numbers of people who do the boat trips could stay was at Te Anau which is 120 kms away along a mountain road.
Fortunately someone allowed the camp site to extend and put in a few camper sites. Fortunately we knew space was limited and booked ahead. Good job as there was a sign saying all sites full on arrival.
The site is small and surrounded by large grey mountains. We booked our trip for 9am the following morning. This meant we were leaving as the barbarian hordes came across the mountain in coaches from Te Anau.
'Lonely Planet' rates Milford Sound the No 1 must do in NZ. Jill and I both enjoyed the trip. The waterway is flanked by high mountains with waterfalls. We also saw penguins, seals and dolphins. Having said that we didn't think it was as stunning as the view when you arrive at Picton on the ferry.
We left Milford and it was our intention to stay overnight in Te Anau. When we arrived there it was still quite early so we grabbed some lunch and decided to head on to Invercargill. This has basically given us an extra day so we are looking for somewhere we didn't think we would have time to visit.
Instead of taking the route 6 between Te Anau and Invercargill we drove the Scenic southern route. It was very pretty and clear of traffic so again we made good time. It allowed for afternoon tea on our private beach watching the surf roll in.
We are now on a site just outside Invercargill. I'm cooking curry tonight...yummy. Tomorrow we are off to Dunedin through the Catlins. Apparently a stunning drive.
Ps there is one other thing at Milford Sound.....Sand flies....millions of the little biting w***s