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5 Nights Late April Te Anau Milford or Doubtful Overnight?

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
190 posts
299 reviews
271 helpful votes
5 Nights Late April Te Anau Milford or Doubtful Overnight?


First Thanks for your advice and responses in advance.

Married couple have 5 nights arriving in Queenstown Late April '24 (no jetlag). I want to make the best of our time to explore this beautiful area. I am looking for advice for the most efficient way to spend these nights.

We are open to it all... renting a car, stay in TeAnau, Fly to Milford from Queenstown for day boat tour, doing overnight Milford or Doubtful boat tour, Milford Deep Underwater Observatory Te Anau Glow Worm Caves, Driving Te Anau to Milford road (understand this scenic highways is amazing),

From my very limited reading it is unclear what is possible in the 5 nights prioritizing the sites in the sake of time and distance or simply if our time is belter spent in one site over another. Also if weather in late April(fall) is accommodating in that area.

Also, understand that Mt Cook is opposite direction (2-3 hour drive) from Queenstown: Is this a "MUST DO" while in NZ? Would it be worthwhile to spend a night at Mt Cook and fly to the Milford Sound area from Queenstown or would time would be better spent in Milford Sound area?

Again, looking for advice in planning our 5 nights in this area of NZ. If there are tours that pull this all together, I also would be interested.

Thanks Much!

2 replies to this topic
New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island, Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand, Tonga
Level Contributor
24,262 posts
742 reviews
511 helpful votes
1. Re: 5 Nights Late April Te Anau Milford or Doubtful Overnight?

do you only have 5 nights in nz total? or just for te anau? what is the rest of your itinerary?

id recommend an overnight on doubtful sound, daytrip to milford sound. depending on which overnight you do though as some leave early in day, others midday. and the time they return varies but usually midday so you would have time to then go to milford sound and do overnight as an effective use of time.

after the milford sound overnight do the te anau glowworms and then continue to wanaka . so thats three nights. id recommend an overnight at mt cook national park and then a night in queenstown.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Fiji, New Zealand, Tasmania
Level Contributor
27,849 posts
440 reviews
245 helpful votes
2. Re: 5 Nights Late April Te Anau Milford or Doubtful Overnight?

with only 5 nights you could be restricted to what you can fit in with your "must do's".

Here is a suggestion

Day 1 Arrive Queenstown and explore a little.

Day 2 pick up a car and drive to Te Anau. Afternoon glow worm caves (2N)

Day 3 drive to Milford Sound and cruise which includes the Deep Underwater Observatory

Day 4 Drive to Manapouri for Doubtful Sound Overnight cruise

Day 5 Return to manapouri pick up car and drive to QTN

Day 6 fly out.

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