MILFORD TRACK TRANSPORT BOOKING GUIDE

The Department of Conservation (DOC) have traditionally had some Milford Track Transport operators on their hut booking system. This year they have adjusted things and removed the Milford Track transport from the hut booking system.  Don’t let this worry you – we have simplified the Milford Track transport booking process and give you all the track transport details below making it easy to tick off your planning list.

PLANNING YOUR MILFORD TRACK TRANSPORT

Making Memories together on the Milford Track
Hikers on a bridge watching waterfall on the Milford Track

For over 150yrs the Milford Track has been wowing visitors.  Pegged as the finest walk in the world around 100yrs ago, it is so popular that space sells out in minutes each year when the Department of Conservation (DOC) release hut space. 

Once you have your space secured, the planning starts!

Alongside the training, packing and excitement of securing your space, is the less appealing task of logistics – and we suggest you get this out the way early too.  

Milford Track Transport has in the past been a wee bit complex, with water access at both ends of the track and a 90km+ drive (on one of the most scenic roads in the world) in between the starting point (near Te Anau Downs) and finishing point (near Milford Sound). 

Don’t worry – we are here to help… it is what we do best! Below, we weigh up the Milford Track transport options plus pro’s and con’s for each option. Things you won’t even think about if you haven’t been there before, right? We also cover best value for money, and best time saving options so the Milford Track slides nicely into your holiday or quick weekend trip itinerary.

BEFORE YOU BOOK YOUR MILFORD TRACK TRANSPORT

First thing to do is secure your Milford Track hut space, so you know your start and finish dates and have a DOC booking number.  Then you can book Milford Track transport for the correct dates and we can double check your booking to ensure everything is correct. (No harm in checking, right?!)

Next you need to know your Milford Track transport options. See below!

KNOW YOUR MILFORD TRACK TRANSPORT OPTIONS

FLYING OPTIONS

Generally the water and road legs of Milford Track transport are essential, however you do have the option to save time and enjoy Fiordland from the air in some instances.  This is a fast and amazing transport solution if it fits into your budget.

Float plane – Te Anau to Glade Wharf (start of the Milford Track)

An awesome experience and lovely way to see Lake Te Anau and Fiordland. Ideal for small groups as there is capacity to take up to 4 people with overnight packs.

Cost: From $828.00 – Plane charter

Helicopter/plane – Milford Sound to Queenstown

This is an attractive option rather than taking the 4-5 hour journey back top Queenstown by road, however it is important to realise, changeable Fiordland weather often removes the flying option, so if you are relying on a flight to catch a plane in Queenstown – ensure you have a back up plan or be prepared for plans to change.

Cost: From $420 Adult, $260 Child

WATER TAXI OPTIONS

Water taxi transport is required at both the start and at the end of the Milford Track. There are multiple water taxi operators and various water taxi departure times to choose from. 

Water Taxi Track Transport Easyhike
Water Taxi Track Transport arriving at Glade Wharf

Milford Track Water Taxi Leg 1 – Te Anau Downs to Glade Wharf (Approx. 1 hr by boat)

Te Anau Downs is a very small place with a wharf, car park and an accommodation complex about 20kms north of Te Anau.  Milford Track Transport/Water Taxis leave from here 10.30am, 1pm and 2pm

TIP: We recommend the 2pm fast boat for great, personalized service. The walking time day 1 is only an hour and a half so you can make great use of your time by choosing this option.   

Cost: $94 Adult, $24 Child (under 15)

Milford Track Water Taxi Leg 2 – Sandfly Point to Milford Sound (Approx. 10-15 minutes)

There is a covered waiting area at Sandfly Point and water taxis leave at 2,3 and 4pm each day.
Generally, you can turn up at any time after 2pm and after all the people booked on this boat are put on the boat, if there is room – you can hop on.  Often the boat operators will simply run backwards and forwards between Milford Sound and Sandfly Point until everyone is off the track.

Cost: $48.50 Adult, $25.70 Child (under 15)

ROAD TRANSPORT OPTIONS

It’s no secret that public transport in New Zealand just isn’t as good as many other places in the world – especially if you venture out of the city.

Travelling by road, you have three choices when considering Milford Track Transport – Bus, private charter or self drive/car transport (with car relocation from Te Anau Downs to Milford Sound).

Bus Transport – Ex Queenstown or Te Anau

A reliable Milford Track Transport service, with departures to suit. Sit back and relax without anyone having to drive – however, keep in mind you will be on a bus for a number of hours, and with others in the same ‘boat’ (having just walked for 3 or 4 days with no shower).

Departures – 6.55am and 10.35am – Queenstown to Te Anau Downs (2.5-3 hours). Cost: $72 Adult, $53 Child

Departure – 2.30pm – Milford Sound to Queenstown (4.5-5 hours). Cost: $95 Adult, $70 Child

Private Charter

Choose times and details to suit your group, from Queenstown, Te Anau or Milford Sound.

Queenstown Airport – Te Anau Cost: from $395

Milford Sound to Queenstown Cost: from $700

Self Drive – with Car Relocation

Milford road
One of the many stops along the Milford Highway

Some people rather not sit on a bus for 3-5 hours at a time, and New Zealand is a great place to stop along the way for photos, short walks or even a picnic. The roads are some of the most scenic in the world, and with your car waiting for you at the end of the walk – you can change into fresh clothes and enjoy well placed treats after that long walk. 

Especially ideal if you want to stay in at Milford Sound Lodge or camp along the Milford Road. This is a great value convenient option – which is also the best value for money if you are in a group.

How does car relocation work? Your car (private car/rental car/motorhome) is relocated from Te Anau Downs to Milford Sound while you walk the Milford Track. You can drive away from Milford as soon as possible, or stay a little longer – your choice.

Car Relocation Cost: $299 per car.

Weighing up a rental car vs the bus? Other costs to consider: Rental Cars from $25 per day, and fuel which varies.

HOW DO I BOOK MILFORD TRACK TRANSPORT?

First decide how much time you have to spend getting to and from the track, and then how you want to travel – by bus or private transport.

Next, book a Milford Track Transport package online.  Our prices are competitive (no added booking fee), just tell us if you want specific departure times. We can also book your rental car making your Milford Track transport booking super easy!

And that’s it – we will confirm your times/dates/details and let you know

WHO ARE THE OPERATORS WHO PROVIDE MILFORD TRACK TRANSPORT?

The operators below know Te Anau well and Easyhike works with them all.  Tell us your preference and we can book for you.

Float Plane – Wings & Water

Water Taxi – Fiordland Outdoors Company and Real Journeys

Bus Transport – Tracknet and Trips & Tramps

Private Charter – Te Anau Transfers

Car Relocation – Easyhike

LOOKING FOR MILFORD TRACK TRANSPORT OUT OF SEASON?

Generally the operators will start their services two weeks either side of the Great Walks Season (27th October to 30th April).  Services during the “off” season are weather dependent and people need to travel with back country hut tickets, gas cooking facilities and a Personal locator beacon.  Many operators will not take you to the track without sighting these things.

If you are walking mid winter, Cruise Te Anau  offer a winter Milford Track Transport package for $190. This includes transport from Te Anau to Glade Wharf, Sandfly Point to Milford then bus back to Te Anau.

Easyhike can book your off-season Milford Track transport – find out more here.

READY TO BOOK MILFORD TRACK TRANSPORT?

Debbie and Toni from Easyhike

Use Easyhike!  We can arrange it all and also help with itinerary suggestions along with things to save you time to maximise your Fiordland experience.

Call us – 0800 327944 or +64 021 445341 Email us – info@easyhike.co.nz or Book online

Hopefully we have covered all your Milford Track Transport questions above, and you are ready to get booking! Let us know if you are still unsure about Milford Track Transport, we are happy to help!

Bobbie Mulgrew
Creating the perfect work/life balance by helping people experience our beautiful country. We enjoy helping others and continually being wowed by what our backyard can offer.

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