Our JUCY Milford Sound Experience
Our JUCY experience first started in Auckland where we spent 5 nights at the JUCY Snooze Auckland.
From there, we rented a Chaser Campervan for 82 days from JUCY, which we named Lorna. And, to make our JUCY experience complete, our highlight was the JUCY cruise at Milford Sound.
We also had booked a transfer in the JUCY Premium Coach. The bus took us to Sandfly Point, the starting point of the Milford Sound cruises.
Tip: If you’re planning a trip to the Milford Sound, we would recommend that you book the transfer. It’s great to be able to lean back and leave the driving to someone else. This way you can fully enjoy the landscape. We also heard that there are not many parking places available, and that parking fees apply. We really enjoyed the transfer and didn’t have to worry about the windy roads or parking.
We were picked up at the pick-up point in Queenstown by JUCY’s Premium Coach. The bus has a glass-top roof, and we got really lucky that day because it didn’t rain. This meant that we could fully enjoy the sunshine and the views out of the windows.
Our bus driver Brendan kept us entertained by telling Maori legends and giving information about the small villages we passed.
The tour was scheduled to last a total of 12 hours. Included were stops on the way to the Milford Sound, lunch (we got a voucher for snacks over 15 $ pP) and of course the highlight itself: the cruise.
After a wonderful and entertaining ride along the 80 km long Lake Wakatipu, we arrived in Te Anau for our lunch break.
We just had to order another pie! It has become our “national snack” while here, one that we have become very accustomed to and which tastes excellent.
Tip: the best pies on the South Island we had were at the Cromwell Bakery. And they were also very delicious in the Arrowtown Bakery. But our overall favourite pie we had was in Granity!
Tip: We found that it was best to sit on the right side of the bus in the direction of travel on the way to Milford Sound. Lake Wakatipu is on the right side. And later you will also have incredible views of the snow-capped mountains from this side of the bus.
We stopped in front of breath-taking scenery and filled our water bottles with fresh glacier water and were quite happy. Ice cold and pure! We never have tasted such delicious water!
We had a few stops along the way, and Brendan kept us in a good mood during the entire drive ?
Our funny bus driver mentioned that you have the possibility to fly back to Queenstown with a Cessna or a helicopter. James and I looked at each other, but immediately rejected the idea because of the high price.
Milford Sound Cruise
After arriving at Sandfly Point, we were ready to board “The Gem”, our long-awaited Milford Sound Cruise ship.
The ship looked awesome! Everything inside was decorated in white, purple and green – all JUCY.
I made myself comfortable at a table and prepared to eat my sandwich when I saw James’ big eyes. Curious, I asked why he was looking at me like that! The cruise will last only about an hour and a half, he said. That I must not have heard! I quickly packed it all up and was outside in a second.
Once outside, I started taking pictures, and a wave swept over and I got completely wet before we even got to a waterfall.
Such bad luck! I went back inside to dry off my camera. Luckily, I had an extra jacket with me. Unfortunately, while drying off my camera, we missed seeing the dolphins who swam around the front of the ship.
The fun of the waterfall
Soon the captain headed for the first large waterfall. James was already positioned with his GoPro and looked forward to the falling water like a small child. It was too wet for me, because I knew that it would be five hours by bus until I would be back in dry clothes again. While I was shooting from the inside, my dear husband somehow managed to take beautiful shots without getting completely soaked.
Nature at Milford Sound
We liked the tour so much. To be honest, it’s overwhelming, phenomenal, breath-taking, and dreamlike. These are just some of the words that kept going through our heads, but they don’t truly describe what we witnessed or felt.
We saw sea lions, penguins, waterfalls and unbelievably unique landscapes.
But how can we describe something so incomprehensible?!
The Milford Sound is incredible in good weather. But it is also incredible when it rains because as you can see waterfalls everywhere. We had glorious sunshine during the drive there. But during the cruise itself, unfortunately clouds rose, although they did not affect our mood. We are still looking at the pictures today and are happy to have experienced the Milford Sound.
After a thousand pictures and aching jaw (from many smiles) later, the Gem returned to the harbour.
The return journey
Drunk from happiness, we wanted to keep that feeling a little bit longer. So, we decided to spend the money and fly back with the plane. After all, you only live once.
The flight was the final highlight for us! It was the absolute icing on the cake of an unforgettable day!
This way we also saved the five hours bus ride back and had a fantastic forty-minute flight back to Queenstown.
We will remember this day forever.