|It's very cold in the early morning|
I have originally intended to spend a couple night near Milford Sound; however, the accommodations for Milford Sound are rather limited. After doing further research around Fiordland, I decided to visit Te Anau and take a cruise through Doubtful Sound instead. There are many choices for accommodation in Te Anau. I was able to get a single room at YHA Te Anau for a very good price. While I could share a room with others to save even more money, my dormitory days were long ago. I much prefer to get my own room unless I am only transiting.
Te Anau is very small. There is one street called "Town Center," and that IS the town center. Many stores and restaurants are closed for winter. There are 2 major grocery stores, Four Square and Fresh Choice, Both stores are just a few blocks away from YHA. It was nice to be able to prepare my meals in the spacious YHA kitchen and save money for bigger cities that I will be visiting.
I booked an 8-hour Wilderness Cruise with Real Journeys. It involved getting on a bus, getting on a small ferry, getting on a bigger bus, and then getting on a bigger cruise. On the way back, we got back on the bus again. It was a long journey, so people started to connect with each other to exchange travel stories. The views were incredible, and it was a plus to have good companies.
The weather was nice once we sailed out in the open. We were told that it had been 30 days since the sun was out and the sky was blue. We all felt really lucky! We departed for the cruise at 8:45 a.m. By the time we return back to Te Anau, it was about 6 pm and completely dark. I went sleep early.