Frequently Asked Questions – Fiordland Walking Tracks

Here is a list of Tracknet’s Frequently Asked Questions

Milford Track

How do I book the huts, boats and buses?

You need to book your hut tickets and boat tickets first, through the Department of Conservation (DOC) before you book your bus transport. This is to ensure you book the correct buses that connect to the boats. You can check Tracknet bus availability, departure times and book online or you can complete our booking form with your requirements. Please allow up to 1 working day for your booking form to be processed. Alternatively, please contact us to make your booking or for further details.

How much is the transport and huts?

The times and prices for our buses can be found in our timetables and prices section. For your huts and boats, prices and timetable can be found on the Department of Conservations (DOC) website

Which buses connect to which boats at the start of the Track?

Our 6:55am bus from Queenstown connects with our 9:45am bus from Te Anau to Te Anau Downs to connect with the 10:30am boat from Te Anau Downs to Glade Wharf.  (The 6:55am bus from Queenstown to Te Anau Downs includes the 9:45am bus from Te Anau to Te Anau Downs). The boat arrives at Glade Wharf, the start of the Milford Track at approximately 12.00noon, as the boat journey is approximately 1 hour & 30 minutes.

Our 6:55am bus from Queenstown also connects with our 12:15pm bus from Te Anau to Te Anau Downs which connects with the 1:00pm boat from Te Anau Downs to Glade Wharf. (Please note that if you are taking our 6:55am bus from Queenstown to Te Anau you will have a 2 hour and 30 minute stopover in Te Anau before continuing on to Te Anau Downs at 12:15pm). The boat arrives at Glade Wharf, the start of the Milford Track at approximately 2:30pm, as the boat journey is approximately 1 hour & 30 minutes.

Our 10:45am bus from Queenstown connects with our 1:30pm bus from Te Anau to Te Anau Downs to connect with the 2.00pm boat from Te Anau Downs to Glade Wharf.  (The 10:45am bus from Queenstown to Te Anau Downs includes the 1:30pm bus from Te Anau to Te Anau Downs). The boat arrives at Glade Wharf, the start of the Milford Track at approximately 4:00pm, as the boat journey is approximately 1 hour & 30 minutes.

Which buses connect to which boats at the end of the Track?

Our 2:30pm bus from Milford Sound is a connection from the 2:00pm boat from Sandfly Point to Milford Sound, as the boat journey is approximately 20 minutes. This service goes to Queenstown via Te Anau and can drop off at various stops along the way, such as The Divide Shelter, Te Anau Downs and Te Anau.

The 5:00pm bus from Milford Sound is a connection from the 3:00pm & 4:00pm boats from Sandfly Point to Milford Sound, (with a stop-over in Milford Sound), as the boat journey is approximately 20 minutes. This service goes to Te Anau only and can drop off at various stops along the way, such as The Divide Shelter and Te Anau Downs.

If you wish to overnight in Milford Sound, Tracknet also have a bus departing from Milford Sound at 9:25am the following day which can take you on to the Divide, Te Anau Downs, Te Anau or Queenstown.

I am going from Queenstown to Te Anau Downs. Will I have time to collect my hut and boat tickets from Te Anau Department of Conservation Visitor Centre?

There are two direct services from Queenstown to Te Anau Downs, departing at 6:55am (to meet 10:30am boat) and 10:45am (to meet 2:00pm boat). These services have a 15 minute stop-over at Te Anau Department of Conservation (DOC) Visitor Centre for passengers to collect hut and boat tickets. You will need to let DOC know that you are coming from Queenstown, so that they can have your tickets printed and ready for your collection on your arrival in Te Anau. The bus always stops here for passengers to collect tickets.

I want to walk the Track out-of-season, what are the transport options?

Tracknet offer an out-of-season Milford Track Transport Package for Winter walkers. All out-of-season Track Transport Packages are weather, track, road and lake dependent.

Routeburn Track

How do I book huts and buses?

You need to book your hut tickets first through the Department of Conservation (DOC) before you book your bus transport. This is to ensure you book the correct buses for the direction you are walking the track, this is because the Routeburn can be walked in two directions. You can check Tracknet bus availability, departure times and book online or you can complete our booking form with your requirements. Please allow up to 1 working day for your booking form to be processed. Alternatively, please contact us to make your booking or for further details.

Why does it take so long to travel from the Routeburn Shelter to Te Anau?

There are two separate buses that you need to get. Routeburn Shelter to Queenstown and Queenstown to Te Anau. If you get picked up at 10.00am from the Routeburn Shelter, you will have a 2 hour stop-over in Queenstown. If you get picked up at 2.00pm from the Routeburn Shelter, you will have a 25 minute stop-over in Queenstown.

Why does it take so long to travel from Te Anau to the Routeburn Shelter?

There are two separate buses that you need to get. Te Anau to Queenstown and Queenstown to the Routeburn Shelter. If you get picked up at 7:15am from the Te Anau, you will have a 2 hours and 30 minute stop-over in Queenstown, before connecting with the 12:15pm Queenstown to Routeburn Shelter service. During this stopover time you are welcome to store your pack at Info & Track (where you’ll meet your second bus).

Kepler Track

How do I book huts and buses?

You need to book your hut tickets first through the Department of Conservation (DOC) before you book your bus transport. This is to ensure you book the correct buses for the direction you are walking the track. You can check Tracknet bus availability, departure times and book online or you can complete our booking form with your requirements. Please allow up to 1 working day for your booking form to be processed. Alternatively, please contact us to make your booking or for further details.

Can I go from Queenstown to the start of the Track?

Yes you can, but this would be on two buses – Queenstown to Te Anau, then Te Anau to the Control Gates / Rainbow Reach. There may be a stop-over in Te Anau depending on which bus you get from Queenstown. Please contact us for further details.

Can I go from the end of the Track to Queenstown?

Yes you can, but this would be on two buses – Rainbow Reach / Control Gates to Te Anau, then Te Anau to Queenstown. There is a stop-over in Te Anau, depending on which bus your get from the Track. Please contact us directly for further details.

Hollyford Track

How do I book huts and buses?

You need to book your hut tickets first through the Department of Conservation (DOC) before you book your bus transport. This is to ensure you book the correct buses for the direction you are walking. You can check Tracknet bus availability, departure times and book online or you can complete our booking form with your requirements. Please allow up to 1 working day for your booking form to be processed. Alternatively, please contact us to make your booking or for further details.

Can I go from Queenstown to the Hollyford Road End?

Yes you can, but this would be two buses – Queenstown to Te Anau and Te Anau to Hollyford Road End. There is a 1 hour and 30 minute stop-over in Te Anau. If you are going from the Hollyford Road End to Queenstown, there is a 2 hour stop-over in Te Anau.

Can I go from Hollyford Road End to Queenstown?

Yes you can, but this would be two buses – Hollyford Road End to Te Anau and Te Anau to Queenstown. There is a 2 hour stop-over in Te Anau.

Do you have transport from Martin’s Bay?

We only provide bus transport to and from the Hollyford Road End. Access by aircraft and helicopter to Martins Bay is possible, and during the summer season prearranged jet boat transport is available across Lake McKerrow.

Other

Where is the Tracknet Office?

Tracknet is based in Te Anau only. The Tracknet Office is next door to the Reception of Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday, 77 Manapouri Road, Te Anau (opposite the Department of Conservation – DOC Visitor Centre). All our buses are based at the Holiday Park. We do not have an office based in Queenstown.

What are your Office hours?

In our Summer Season we are open from 7:00am to 7:00pm daily. In our Winter Season we are open from 8:15am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday.

Do you have facilities to store my luggage?

Tracknet is based at Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park (opposite DOC). The Holiday Park have locker storage where you will be supplied your own locker at a cost of $15.00 per locker for the duration with a $5.00 bond refund upon key return. This can be organised upon your arrival in Te Anau.

In Queenstown, Info & Track may be able to store your luggage for a small charge. Most accommodation providers will allow you to store luggage with them provided you are staying with them on your return. You need to contact them directly to arrange this.

Where can I store/park my vehicle in Te Anau while I am away walking a Track?

Tracknet is based at Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park (opposite DOC). You are able to store your vehicle on site at the Holiday Park. This is one cost of $10.00 per vehicle for the duration of the storage. This can be arranged upon your arrival in Te Anau.

There is also a secure car park called Safer Parking in Te Anau where can store your vehicle. The cost is $9.00 per night. Tracknet is an Agent for Safer Parking. You need to collect a key from the Tracknet Office to get into the car park. This car park cannot be pre-paid and can be arranged upon your arrival in Te Anau.

Where can I store/park my vehicle in Queenstown while I am away walking a Track?

Tracknet do not have an office or parking facilities in Queenstown. Your accommodation provider may allow you to store your car while you are on the Track. This would have to be organised before you leave. Town centre car parks cost from $12 per week for Pay & Display spaces. Queenstown Airport also provides long and short term parking for a fee.

I have a short stop-over in Te Anau having come off a Track. Is there anywhere I can get a shower?

Tracknet is based at Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park (opposite DOC). Casual showers are available at the Holiday Park for the small charge of $10.00 per person. You are given a voucher with the date, your name, time in and time out on it. You are allowed 30 minutes in the facilities and are to return the voucher to the Holiday Park Reception by the ‘time out’ stated.

I have a stop-over in Te Anau between buses, what is there to do?

All our buses stop at our Tracknet Office, which is based at Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park. The Holiday Park have the following facilities available:

We are a short 10 minute walk from the town centre, where there are a variety of shops, cafes, bars and amenities. There are many other options, such as the cinema regularly showing Ata Whenua (Fiordland on Film), the Glowworm Caves, bicycle hire and much more. We would highly recommend staying in Te Anau to absorb what it has to offer before continuing on your travels.

Do you have an unaccompanied luggage / food parcel transfer service?

We provide an unaccompanied luggage transfer service. In Te Anau, you need to bring your luggage into our Tracknet Office, where you can book this service. You can book this service on the day or the day before your departure. We will book your luggage onto the unaccompanied luggage transfer service and you luggage will arrive at Info & Track, 37 Shotover Street, Queenstown for items going to Queenstown or Milford Sound Lodge for items going to Milford Sound. Luggage will be ready for your collection on your arrival. We are not able to do accommodation drop offs in Queenstown. The cost is $15.00 per item.

If you are in Queenstown, please take your luggage into Info & Track, 37 Shotover Street, Queenstown, where you can book this service. You can book this service on the day or the day before departure. They will book your luggage onto the unaccompanied luggage transfer service and you luggage will arrive our Tracknet Office at Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park for items going to Te Anau or Milford Sound Lodge for items going to Milford Sound. Luggage will be ready for your collection on your arrival. We are not able to do accommodation drop offs in Te Anau. The cost is $15.00 per item from Queenstown to Te Anau and $30.00 per item from Queenstown to Milford Sound.

Do I need to collect bus tickets if I book online or over the phone?

Once you have made an online booking or phone booking you will receive an email confirmation which details your pick up and drop off points, departure times and booking reference numbers. Please print this off and present it to the driver upon boarding the bus.

What if I finish the Track earlier than I expected. Can I get on an earlier service?

If there is space available on an earlier departure by the same service provider, yes. You must let the driver know that you were booked onto another scheduled service and provide your Booking Reference Number. Please note that all our services operate on demand, so if nobody is booked on the earlier service, then that service will not run.

I have a bike, can I travel on your bus with this?

We are able to carry a maximum of 2 bikes per service on a limited number of our services. Please contact us directly to see how we can help you with your requirements. Bikes are carried on bike racks that are attached to the bus’s trailer. The cost is $20.00 per bike, per sector. Bikes are carried at the OWNERS risk. We do not provide unaccompanied bike transfers.

How long is my travel time?

For travel times, please see our Travel Times page to ensure you book the correct service for yourself.

What kind of bus will I be travelling on?

Since 1988 Tracknet has had a policy that we will only utilise a vehicle which has enough seats to do the job. Therefore we do not always require 41 seat coaches burning unnecessary fuel. So it all depends on how many passengers are booked onto the service as to which size bus we will use. We have buses from 11 seats to 41 seats.

When do I need to book?

We recommend booking at least two weeks in advance. Priority is always given to confirmed bookings that have been prepaid. If the vehicle is full, any booking unpaid at the time of travel will be deemed unconfirmed. When making a booking, full payment is required to confirm bookings. If making a group booking, one credit card payment is required.

How do I make a booking?

You can check availability, departure times and book online and receive an instant email confirmation, or you can complete our booking form with your requirements. Please allow up to 1 working day for your booking form to be processed. Alternatively, please contact us to make your booking or for further details. When making a booking, full payment is required to confirm bookings. If making a group booking, one credit card payment is required.

Can I travel if I haven’t booked?

If there are seats available, then you can travel. Full payment is due to the driver upon boarding. We do not have Eftpos machines on our buses, therefore the drivers can accept cash only.

What is age is a Child Rate/Infant Rate?

A child rate is for children 14 years old and younger. An infant rate for a child 4 years old and younger. Infants can travel free of charge. 15 years old and over is and adult rate. Children aged 0-6 must be accompanied by a full fare paying adult. Further details can be found on our Policy page.

Can my child travel on the bus by themselves?

Yes, however Tracknet do not provide a chauffer service for unaccompanied children under the age of 14 years. It is the responsibility of the parents / caregiver to ensure their child’s wellbeing and that they are being met or collected at both ends of the journey. Children aged 0-6 must be accompanied by a full fare paying adult. Further details can be found on our Policy page.

What is your Cancellation Policy?

Our Cancellation Policy can be found on our Policy page.

Can I get picked up at my accommodation?

To ensure we keep to our departure times we have limited pick up points. The pick up points available show up when booking online, or please enquire when making your booking by phone. Many of our services connect to other services, so it is important that we keep to our departure times, therefore pick up points are limited to ensure timely arrivals.

Can I get dropped off at my accommodation?

As with our pick up points (mentioned above) we usually drop off at the same locations. However, it is at the driver’s discretion if they can drop you off at your accommodation. Please enquire with the driver on the day.

Do you operate all services on Public Holidays?

Our Summer Timetable is daily, as per our Timetable. We operate services as normal on Public Holidays with the exception of Christmas Day – 25th of December and New Year’s Day – 1st of January, as below:

Christmas Day: Tracknet WILL only be operating the following services on Christmas Day:

9:45am Te Anau to Te Anau Downs, Divide & Milford Sound

12:15pm Te Anau to Te Anau Downs only

2:30pm Milford Sound to Divide, Te Anau and Queenstown

4:25pm Queenstown to Te Anau

5:00pm Te Anau to Queenstown

Kepler: 9:30am Te Anau to Control Gates/Rainbow Reach

10:00am Rainbow Reach to Te Anau

3:00pm Rainbow Reach to Te Anau

New Year’s DayTracknet will be operating all services as per usual EXCEPT:

No 8:30am Kepler Shuttle

No Invercargill Services

No Hollyford Service

No Manapouri Service

No Charters/Backroad Bus/South Fiord Cruises