Let me take you back to late 2015/early 2016… We had a brilliant idea to start up a new Milford Sound Coach and Cruise tour. Not because there was a lack of tours available but because we knew we could offer something exceptional, memorable. To begin such an endeavor took a lot of hard work with an emphasis on doing and having the best. From coach to cruise and everything in between we wanted our customers to walk away having experienced a once in a lifetime tour.
As you can imagine, having a driver/tour guide that has a passion for the area, driving experience, and a personality that fits VIP Milford values was crucial. Que, Justin Remnant. A keen (then) 30-year-old with a wicked sense of humor and 3 years already under his belt driving the Milford Road. VIP Milford’s first driver/tour guide was hired and by April 2016 VIP Milford excursions were ready to commence. I sat down with Justin one cloudy October day on his return from Milford and fired a few questions at him so you can get to know one of our excellent drivers a little bit better.
I started in 2013 with Real Journeys driving from Te Anau and sometimes Queenstown into Milford and been with VIP since day one 1 April 2016.'
I am lucky that I get to go to Milford Sound each day and see it in all its different moods and colors. I also enjoy with our timetable having the time to engage with the people we take in, there has been some very interesting people we have taken to Milford.
811 and counting
In the Winter and Spring months I really enjoy stopping at the Gertrude Valley where sometimes we can watch a number of small snow avalanches coming down off the mountains. Any of the alpine stops around the tunnel are magic on a rainy day with all the waterfalls coming down.
I haven’t had my lunch stolen but they are very cheeky and playful birds. I’ve seen them taking aerials off cars and trying to pull rubber seals out from around windows and doors on vehicles.
I like the winters. Yes, it’s cold but with the snow on the mountains, nice calm clear days, and with less people visiting you get a big boat almost to yourself.
45 min to an hour depending on how many sandflies have been squashed on the windows.
I guess you learn a lot from going with other drivers when you are learning to drive the Milford Road. Growing up in the area helps and then there are some good books written by people that were working on building the road. Learning the commentary is interesting as you can’t really have que cards in front of you to read as you are too busy concentrating on the road, after a few times the information sticks in your head.
Wouldn’t say dangerous, but you definitely have to stay alert when driving in and out of Milford in the changing road conditions and also to the interesting driving that we see from other road users. It is all about driving defensively to give our guests a safe and enjoyable Milford experience.
It’s really a couple hours of down time, go for a walk, have a coffee and a bit of bus talk with other drivers and a chance to do some little cleaning jobs in the van
A magic place regardless of the weather that is a must see for everyone.
No, I think if you get sick of it then it is time to go find somewhere else to work. Each day is different from the weather to the people and conversations you have. Each day is really so different that you can’t get sick of it.
To be able to predict weather, what time the dolphins will be there and road closures.
My family moved to Te Anau in 1999
My wife is still in training so I might have to scrape something together out of the fridge, we can get a picnic lunch when in Milford or sometimes I will treat myself to a buffet off the scenic cruise with a couple of ice creams.
All the team are great to work with, I don’t have favorites, but I am sure that I am their favorite.
It’s true, the whole VIP Milford crew from the team behind the phones to the drivers, are an awesome bunch! We have a passion for what we do, and we love to set people up on this magical trip into a slice of Fiordlands paradise.Back to Blog Page