Riverstone Holdings Litd originally argued that the Fiordland Link Experience would be quicker than the existing road from Queenstown to Milford Sound and presented this as a major reason for the scheme in a promotional video. However, Riverstone Holdings has now backtracked from this position, and has admitted in public meetings that its multi-modal journey is unlikely to be quicker.
Riverstone Holdings argues now that the “visitor experience” of their multi-modal trip will be worth the scheme going ahead. We disagree.
Rushing through a beech forest on a train will not give an enhanced visitor experience. Visitors will not get any sense of the beauty of the bush as it whizzes by at 90 km/hr, and certainly will not have the "close-up environmental experience" Riverstone would have us believe.
Getting on and off different transport modes will be exhausting for the disabled, elderly or those with children.
Conversely, at present, visitors can board a scenic coach with large windows from either Queenstown or Te Anau and be taken directly on the existing road to Milford Sound through beautiful countryside with incredible mountain vistas. This provides a wonderful and relaxing experience, only interrupted by en-route historical villages providing well-established and high quality food and toilet facilities.