He was restricted to a watching brief in Australia as Wales, under Rob Howley, crashed to a 3-0 series whitewash.
But Gatland reckons the experience could be a blessing in disguise.
"Me falling off the deck while cleaning windows was a freak thing and I've had a lot of stick about it," said the Wales head coach
"It's been weird but there have been plusses and minuses to it. I've been a frustrated, grumpy coach not being fully involved.
"But it's being good for Rob Howley and the other coaches, in terms of their personal and professional development.
"For the team and Welsh rugby in general that's going to be good for the future."
Wales take on Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Samoa in the autumn and Gatland reckons the Grand Slam champions are on the verge of securing an illusive southern hemisphere scalp.
"We have come a long way in the last 18 months with the build up to the World Cup, the World Cup itself and a Six Nations Grand Slam," added the former hooker.
"The Grand Slam was important for us. There were always detractors, who were saying the World Cup was a one off, that we didn't do that well and would have to continue it in the Six Nations, which we did."
"We know we're very close, we're knocking on the door. We have a young side and we're only going to get better. The next few years and 2015 are something to really look forward to."