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12

Te Anau Milford Highway

Leaving Te Anau and heading north, visitors follow 120

kilometres of sealed road to majestic Milford Sound. The road

is a stunning alpine drive, and visitors should make time to

stop and appreciate the sheer scale of the landscape and the

numerous short walks and scenic views that can be enjoyed

along the way.

Important Milford Road Information

Despite its remote location many people travel along the

Milford Road each year, particularly in the summer months

(October to April). Drivers should be aware that they will share

the road with cars, coaches, campervans and minibuses. Plan

your trip! The journey from Te Anau to Milford Sound takes a

minimum of 2

1

/

2

hours driving, without allowing for stops at

scenic points and walkways. Ensure you allow plenty of time to

meet your cruise departure without rushing including time for

parking and walking to the terminal building to check-in.

Delays can occur at the Homer Tunnel and other areas along the

highway. Ask at information centres or your accommodation

about planning the journey to avoid congestion.

Fuel is not available between Te Anau and Milford, and at 240

kilometres (or 144 miles) return you need to ensure you have

sufficient fuel before leaving Te Anau. If you are at all concerned

about driving the Milford Road take an organised tour from Te

Anau and view the scenery without the need to drive. These

offer excellent commentary about local sites and history, with

short stops along the way. Refer to Coach & Cruise listings

in activity section. There is no cellphone coverage along the

Milford Road.

The Homer Tunnel

Completed in 1953, the Homer Tunnel (1.2km) allows road

access to Milford Sound. At an altitude of 945 metres above

sea level the tunnel is an extraordinary achievement and has

remained largely unmodified since its early creation. There is

limited internal lighting within the tunnel. Traffic lights control

traffic flows over peak periods in the summer months. Outside

of peak times drivers should be aware that the tunnel has two

narrow sections with a passing bay at either end for larger

vehicles.

Winter Road Conditions

Fiordland’s steep mountain ranges create a challenging and

demanding terrain. The large snow catchments and steep

sided valleys sometimes create avalanche conditions. The

Milford Road is constantly monitored during avalanche season

and the road is closed if avalanches are likely. Between May and

November all vehicles on the Milford Road must carry car snow

chains at all times. This is a legal requirement to ensure safety

on the road. Chains can be hired in Te Anau at any of the local

service stations and Bev’s Tramping Gear hire. For current road

conditions. FP: 0800 444 449 or visit

www.milfordroad.co.nz

The road to Milford isn’t just a journey - it’s a

destination in itself! Oneof themost spectacular

highways in the world.