Milford Road - Scenic Route - South Island

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Scenic Route

Milford Road

Scenic Route · South Island
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  • Cloudy fjord Milford Sound
    / Cloudy fjord Milford Sound
    Photo: Bernard Spragg. NZ, CC0, flickr.com
  • / View of the idyllic lake Te Anau
    Photo: Steve Collis, CC BY, Wikimedia Commons
  • / Entering the mountain area on Milford Road
    Photo: Leigh Nlackall, CC BY, flickr.com
  • / At the shore of Lake Te Anau
    Photo: barni1, CC0, pixabay.com
  • / Mitre Peak, Milford Sound's highest point
    Photo: Pseudopanax, CC0, Wikimedia Commons
m 2000 1500 1000 500 120 100 80 60 40 20 km Milford Sound Homer Tunnel Lake Fergus Mirror Lakes Lake Te Anau Te Anau

This stunning route takes you to New Zealand’s most original spots and offers an impressive scenery for nature lovers and appassionate drivers alike. Among the places worth seeing is the fjord Milford Sound, New Zealand’s most important touristic site.

124.1 km
1:25 h
2713 m
2665 m

In the southwest of New Zealand you will find what is possibly the island’s most picturesque scenic route. It’s natural beauty galore on more than 120 km from the small town of Te Anau to the breathtaking fjord Milford Sound. Alongside the highway there are crystal-clear lakes such as the scenic Mirror Lakes or the beautiful lake Fergus. Besides, you’ll even get to see a few of the island’s mountains: At Homer Tunnel, for instance, you can discover Homer Saddle, a spectacular peak towards the end of the route.

Author’s recommendation

Take a boat tour through Lake Te Anau to see the Waitomo Caves on the western side of the lake.

Profile picture of Wolfgang Paulus
Author
Wolfgang Paulus
Updated: December 04, 2017

Experience
Landscape
Highest point
1600 m
Lowest point
207 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Please check road conditions before starting the tour.

Tips, hints and links

Alongside Milford Route there are neither petrol stations nor shops. Hence, you should fill up the tank beforehand and take along supplies.

Start

city center of Te Anau (216 m)
Coordinates:
DD
-45.415198, 167.718313
DMS
45°24'54.7"S 167°43'05.9"E
UTM
58G 712690 4967329
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Destination

Milford Sound, shoreline of the fjord

Turn-by-turn directions

Departing from Te Anau in northeastern direction on Milton Road which is officially signed as SH 94 (“State Highway 94”), we follow Lake Ter Anau northwards for about 25 km. Then we continue on SH 94 in northeastern direction and leave the shore of the river. After about 30 km we pass by Mirror Lakes which are located next to the highway. After further 25 km we reach Lake Gunn and Lake Fergus. 2 km further, we follow the road in northwestern direction and reach Homer Tunnel after 16 km. Passing the 1.300-meter-tunnel, we get to see Cleddau river after 7 km. Following the river in northern direction, after approximately 10 km we reach our destination, the fjord Milford Sound.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public transport friendly

From Frankton, at about 1 km from Queenstown Airport, we take the bus line “Queenstown – Milford Sound“ to Te Anau. The journey is about two and a half hours.

Getting there

From Queenstown Airport to Te Anau on State Highway 6 and State Highway 94. The distance is about 170 km and takes approximately two and a half hours.

Parking

Alongisde Milford Road there are signposted parking areas.

Coordinates

DD
-45.415198, 167.718313
DMS
45°24'54.7"S 167°43'05.9"E
UTM
58G 712690 4967329
w3w 
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Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

For the stopovers along the road you’ll need sturdy shoes with a good profile, warm clothes and rainwear.


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Distance
124.1 km
Duration
1:25h
Ascent
2713 m
Descent
2665 m
Public transport friendly Point-to-point Scenic Geological highlights Botanical highlights Faunistic highlights

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