The road to Milford Sound (referred to as the Milford Road) is said to be one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand. And considering EVERY drive in New Zealand is pretty scenic, that’s saying a lot.
The Milford Road is the 119 km (74 mile) stretch of State Highway 94 between Te Anau and Milford Sound. It’s the only way to get there, unless you’re hiking or helicoptering in, which is definitely an option. It’s located within Fiordland National Park, so most of the surrounding areas have been left relatively untouched.
As you’re driving the Milford Road, you’ll see mountains, lakes, forests, open valleys, and waterfalls. If you’re taking the road to Milford Sound, it would truly be a shame not to stop along the way to see all of the stunning sights.
While every turn has something beautiful to see, there are a handful of popular stops on the Milford Road. These will be the busier places, since a lot of tours add these in to their itinerary, however they are worth the stop nonetheless.
Here are 6 places to stop on the road to Milford Sound, map included
Top Things to See on the Road to Milford Sound
1. Eglinton Valley / Eglinton Flats
At the Eglinton Flats stop, you can enjoy standing in the tussocks while being surrounded by mountains.
2. Hollyford Valley Lookout
This is a great spot to get a view of the Hollyford Valley. There is a platform looking over the valley, and you can see the Eglinton River winding through.
3. Monkey Creek
Monkey Creek is a natural spring fed by glacial ice. The water is pure, and good to drink. A lot of people fill up their water bottles here just to taste the fresh glacial water. It also happens to be a really beautiful spot to walk, relax, and stretch your legs.
4. Homer Tunnel
As you drive along the road to Milford Sound, you’ll come to the Homer Tunnel. At 1270 m long, this is one of the longest road tunnels in the country.
The road is narrow and the tunnel is dark, so traffic lights operate during busy periods for safety reasons. Each side stops for about 15 minutes while cars from the opposite side some through. This gives you a bit of time to check out the absolutely beautiful mountains around you.
The Homer Tunnel also marks the highest point of the Milford Road, at 940 m. Just after passing through towards Milford Sound, you’ll begin to descend into the valley.
5. Mirror Lake
Everyone loves a mirror lake. The water is so smooth and glassy, perfectly reflecting the Earl Mountains.
6. The Chasm
Give yourself 15-20 minutes to stop off at the Chasm. A boardwalk path winds through the bright green forest, where everything looks lush and jungle-y. The Chasm is a spot where the water from the Cleddau River crashes down into a big hole in the rock. This “chasm” was created as the water slowly eroded solid rock. The boardwalk passes directly over it so you can look down into it.
Tips for Driving the Milford Road
- It takes about 2 hours to drive the 119 km from Te Anau to Milford Sound (and another 2 hours to drive back). Leave plenty of time to make extra stops.
- There are no petrol stations past Te Anau, so fill up your tank to ensure you can make the return trip.
- The Milford Road is one of the most dangerous roads in New Zealand. Drive slowly, cautiously, and be alert.
- Consider taking a coach or joining a tour instead of driving yourself. This gives you more freedom to check out the scenery without worrying about driving.
Milford Road Map
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