Project introduction

These webpages provide information about Milford Road and the unique environment that Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is working within to maintain this solitary road link to Milford Sound Piopiotahi.


Te Anau - Milford




Next Update 07:30AM 19 July 2024

Live webcam

View of the Gertrude Valley, Fiordland National Park, from Milford Road. This image is refreshed every minute.

  • Project type

    Road management

Visitor information - driving to Milford Sound Piopiotahi

The Milford Road provides the only road access to one of New Zealand's favourite tourist attractions – Milford Sound Piopiotahi. No other highway in New Zealand climbs as fast to the same altitude as this one which at its highest point is 940 metres above sea level.

For the latest road and weather details, here are handy tips for a safe trip and frequently asked questions about this road.

Frequently asked questions

Visitor map

Basic travelling information

  • Times and distances

    The return trip from Te Anau to Milford Sound is 240km (144 miles) with a non-stop direct one-way drive taking at least two hours, potentially longer depending on the weather conditions.

  • Before setting out

    Before leaving Te Anau ensure your vehicle has full tank of fuel as the only the fuel stop is at Gunns Camp in the Hollyford Valley that involves taking a detour off the Milford Road. Limited petrol and diesel is available also in Milford Sound from pumps that only certain credit cards with pin number access only.

    For information on road safety for visiting drivers, the information kiosk and road signage on Milford Road, check out the important travelling tips page.

    Follow our winter driving tips will help you prepare for and drive to the conditions when driving on icy, wet or snowbound roads.

    Check traffic and travel updates on our Journey Planner website(external link) before you leave, or phone 0800 44 44 49.

  • Toilets

    Flush toilet stops are located at Knobs Flat, The Divide and Milford Sound.

  • Telephones
    • Telephone services are available at Knobs Flat (card phone),
    • Homer Tunnel (satellite phone for emergency use only) and Milford Sound (card phone). 
    • Along this route there are eight cell phone sites with broadband and mobile coverage.
  • Waste disposal sites

    Campervan drivers shouldn’t discharge waste from their vehicles in the national park. Please use the facilities at your camping ground prior to leaving for Milford Sound. Camper van waste dump sites are also located at Knobs Flat and Milford Sound.


History of Milford Road

Those who built the Milford Road and the Homer Tunnel in the 1930s were, for the most part, victims of the Great Depression and directed to this work by the government of the day. For these men of the road, and their wives who followed them into this wilderness, life was incredibly harsh, but the road and tunnel had to go through.

The weather could be merciless, the terrain ferocious, steep and rugged and beset by floods and deadly avalanches. Some workers died; bridge structures, road works and tunnel portals demolished, by the irrepressible forces of nature that marauded this area. In 1952 the road was finally completed. However, it remained closed during winter until the late 1970s, when tourist and fishing interests successfully lobbied for the year-round operation of the road.

After a massive avalanche killed a road maintenance supervisor in 1983, a programme was developed to monitor, assess and control the avalanche risk on the Milford Road. This avalanche control programme enables the road to stay open as much as possible with optimum margins of safety for all road users.

Avalanche hazard

The avalanche hazard is the prediction of the probability of avalanches happening and is expressed as a level of danger. You must consider this before driving into the avalanche area. Find out more on about the management and hazards on this page:

Avalanche control programme

SH94 Milford Road Alliance

Milford Road Alliance logo

The Milford Road Alliance is a partnership between Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Downer NZ to ensure the safe and efficient management of activities on State Highway 94 between Te Anau and Milford Sound. These include: avalanche control, incident response, managing the Homer Tunnel and general maintenance for the route.

The Alliance team is based in Te Anau. This ensures local ownership and decision making around the day-to-day operation of the highway, timely responses to issues and opportunities, and that the needs of customers using this key tourist route are met.

Contact us

For the latest road condition information:

For Milford Road queries or concerns:

Milford Road Alliance
Telephone (03) 249 7004

For other road related issues:

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Dunedin regional office
Telephone (03) 951 3009