Road safety information for visiting drivers

The DriveSafe website(external link) gives visitors the information needed to enjoy a safe driving holiday in New Zealand. It provides  basic and easy to understand advice about New Zealand road rules and etiquette, along with links to more details about everything that drivers unfamiliar with our roads need to know.

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(external link) before you leave, or phone 0800 44 44 49.

Milford Road information kiosk

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has an information kiosk about 8km north of Te Anau on the road to Milford Sound Piopiotahi that opens when required during winter.

At the kiosk drivers receive information about safe winter driving and road conditions ahead. It is recommended that all drivers carry chains during winter. Police may fine them $750 if they decide to drive past warning signs requiring chains further along the Milford Road.

Anyone who isn’t comfortable or doesn’t have experience driving in winter conditions should seriously consider taking a coach from Te Anau to Milford Sound Piopiotahi.

Knowing road signage

When driving on Milford Road it’s important you know all the road signs. Here are the key ones you should familiarise yourself with.

Make sure you keep left when driving on Milford Road and be extra vigilant when driving pulling back on to the road from rest or scenic sights stops along the route.

Check road condition information signs to see if the road is open and the conditions. Signs are located in Te Anau (1km north of township), Knobs Flat (65km north of Te Anau) and Milford Sound Piopiotahi (5km east of Milford Sound Piopiotahi).

When a low avalanche hazard is posted, the road is open. If a moderate avalanche hazard is posted there is a risk of avalanches reaching the road and the road could be closed at any time. When a high avalanche hazard is posted the road is closed.


This sign is posted at the beginning and end of the avalanche area. When driving through this area ensure you only stop only in one of the two sign posted safe stopping areas (The Chasm and Monkey Creek).

These signs are near the most active avalanche paths and by stopping in these areas you are potentially putting yourself and others in your vehicle at risk.