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The Southern Alps and Fiordland Sights

Milford Road

  • Scenic Drive/Tour

Updated 02/24/2014

Fodor's Review

If there was nothing to see at the end of this road it would still be worth the journey. It's a spectacular route, on one of the highest highways in New Zealand, traveling through mossy beech forests, past waterfalls and grand sweeping valleys. The road is narrow and winding at times, so allow at least 2½ hours. Stop for some great photo ops at Mirror Lakes, Knobs Flat, and Lake Gunn before reaching the Divide, a watershed between rivers flowing both east and west and

the starting point for the Routeburn Track. When you reach the Homer Tunnel think of the unemployed workers who began building it as a relief project in 1935 using picks and shovels. If you're making the trip between May and November, check the transit website www.nzta.govt.nz or phone 0800–444–449 for avalanche warnings (snow and trees) and come equipped with tire chains, which you can rent in any Te Anau service station. There have been a number of accidents on this stretch of road caused by overseas drivers unfamiliar with the conditions driving too fast or on the wrong side of the road. Take care and drive to the conditions.

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