Milford Road Latest Updates
Milford Road Access
Is the Milford road open? This is a question we are asked a lot, and for good reason. The road to Milford Sound winds its way through a landscape of towering cliffs, steep valleys and the impressive Homer Tunnel. While the road is well-maintained and monitored, it is sometimes prone to closures from snow, slips, avalanches or heavy rain.
In February 2020, the Fiordland region and in particular, the Milford Road experienced a significant weather event. For a time road access was restricted but it is now open to all drivers to access Milford Sound. If you are driving to Milford Sound, you will come across some roadworks which may require you to stop and wait to pass, but nothing too significant. We would recommend you leave slightly earlier to accommodate any wait times.
The Milford Road access, at any time throughout the year, is subject to weather events and road conditions. While the road is more likely to be affected by weather events during winter, it is advisable to check the road conditions at any time of year. NZTA (New Zealand Transport Authority) runs a monitoring programme on the road to predict any risk of avalanches or rock slides to keep everybody safe. If you find the road is closed, it is because this is the safest option.
To check if the Milford Road is open today find Milford Road updates here.
Another tip for driving the Milford road is to allow plenty of time for the journey. The road to Milford Sound is more than a drive, it is an experience in itself. The landscape changes dramatically as you leave Te Anau and enter the spectacular forest and alpine environment of Fiordland. Leave extra time for stops, short walks and photos along the way.
There are easy short walks like a visit to the Mirror Lakes which is right by the roadside, or there are longer walks. One of the most popular longer walks along the Milford road is the Key Summit track.(**Key Summit track is currently closed because of damage to the track. Scheduled re-opening date is Dec 7, 2020. Check the DOC website for updates.) From Key Summit, hikers are treated to panoramic views over the Humboldt and Darran mountain ranges. You will find the start of the Key Summit walk at The Divide car park, which is also the starting point of the Routeburn Track.
For more sights and stops along the Milford road, read our article here.