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Thursday, October 18, 2018 ..:: Journey » The Milford Road ::..   Login
Things To Do

THE MILFORD ROAD


 

Te Anau to Milford Sound map

  

 

                  Journey time: 8h:15m (including lots of photo stops, visiting Mirror Lakes, the Chasm & Milford Sound cruise)


 

                                           Up (120km):          2h:35m   (Direct would be 1h:45m to 2h)

                                           At Milford Sound:  3h:25m  (Includes 2 hour boat cruise)

                                           Down:                   2h:15m

 

 

                   Weather:        Fine and sunny (Te Anau 27°C, Milford Sound light breeze, seas reasonably calm 21°C)

 

 

 

 

 

Well the objective for the day was to enjoy a cruise on Milford Sound - one of the must do's when in New Zealand.

 

The highlight of the day turned out to not be the cruise (though it was great) but the road to Milford Sound.

 

 

 

 

Te Anau Downs, boats leave here for the start of the milford Track

 

  

 

 

Setting off from Te Anau we reach Te Anau Downs within 20 minutes.

 

It was a calm and sunny day and the view across the lake toward the mountains of the Milford Track was simply superb.

 

Boats leave from here for Glade Wharf and the start of the Milford Track.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing on and the scenery is pristine.  The road can be reasonably busy so the driver must be careful not to be distracted by the views and must concentrate when driving. Reaching 940m ( 3,080ft) the road is subject to snow and ice especially in winter. Check the Transit NZ site for more information.

 

 

The Eglinton Valley was alive with lupins providing a purple carpet for the valley and great photo opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

Stunning Eglinton Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mirror Lakes are the next must stop. The Earl Mountains are reflected perfectly in the still waters.

 

 

 

Mirror Lakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Yes, I've checked a couple of times

and this photo is the right way up)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a 45 minute nature walk at Lake Gunn before the road reaches The Divide. This is the ending place of the Routeburn Track. There is a carpark and if you allow about three hours, the walk to Key Summit is recommended. As well as passing through a variety of eco-systems and birdlife you'll be rewarded with some panoramic mountain views.

 

 

  

 The road continues with more  mountain passes, streams and valleys with numerous points to stop and take in the views. 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milford Road view

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain brook beside the Milford Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milford Road pass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking toward Hollyford River Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eventually we come to the 1.27km Homer Tunnel. Even more stunning scenery awaits on the other side with spectacular sheer mountain faces and the Cheddau Valley to negotiate.

 

 

 

 

Looking toward Hollyford River Valley

 

 

We stopped at The Chasm carpark and walked for 5 minutes to view the powerful rushing waters that have eroded the rocks to wierd shapes below. Just don't fall in please!

 

 

 

 

 

The Chasm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After 2 hours 34 minutes we arrive safely at Milford Sound, already filled with exhilaration but still with anticipation. The dock resembles a reasonable sized airline terminal but is tastefully hidden away from most views. Now to select our cruise ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Eglinton Valley, Milford Road

 

 

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