Activities in the Milford Road/Milford Sound area

Enjoy many activities along the Milford Road and in beautiful Milford Sound/Piopiotahi, including walking and tramping, boating, climbing, fishing, guided activities, hunting, kayaking and more.

Tracks and walks – Milford Road/Milford Sound including the Milford and Routeburn Tracks (Great Walks), and many attractive short and day walks accessible from the Milford Road.

Bird & wildlife watching

Walking in beech forest at many of the short walks in the Eglinton Valley (e.g. Lake Gunn Nature Walk), you might commonlfy see small bush birds like tomtits, grey warblers, fantails, riflemen, NZ robins, chaffinches and brown creepers. If you are keen you may spot rarer birds like the endangered mohua/yellowhead or native parakeet/kakariki. Whio/ Blue Duck are also being successfully managed in the area and numbers have grown to the point where they are regularly seen at Monkey Creek and the lower Cleddau river.

The kea, mountain parrots, are often seen around the Homer Tunnel - watch your belongings though as they are very cheeky! Occasionally on the East Homer Nature Walk you may hear or glimpse a rare rock wren too - they live amongst the large boulders.

See: Milford Road Natural history and conservation

Camping

Along the Milford Road (between Te Anau and The Divide) you can stay at one of ten DOC camping areas. These are in picturesque spots beside bush, rivers and lakes, often with opportunities for bush walks or trout fishing nearby. Most have fire places, picnic tables, toilets and access to river water, and are very reasonably priced (take cash for self registration).

Please note that freedom camping (within 200m of the road) is not allowed on the Milford Road.

See: Conservation campsites in the Fiordland region

Climbing

The Darran Mountains provide the greatest climbing challenge in the Fiordland area.

The most popular access is via the upper Hollyford Valley just off the Milford Road, south-east of the Homer Tunnel. Accommodation is available at the Homer Hut (external site) (NZ Alpine Club website).

See: Climbing in Fiordland

Diving & snorkelling

Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve is one of the most popular places in Fiordland to dive and see the black corals for which the fiords are famous. The reserve covers an area of 690 hectares along the northern side of Milford Sound, from the head of the Sound to Dale Point.

See: Diving and snorkelling in Fiordland

Fishing

The Milford Road offers access to the Eglinton & Cleddau Rivers. Both of which offer trout fisherman scenic, well stocked fishing holes. Fly fishing only.

See: Fishing in Fiordland

Hunting

The Milford Raod offers access the popular red deer hunting areas of the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys.

See: Hunting in Fiordland

Kayaking

Milford Sound is a very steep sided fiord with striking beauty, but busy with boat traffic. The southern side is more sheltered from the prevailing westerly winds, in particular the afternoon day breeze during summer. For camping there are two spots – Harrison Cove and Anita Bay. Access is by boat ramp off Deepwater Basin Road in Milford Sound. It is reccommeded to go with a guided company unless you have a high skill & experience level.

Guided kayaking and kayak hire options (external site) - Destination Fiordland website

See: Kayaking in Fiordland

Scenic driving

The road from Te Anau to Milford Sound is one of New Zealand's most scenic drives.
Around every corner the vistas become even more dramatic - the U-shaped valleys open out then up to sheer, rugged basins and peaks as you near the road’s highest point.
Once through the Homer Tunnel, the road begins dropping and you will see grand views down to sea level.



Guided activities and tours

The Milford Road and Milford Sound are a hot spot for guided opportunities to explore this spectacular National Park and World Heritage Area. There are guided options for air, land and water and include all of the activities mentioned above.


 

Find out more

Weather

Maps

DOC maps: Discover the outdoors - DOC's key places, campsites, tracks and huts, and visitor centres on a map

Learn more

Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.

Didymo controls in Fiordland National Park

Safety

Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Fiordland places

Contacts

Te Rua-o-te-moko / Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 249 7924
Address:   Fiordland National Park
Visitor Centre
Lakefront Drive
Te Anau 9600
Email:   fiordlandvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details