One of the most incredible and frequently overlooked features of Milford Sound is the journey to get there! The Te Anau Milford Highway (on State Highway 94) is a spectacular alpine drive and one of the best ways to experience it is via a coach and cruise with local operators who can show you all the highlights!
The 240 kilometre return journey travels through mountainous and winding terrain, and takes a minimum of 2½ hours to drive each way (not allowing for scenic stops etc, this time does includes some leeway for potential delays at the Homer Tunnel while traffic lights are in operation over the summer months, which can contribute to delays of up to 20 minutes). Visitors need to allow plenty of time to make the drive if travelling independently as this is a steep and windy highway. Numerous viewing points and short walking opportunities en route, provide a chance to get out of the car and drink in the spectacular scenery and the sheer scale of the landscape.
Make sure you have a full tank of petrol when leaving Te Anau (240km return) as there are limited fuel supplies available within Milford Sound and no fuel stations between Te Anau and Milford.
Snow chains must be carried during the winter months.
There is a ten minute walk from the main visitor carpark to the boat departure terminal and information area (there is a dedicated coach parking area directly out side the terminal for tour operators only). However, a free bus completes a circuit between the airstrip, cafe, car park and the departure terminal. Visitors driving their own vehicle (particularly those with passengers with mobility issues, elderly passengers or travelling with very young children may prefer to drive up to the terminal set down area and drop off their passengers before returning to the main car park to park their vehicle and walking to the terminal to meet their group.
Limited flat land at Milford due to historic glacial activity has restricted the growth of the village and therefore Milford has only limited services and the car park is a short (5-10 minute) walk from the boat terminal. For further details and a map of Milford village please visit the Milford location page.