For many, the Te Anau-Milford Highway offers the first taste of Fiordland’s spectacular forest. So why not pull over and take some time to explore all the area has to offer? There are many walks and scenic viewpoints along the Milford Road, which only add to the incredible Piopiotahi / Milford Sound experience.
** The Milford Road is in fiordland national park, dogs are not permitted in the national park**
Duration: 45 minutes
The entrance is signposted opposite the Fiordland National Park Lodge complex at Te Anau Downs, look for the signposted track to Lake Mistletoe. This is an attractive forest walk past secluded Lake Mistletoe. It is a loop track requiring a short walk along the busy Milford Road back to the carpark - take care.
Duration: 10 minutes
An easy, short walk suitable for all abilities. A wheelchair-accessible boardwalk takes you to a series of small lakes. On a still day, the water reflects outstanding views of the Earl Mountains. If there are no reflections, you will still enjoy this tranquil spot and enjoy watching the waterbirds in their wetland habitat. See if you can spot a longfin eel!
Lake Gunn Nature Walk
Duration: 45 minutes
Access to Lake Gunn is from the Cascade Creek campground car park. Enjoy an easy 45-minute loop walk which passes through an outstanding red beech forest with opportunities to see birdlife of the Eglinton Valley as well as having a rest beside lovely Lake Gunn.
Duration: 3 - 5 hours return
**Note Key Summit is currently closed due to damage from the February 2020 flood event. Key Summit will re-open on the 7th December 2020. Check with the DOC Visitor Centre for up-to-date information**
From The Divide car park, follow the Routeburn Track (one of the Great Walks) for about an hour to the junction where the Key Summit Track branches off from the main track. From here it is a 20-minute climb to Key Summit, with panoramic views over the Humboldt and Darran mountains. The track around Key Summit is a loop track which takes around 20 minutes to complete before descending back to the main track. The track offers impressive views of Fiordland’s dramatic ranges and snowy peaks as well as Lake Marian. Return to your car via the first section of the Routeburn Track.
Duration: 3 hours
**Note Lake Howden is currently closed due to damage from the February 2020 flood event. lake howden will re-open on the 7th December 2020. Check with the DOC Visitor Centre for up-to-date information**
From The Divide car park follow the Routeburn Track through silver beech forest to the Key Summit turn-off, as described in the Key Summit walk. From here it is a short descent to Lake Howden.
Lake Marian Falls
Duration: 20 minutes
From Te Anau, it will take approximately one hour to drive along the Milford Road to Marian Corner, the turn-off to the Hollyford Road. Park in the Lake Marian car park and cross the swing bridge to start the hike. Continue on until you come across a spectacular series of waterfalls. The falls are easily viewed from the gantry hugging the side of the steep bank.
Duration: 3 - 4 hours return
**LAKE MARIAN TRACK IS FULLY OPEN**
Follow the track, as mentioned above until you reach the viewing gantry. Continuing on from the gantry, the track becomes steep and sometimes muddy during the ascent to Lake Marian. Be sure to follow the orange triangle markers as the trail is easily lost in places. The forest opens up to a mesmerising glacial lake at the bottom of an impressive valley. This walk will take around 3 hours to complete, but don’t forget to leave time for a picnic lunch. Do not walk around the lake edge during the snow/ avalanche season (winter and spring).
Duration: 20 minutes return
**Note The Chasm is currently closed due to damage from the February 2020 flood event where the viewing platform and track was washed away. It is hoped The Chasm will re-open in 2021. Check with the DOC Visitor Centre for up-to-date information**
A very popular and impressive walk on the Milford road, suitable for all abilities. Follow a gentle track through the forest and cross two footbridges over the Cleddau River. The bridges cross over a series of powerful waterfalls where thousands of years of swirling water have sculpted shapes and basins in the rock. The sheer velocity of water gives an appreciation of how much rainfall the Milford Sound area receives each year and how powerful the water is.