Identifying transport solutions for the Milford Road

Some of you may have seen recent media on our work to test the feasibility of a range of options around on delivering an enhanced transport system for visitors to Milford Sound Piopiotahi. This includes a recommendation to promote bus or guided transport options over self-driving.

Thanks to Diane Holmes and Sarah Greaney for sharing their perspectives on these options with media and noting these proposals have been out since 2021 when the masterplan was launched.

So what does the masterplan propose?

The masterplan recommends reducing the number of parking spaces in Piopiotahi and making them bookable by New Zealanders only. Here are the recommendations as they are laid out in the plan:

“Requiring international visitors to pay a fee for entry into Milford Sound Piopiotahi will help fund infrastructure and operational costs, as well as local conservation initiatives. Access for Aotearoa New Zealanders should continue to be free of charge but managed through a permit system.

  • The international visitor fee would be collected as part of the booking process for accommodation and/or transport into the national park. Smart technology will be used to manage this process.
  • Pre permit international visitors for a fee with pre permits for Aotearoa New Zealanders being free.
  • Pre permit parking spaces for Aotearoa New Zealanders at Milford Sound Piopiotahi (limit vehicles to parking availability).
  • Pre permit camping and campervans at Cascade Creek and not beyond (travel to Milford Sound Piopiotahi by bus), with exceptions for those prebooked at Milford Lodge.
  • Special permits (free) for pre-qualified commercial users, operators and service staff.
  • Special permits (free) for Aotearoa New Zealanders fishing, hunting, climbing or tramping.”

Identifying transport solutions for the Milford Road