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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

The first convoys including visitor buses into Milford Sound Piopiotahi since the torrential rain of just over a fortnight ago have gone smoothly today in misty conditions, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Milford Road Alliance Manager Kevin Thompson.

Despite some heavy rain earlier this morning, common in Fiordland all year round, all three convoys (10 am, 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm) set off as planned.

  • In the first convoy there were 52 vehicles in total going in, essential services vehicles for Milford Sound businesses and 40 buses.
  • In the second convoy in at 12.30 pm, 31 vehicles total went in.  (Unsure of ratio buses to essential services vehicles).
  • The third and last convoy today which went in at 2.30 pm had six vehicles, including three buses.

Weekend and Monday convoy times – please check web link also

The convoys for this weekend (22 and 23 February) and Monday 24 February will be the same as for today, ie three trips in, three trips out, but please check anyway at this web map link for confirmation as weather may affect these times over the next three days:
https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/areawarnings/291706(external link)

The Transport Agency’s Milford Road Alliance crews are working hard to maintain the highway surface for the buses and essential services vehicles and will only cancel a convoy if the weather or a fresh slip rules it out on safety grounds, says Mr Thompson.

Catch that bus

There remains no access for private vehicles, self-driving people in camper vans, cars or people towing boats or caravans, but people are encouraged to catch the bus from Te Anau to appreciate this astonishing rainforest highway through the Homer Tunnel and into Fiordland.

  • 10.00 am Cascade Creek
  • 11.30 am Chasm Gate back
  • 12.30 pm Cascade Creek
  • 1.30 pm Chasm Gate back
  • 2.30 pm Cascade Creek
  • 4.00 pm Chasm Gate back.

More background details in recent media release:
https://nzta.govt.nz/media-releases/milford-sound-piopiotahi-sh94-open-to-tourist-buses-friday-21-february/(external link)

The Transport Agency’s Milford Road Alliance Manager Kevin Thompson on the road near a section of storm damaged highway (Courtesy Radio NZ/ Tess Brunton):

More scenes from today’s convoys into Milford Sound Piopiotahi:

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with:

MIL OSI New Zealand News