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Milford Road Closed

New Zealand
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Milford Road Closed

The Milford Road is closed today due to a rock fall …govt.nz/projects/milfordroad/RoadStatus.do

I know I harp on about this constantly, but please - late May through the end of Oct - it is best to take the bus to Milford rather than drive.

Even in fine weather the road has a high accident rate, more so in the winter with vehicles slipping off the road.

The road is subject to ice, snow, avalanches, rockfalls, flooding and slips and it is usually impassable several days through the winter. If you drive into Milford and the road closes, you then need to work out not only how to get yourself out, but also how to get your rental car out. A flight out could cost each person several hundred dollars (the last figure I heard when the road closed was over $700). Plus the car rental agency will charge a similar figure or more for having to retrieve the abandoned vehicle.

If you bus to Milford and the road closes then the tour company will pay for your evacuation and you will be returned to where your trip started - Te Anau or Queenstown - and you can then resume your travels.

Please plan wisely and travel safe :)

Canandaigua
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1. Re: Milford Road Closed

Good advice from one who knows!

South Island
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2. Re: Milford Road Closed

Perhaps someone can confirm or deny if the tour company pays for each person to evacuate in the event of being trapped in Milford Sound. The last time we were stranded in Milford Sound because of the weather, we had to pay for our own evacuation.

Thankfully there was no price gauging on the flights out but beware they can only operate in certain weather conditions.

Edited: 1:53 am, June 06, 2012
New Zealand
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3. Re: Milford Road Closed

Hi Bill, I can't remember who told me they were flown out when the road closed due to flooding or a slip - but it was a number of years ago.

I guess we'll just have to make enquiries :)

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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4. Re: Milford Road Closed

The Milford Rd is not shown as closed on the transit NZ website - any reason for that? Has it reopened already?

New Zealand
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5. Re: Milford Road Closed

Yep, the slip has been cleared enough to reopen. Last winter the road was closed for nearly a week which is extremely rare. If it does close it is seldom longer than overnight.

Snow is expected tonight on all the alpine passes, including Milford so more closures are possible.

Greymouth, New...
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6. Re: Milford Road Closed

Lewis Pass , Arthur's Pass and Porters Pases have all been closed overnoight and will not be reviewed untill at least midday today.

Metro services in and around Ch-ch will resume services from about midday today.

once roads are open, genarly restrictions apply such as chains essential and no towing vehicles. this is due to the amouth of ice on the roads as the snow has frozen. try not to be on the roads before 10 am to allow time for thaw to melt the ice.

New Zealand
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7. Re: Milford Road Closed

Had a lovely chat with Real Journeys in both Queenstown and Milford on what happens when the road closes and passengers are stranded in Milford.

First off, they liaise very closely with the avalanche monitors and so don't venture into Milford when the avalanche risk is critical. But if snow, slips, floods, accident or hr closes the road they will look after the passengers, providing food and accommodation (on the boats) when needed.

If the road still remains closed it becomes a Civil Defence matter and yes, passengers can be helicoptered out. Sometimes the flights are paid for, sometimes the passenger pays - depending on the circumstances. But that's when travel insurance is so important as it will cover you for the unexpected.

New Zealand
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8. Re: Milford Road Closed

The Milford Road has been closed the past two days and it isn't known yet when it will reopen …govt.nz/projects/milfordroad/RoadStatus.do

But when it does, it will be stunning with all the fresh snow.

Greymouth, New...
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9. Re: Milford Road Closed

There is a lot of snow around an all alpine passes , particularily, Haast pass, Arthur's pass, Lewis pass and Rahul saddle. All passes are open again, but very unusual for passes to be 'closed' which should not be confused with restrictions ' closed to towing, chains essential'.

The next few days , even if there is no more snow, ice will be the next challenge as any melted ice leaving the roads wet, will freeze at night.

Do take care out there

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10. Re: Milford Road Closed

The Milford Road will reopen at noon today

…govt.nz/projects/milfordroad/RoadStatus.do

There is a severe black ice warning. Please take the bus, the drivers are familiar with the road and are trained in handling the extreme alpine conditions.