History

The hard road

The tourism potential of Fiordland's Milford Sound was recognised in the late 1800s. The problem was getting there. Pushing a road across the Main Divide was feasible, but between the headwaters of the Hollyford and Cleddau valleys was an almost-sheer 500 metre granite wall. The Homer Tunnel, 20 years in the making, provided the solution, and today visitors emerging from the Cleddau portal descend a sealed slalom that offers few clues as to the difficulty of building or maintaining a road in such precipitous country.

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