Homer Tunnel

Driving through the Homer Tunnel in NZ

Homer Tunnel is a high mountain tunnel at an elevation of 945m (3,100ft) above the sea level located in the Fiordland region of the South Island of New Zealand.

How long is the Homer Tunnel?

Set high in the Southern Alps, within the Darran mountain range, the tunnel is 1.2 km (0.75 miles) long. The scenic SH94 road (Milford Road) between Te Anau and Piopiotahi Milford Sound passes through the tunnel. In winters the road can be closed at any time. Traffic lights operate during the summer months to keep it safe.

Who is the Homer Tunnel named after?

The tunnel is carved out from solid granite. It’s named after William Henry Homer, who discovered the saddle. Construction of the tunnel started in 1935, and eventually opened in 1954 after 19 years of working. There was no road access to Milford Sound until the tunnel pierced the mountains that divided the sound from the Hollyford Valley.

Is the Homer Tunnel one way?

The tunnel has two very narrow lanes (wide enough for a bus and a small vehicle to pass each other) without a dividing line. The tunnel is steep, hitting a 1:10 gradient. As you arrive at the tunnel, there is an area where you can pull over and take photos. Exercise caution when using the tunnel, turning on your car lights and taking off your sunglasses, as there is no lighting in the tunnel.

 

 

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