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Humboldt Falls, Fiordland National Park

Humboldt Falls, Fiordland National Park

Humboldt Falls, one of New Zealand’s tallest waterfalls, makes for an easy side-trip while driving to Milford Sound. It’s located down a 17 km gravel road (Hollyford Road) and there are a few other places to see along the way. Humboldt Falls crashes 275 metres to the valley below — you can’t get all that close to it but it’s definitely worth tackling the short bush walk to get there.

Humboldt Falls

This track to Humboldt Falls takes you through lush forest and is fairly easy to negotiate. Before long you’ll reach the viewpoint looking out towards the falls. It’s a very zoomed out view, allowing you to see the surrounding hills blanketed in native forest. There’s not really much else to do there, or any other angles you can see it at, so it becomes a pretty short visit. That view is definitely worth the detour though.

The track to Humboldt Falls, Fiordland National Park, New ZealandHumboldt Falls, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Moraine Creek

Make sure to stop off at Moraine Creek on the way back to the main road. There’s a really cool bridge to walk over and the creek is a striking blue / green colour. A longer hike starts here — we haven’t done it yet but I’ve heard it’s pretty hard.

Stop off at Moraine Creek on the way to Humboldt Falls, Fiordland, New Zealand

An Historic Grave

Another nice place to stop on the gravel road to Humboldt Falls is the historic grave of Donald Keith, a Scotsman who went missing and died here in 1886. The grave is beside a small forest path and is close to the river — not a bad place to be buried!

An historic grave near Humboldt Falls, New ZealandA scenic river near Humboldt Falls, Fiordland, New Zealand

Lake Marian / Marian Falls

The track to Lake Marian and Marian Falls is at the very start of Hollyford Road. It’s one of the best hikes in the area and generally takes 3-4 hours. If you’re short on time you can just hike to the falls, which takes around 15 minutes each way. Check out my post below for more information about this hike.

There are a few other things to see on this road, including the quirky Gunn’s Camp and some other walks. The Hollyford Track starts at the end of the road and you also do the 4-6 hour hidden waterfall hike. We were very close to hiking that track but we ran out of time.

READ MORE: Hiking to Lake Marian, Fiordland National Park

Marian Falls, on the road to Humboldt Falls, Fiordland, New ZealandThe Lake Marian hike, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Getting to Humboldt Falls

The turnoff to the falls is located 87 km along the Te Anau to Milford Sound Road. Hollyford Road is in great condition for a gravel road and shouldn’t pose too many problems. There is a lot to see along the road to Milford Sound — check out my other posts for more info!

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.