Sutherland Falls


Sutherland Falls

580m, Sutherland Falls is the highest waterfall in New Zealand. It is, of course, one of the New Zealand Must See Waterfalls. The only disadvantage is that it’s not easily accessible - to visit it you should either walk 4 days tramping Milford track or take a scenic flight.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 44° 46' 49.8894" E 167° 45' 13.3914"
Parking: Te Anau Downs, SH 94
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Multi-days track
Road type: State HW Return track duration: 4days

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 580m Type of the waterfall: Multi-step



Walking and driving instructions


There are two ways to approach the highest waterfall in New Zealand:

  • Scenic Flights - there are lots of companies which offer the scenic flights to Sutherland Falls. Both helicopters and airplane flights are available from Milford Sound, Te Anau and Queenstown;
  • Milford Track - only DOC individual walks and guided walks are available. DOC huts must be booked in advance.

Below you can find walking and driving instructions of Milford track option:

You need to organize transport to Te Anau Downs where the track starts; then a transport from Milford Sound where the track finishes. Transport can be easily booked as part of Milford Track booking via official DOC site.

Sutherland Falls is approached on the third day of the journey, but there are other waterfalls which are accessible along Milford Track.

The first view of the top part of the waterfall (refer to the Gallery) appears on your descend from Mackinnon Pass, a few meters before Anderson Cascades.

There is an official side track to the Sutherland Falls base (1.5 hours return from Quintin Lodge) which branches from the main trail near Quintin Lodge and Shelter. Leave your pack at the Shelter (but take your raincoat) and follow the track to the falls. The falls starts its life from Lake Quill (unfortunately, you can see this lake from airplane/helicopter only =( ) and drops in 3 impressive leaps.

If the weather doesn't allow you to make this side track or if you're very tired, you still have a good option to see the waterfall. Just follow the main track - the waterfall appears on your left a few minutes past the Quintin Lodge. Leave the track to take better photos and to get a better view of this magnificent waterfall.

Always refer to the DOC site (Alert/Important notice section) to check the status of the track.


Waterfalls nearby (driving)


Attractions nearby


Once described as the finest walk in the world, the Milford Track is one of New Zealand’s most popular walks, with approximately 14000 people completing the Milford track each year.

Milford Sound (Piopiotahi in Māori) is a fjord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island, within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world's top travel destination in an international survey and is acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. Rudyard Kipling had previously called it the Eighth Wonder of the World.


Photo Gallery