There has been accommodation on the current site of Milford Sound Lodge since the 1950s. Originally part of the government-owned Tourist Hotel Corporation, the lodge provided basic accommodation for walkers coming off the Milford Track. The property underwent many changes over the years and endured the rigours of Fiordland’s wet environment.
In 1998, in need of improvements, the property was purchased by its current owners who began the task of improving the property. Over the years, much work was carried out to remove old buildings, build new ones and improve power and phone supply. While things were far easier than they would have been for Donald Sutherland and Elizabeth Samuel, any work of this nature in Milford Sounds comes with considerable logistical hurdles.
Before the refurbishment of Milford Sound Lodge, accommodation was limited, and staff were often housed in temporary caravans. These caravans were towed in and out each season from Invercargill, a slow and arduous journey along the Milford road and through the narrow Homer Tunnel.
The property was finally connected to mains power and reticulated gas in 2006. For the lodge team, this giant leap forward meant an end to the days of juggling intermittent power supply from on-site generators.