Beautiful Reflections at Mirror Lakes: Short Walk on the Milford Sound Road

Mirror Lakes: Short Walk for Families

Mirror Lakes are an easy short walk on the Milford Road, heading out to Milford Sound.  Actually, I wouldn’t even really call it a walk. There is a small boardwalk right next to road where you can enjoy the beautiful reflections of the mountains.  When you are googling this place, don’t get it confused with the Mirror Lakes on the Milford Track (Great New Zealand Walk)

Go Early to Mirror Lakes

Mirror Lakes can be found on the left hand side of the road about 45 minutes from Te Anau.  You will want to do this as early as you can in the day, before all the tour buses drive in from Queenstown.  Otherwise you will be swamped with day tourists.

Spot the trick

At one of the viewing platforms, there is a sign for Mirror Lakes, but if you look carefully, the Department of Conservation actually designed it as the mirror image, so the correct view is reflected in the Mirror Lake.

Advice for Milford Sound

My advice for heading out to Milford Sound, even if you are limited on time, is definitely to stay in Te Anau or in Milford itself.  Definitely for the night before you stay, and a good idea if you are going to spend some time doing activities along the Milford Road.

We left Te Anau around 9.45am, stopped at the Mirror Lakes, did the Lake Marian track and still only arrived in Milford Sound at 4.30pm to look around (We didn’t do a boat trip this time as we had been before)  So I definitely recommend going early to get the most out of the day. Or stay longer in Te Anau (or at a Milford Campsite) to take advantage of all the great walks in the area.

Other activities in Milford Sound



Founder of Backyard Travel Family

Jen is a super organiser when it comes to travel. Having travelled extensively in Europe and Africa, has lived in London and the USA and holidayed in many parts of Asia, she is not a newbie to the travel space

Jen has three young children, 5 and under and travels around New Zealand with them.

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what you need to know


- 45 minutes from Te Anau
- 1 hour from Milford Sound

The trail

- Short walk on the boardwalk
- 10-15 minute sidetrip in total, including photos
- Great place to let the toddlers wander freely
- Just be careful with little ones on the boardwalk if its wet!
- Accessible to strollers and wheelchairs

Suitable for kids?

- Babies/Toddlers: Only a shoulder needed to carry the babies, and toddlers could walk this. You could take a pushchair on this easy walk too, but its probably not worth getting it out of the car.
- Preschoolers: very easy
- 5 year olds + : very easy


- No toilets here as its such a short stop
- Information boards about local flora and fauna
- Boardwalk is enclosed under trees
- Parking on the side of the road

What to bring

- You only need to bring a camera to the Mirror Lakes walk.

Food options

- None here. Options back in Te Anau and at Milford Sound but I highly suggest self catering and bringing your own before you leave.

Further information

Click the ? for the DOC guide for this walk

What the critics thought

The view at Mirror Lakes is great bang for your buck. We were lucky enough to see a brilliant reflection, and as we were there early, there were only a few cars! Also a great place for the kids to stretch their legs for a few minutes. Easy stop, don't drive past!
Backyard Travel Family / Your go to for practical advice for active families travelling around New Zealand
Chief Travel Organiser
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