Christie Falls and the Milford Highway Waterfalls

Fiordland National Park / Hollyford Valley, South Island, New Zealand

About Christie Falls and the Milford Highway Waterfalls


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2004-11-25
Date last visited: 2009-12-24

Waterfall Latitude: -44.8181
Waterfall Longitude: 168.07858

Christie Falls was a roadside waterfall right besides a narrow single-lane bridge on the Milford Sound Highway.

Because it was next to a sign that said “Falls Creek”, I’d imagine this waterfall could also be called Falls Creek Falls.

Christie_Falls_007_12232009 - Christie Falls on Falls Creek
Christie Falls on Falls Creek

Julie and I happened to notice this waterfall when we first drove by it and made it a point to come back here for a closer examination on the way out of the Milford Sound area.

We did the same thing five years after our first visit here, but we never really bothered to do more with this waterfall on that subsequent trip other than to look at it.

There was a small pullout on the southeast side of the single-lane Falls Creek bridge so that allowed us to get out of the car and try to photograph the falls as you see above without blocking traffic.

That said, the maps (as well as a sign by the trailhead) did indicate that there was a two-hour bush track that followed along Falls Creek.

Fiordland_033_12242009 - Veins of waterfalls coming down around the Milford Sound Highway after a clearing rain storm
Veins of waterfalls coming down around the Milford Sound Highway after a clearing rain storm

We didn’t do that track so we can’t say what else would be out there, but it did get me wondering.

Who knows, maybe next time if the weather cooperates and we allocated enough time to explore some of the less well-known areas of Fiordland, we might have more to say about what the Falls Creek Track would have to offer.

Milford Sound Highway Waterfalls

In any case, Christie Falls was really my waterfalling excuse to talk about the plethora of nameless waterfalls seen along the Milford Sound Highway.

This was especially the case when they came down like veins immediately before and after the Homer Tunnel.

Fiordland_021_12242009 - Context of many waterfalls coming down around the Homer Tunnel along the Milford Sound Highway after a clearing storm
Context of many waterfalls coming down around the Homer Tunnel along the Milford Sound Highway after a clearing storm

It was hard to single out these other waterfalls since there were so many of them.

However, I’d imagine in order to see the vein-like effect, that would involve some timing.

More specifically, the clouds would have to lift at the end of one of the typical downpours that tended to affect this part of the Southern Alps.

The clouds lifting would have to be sufficient enough to allow you to actually see the resultant waterfalls from all the water saturation due to the heavy rainfall.

Fiordland_018_12242009 - Looking towards a waterfall-laced cirque at the entrance of the Homer Tunnel along the Milford Sound Highway
Looking towards a waterfall-laced cirque at the entrance of the Homer Tunnel along the Milford Sound Highway

It was a good thing that they put a car park on the east end of the Homer Tunnel.

In this waterfall hot spot, this stop allowed us to look towards a cirque that contained a collection of ephemeral waterfalls that seemed to be reliably there for the two New Zealand trips where we made it out this way.

After the Homer Tunnel (the Milford Sound side), there were a few more roadside pullouts to better appreciate the steepness of the valley as well as the possible waterfalls coming down in waves after rain.

Authorities

Christie Falls resides in Fiordland National Park near Te Anau in the Fiordland region of South Island, New Zealand. It is administered under the jurisdiction of the Department of Conservation. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Christie_Falls_001_12232009 - When we returned to Milford Sound in December 2009, we paid a bit more attention to things like this sign for the Falls Creek Track. But we didn't do this walk, which was actually said to be a challenging one
Christie_Falls_004_12232009 - This was the context of the single-lane bridge before Christie Falls with incoming bad weather in December 2009
Christie_Falls_005_12232009 - Looking upstream from the single-lane road bridge in front of Christie Falls as seen during our late December 2009 visit
Christie_Falls_009_12232009 - When the bad weather came, we started seeing these ephemeral waterfalls in the vicinity of Christie Falls during our late December 2009 visit
Milford_Sound_001_jx_12242009 - In December 2009, here's another look at the cirque by the Homer Tunnel where this time we saw a few more strands of waterfalls as opposed to the November 2004 experience
Milford_Sound_004_jx_12242009 - Here was a look at how waterfalls could come down like veins around the Milford Sound Highway.  This occurred after a clearing storm in December 2009
Milford_Sound_006_jx_12242009 - Looking back towards the east end of the Homer Tunnel in late December 2009
Fiordland_003_jx_12242009 - It was pouring rain when we left Milford Sound and waited at the west end of the Homer Tunnel in December 2009
Fiordland_010_12242009 - Finally the weather started to clear and we started to see some of the peaks of the surrounding mountains along the Milford Sound Highway during our late December 2009 visit
Fiordland_011_12242009 - After the clearing storm, we started to see countless waterfalls like what's shown here during our late December 2009 visit
Fiordland_013_12242009 - Context of the Milford Sound Highway with surrounding mountains and snow during our late December 2009 visit
Fiordland_016_12242009 - Context of the base of some of the waterfall veins and a parked car at a pullout next to a bank of snow as seen during our late December 2009 visit
Fiordland_023_12242009 - When we left the west end of the Homer Tunnel under more agreeable weather in late December 2009, this was the view of the valley that greeted us.  Notice the waterfalls lining the valley walls
Fiordland_025_12242009 - Another look at the west end of the Homer Tunnel flanked by waterfalls tumbling around it as seen in late December 2009
Fiordland_029_12242009 - Another look down at the Milford Sound Highway and surrounding waterfalls after a clearing storm during our late December 2009 visit
Fiordland_032_12242009 - Yet another contextual look at waterfalls coming down like veins around the Milford Sound Highway during our visit in late December 2019 right after a clearing storm
Milford_010_11242004 - Driving the Milford Sound Highway as we were making our approach towards Christie Falls and eventually the Homer Tunnel on our first visit back in late November 2004
Milford_013_11242004 - The weather seemed to deteriorate the closer to the Homer Tunnel we went on our late November 2004 visit
Milford_018_11242004 - In November 2004, this cirque just to the north of the Homer Tunnel didn't seem to have that many waterfalls, which convinced me that perhaps they were ephemeral
Milford_019_11242004 - Approaching the Homer Tunnel with the context of the pullout next to its east entrance as seen on our late November 2004 visit
Milford_015_11242004 - Approaching the east entrance to the Homer Tunnel on our late November 2004 visit
Milford_023_11242004 - This was the view that greeted us when we left the west side of the Homer Tunnel during our late November 2004 visit
Milford_024_11242004 - Descending the switchbacks after having left the Homer Tunnel on our late November 2004 visit
Milford_028_11242004 - A series of tall ephemeral waterfalls somewhere not far from the Chasm along the Milford Highway during our late November 2004 visit
Milford_054_11242004 - Passing back through the Homer Tunnel as we were headed back towards Christie Falls
Milford_060_11242004 - Looking up at some other ephemeral waterfall that we happened to notice around Christie Falls during our late November 2004 visit
Milford_064_11242004 - This was how Christie Falls looked in November 2004

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


The nearest town of any appreciable size to Fiordland National Park was Te Anau so we’ll describe the driving directions from there.

Heading north from Te Anau along the SH94 (Milford Highway), we drove for about 85km.

This drive passed through the Eglington Flat (along the Eglington River) then passed by Lake Gunn and Lake Fergus before rising up through a mountainous part of road before descending towards the junction with the Lower Hollyford Rd at a sharp right turn.

Just a kilometre west of the Lower Hollyford Rd junction along the SH94 was the Falls Creek Bridge and Christie Falls.

Te Anau was about 171km (2 hours drive) southwest of Queenstown and 153km (2 hours drive) north of Invercargill. Christchurch is about 484km (6 hours drive) from Queenstown and 566km (7 hours drive) from Invercargill.

Bottom up sweep from the single-lane bridge under swirling mist and rain


360 degree panorama of the plethora of waterfalls seen when the weather cleared up somewhat as seen from the back side of the Homer Tunnel


Bottom up sweep of a whole bunch of falls before the Homer Tunnel


Bottom up sweep of a bunch of falls at an angle


Bottom up sweep of another set of falls along the Milford Sound Highway

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Tagged with: hollyford, fiordland, te anau, milford, southland, southern alps, south island, new zealand, waterfall, falls creek, homer



Visitor Comments:

Nice cascades… January 26, 2020 11:15 am by Oliver Descoeudres - Stopped on the way back from Milford Sound to have a look at Christie Falls - it had a decent flow of water. ...Read More

Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall


Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls
Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.