Milford Sound Harbour Redevelopment

This project won the Silver Award of Excellence at the ACENZ Innovate NZ Awards, 2014

The Milford Sound Freshwater Basin harbour is a fundamental element of New Zealand’s tourism infrastructure and is located in an iconic New Zealand landscape.

During the summer tourist season, the harbour itself is one of the busiest in New Zealand with up to 120 closely coordinated tourist vessel movements per day. Commitment to an upgrade of the harbour was essential to allow for growth in tourist numbers and to meet associated safety standards.

The $6.2M harbour redevelopment was constructed over the 2012 winter and included relocating the existing breakwater and dredging to enlarge the harbour, replacement and realignment of floating wharves including fabrication of new berth pontoons, replacement of berthing and mooring dolphins and extending the visitor terminal promenade and deck to access the new berth facilities.

Hadleys managed the project and acted as principal consultant for both the harbour expansion project and new berth fabrication. Value engineering was applied to the initial breakwater design and this, combined with efficient staged construction and a thorough review of all design and project parameters, provided savings in excess of $700,00 to the client, thus ensuring the viability of the project.

Numerous challenges presented themselves during the project including the remote location, limited site access and communications, World Heritage Park and National Park status, Coastal Marine Area strict environmental limitations, construction work being undertaken in a working harbour, unpredictable Fiordland winter weather and difficulties extracting existing piles from the seabed. Despite these challenges the project was successfully completed on time and under budget.



Milford Sound


Milford Sound Development Authority

Completion Date


Project Value