Begun in 1935 and completed in 1953, The Homer Tunnel is a remarkable feat of engineering and a monument to human endeavour. It provides the essential link between the dramatic fjord of Milford Sound and the outside world. But this is no Channel Tunnel or Sydney Harbour underpass. There are no guidance systems; no tidy tollgates or hamburger stands thoughtfully placed halfway through for your convenience.

When you first encounter the entrance to the Homer at the base of what can only be described as a massive face of granite, the word “drain” springs to mind. To travel through it fully clothed and in the comfort of a vehicle evokes enough horror – but running through it in the dark? Naked?

Ol’ Homey has become the venue for one of New Zealand’s most unusual annual events – known in these parts as the Great Annual Nude Tunnel Run. The race was originally conceived in 1998 by a couple of locals over a beer and now attracts around 100 participants. There is a $20 entry fee which gets donated to a different charity each year. Competitors run completely naked from east to west (a distance of 1.2 km) carrying little except a torch and running shoes. It’s such a fun community event and we’re very proud to help organise it each year.

The fastest male and female runners have their names engraved on the trophy, which for men is “Ken” doll and for women a “Barbie” (naked and in a running position, naturally)!

“It’s an invigorating feeling being naked and makes one realise how natural and beautiful it is to have no kit on. Group nudity is definitely non-perverse, a good way to make new friends and influence people, and something we should all do more often” – Anonymous Milford Local

© Rosco's Milford Kayaks 2015