Fiordland is one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand.
Carved by glaciers over 100,000 years the landscape is one where waterfalls cascade hundreds of metres into deep black fiords; where ancient rainforest untouched by man clings to mountains and where shimmering lakes and granite peaks look as they did a thousand years ago.
Fiordland National Park is a World Heritage Site and includes Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds. Milford Sound, Rudyard Kipling described as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Take a scenic flight over it and you will understand why. At 421 metres, Doubtful Sound is the deepest of New Zealand’s fiords. It’s a haven for nature, with resident bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins.
Some of the fiords can be explored by kayak but if you’d like to see the less accessible fiords, eco-tours can be arranged.
But this, really, is the place for hiking. Fiordland National Park has three of New Zealand’s ‘great walks’, the Milford, Kepler and Routeburn Tracks. Milford Track is arguably New Zealand’s most famous walk. Starting in Te Anau, it takes you, over 53 kilometres, through the most breath-taking scenery; mountains, lakes and enormous valleys right up to the Sutherland Falls, the tallest waterfall in New Zealand. Accommodation ranges from the most basic hiker’s hut to the better-than-normal level of comfort.
- Scheduled daily coach services link Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill to Te Anau township.
- Air Fiordland operate scenic flights and charter services from Te Anau airport. Wings and Water are based on the Te Anau Lakefront and offer float plane services.
- The extreme geography of the region means that weather can be unpredictable. When travelling, be prepared for sudden changes.
- The Homer Tunnel is a highlight of the road to Milford Sound. It was carved from solid rock.