The power of Fiordland’s scenery never fails to enthral travellers. Waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into massive fiords; ancient rainforest clings impossibly to the mountains; shimmering lakes and granite peaks look the same today as they did a thousand years ago.
The eighth wonder of the world
Fiordland was well known to Maori, who have many legends recounting its formation and naming. Demi-god Tute Rakiwhanoa is said to have carved the rugged landscape from formless rock, hewing out the steep sided valleys with his adzes.
From the lakeside townships of Te Anau and Manapouri, you can experience Fiordland in the way that suits your travelling style. Adventurers can embark on kayaking tours of the lakes and fiords; hikers have access to a choice of well known walking challenges; scenery lovers can catch a scenic flight or enjoy lake and fiord cruises; divers can discover rare black corals growing just beneath the water’s surface.
Magnificent Milford Sound
Described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ Milford Sound is always spectacular. Feel the mist of the waterfalls, look for seals on the rocks and marvel at the steep sides of the fiord.
The deepest fiord
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. Kayak tours and eco-cruises reveal the mysteries of the fiord.
Three of New Zealand’s ‘great walks’ are found in Fiordland - the Routeburn, Milford and Kepler tracks. For those with less time, a range of short walks lets you dip into the wilderness for a few hours.
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.