Fiordland, South Island, New Zealand

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Fiordland

Fiordland is a region of the South Island of New Zealand that is situated in the south-western corner of the South Island. Most of it is covered by the Fiordland National Park, which has an area of 12'120 square kilometres, making it the largest national park in New Zealand. This area includes extensive walking tracks, it is a vast expanse of mountains, lakes and fiords. Most of Fiordland is dominated by the Southern Alps and its spectacular fiords. Fiordland has achieved World Heritage status.

Fiordland has few human inhabitants and is the least-populated area of New Zealands South Island. Fiordland has no cities and many areas are almost inaccessible except by boat or air. Te Anau township, the only large settlement has under 2,000 permanent habitants, though it boasts more then 3,500 tourist beds. Within Fiordland are Browne Falls and Sutherland Falls which rank among the tallest waterfalls in the world.

Visitors to Te Anau can choose from a wide range of attractions including scenic boat cruises, scenic flights, sea kayaking, diving, fishing, coach tours, golf, 4 wheel driving, hunting and more. Don’t forget to check out the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.

The serene deep waters of Lake Te Anau make up the largest lake in the South Island and second largest in New Zealand, and is bordered on its western shore by lush virgin rain forest. The tourist town of Te Anau lies nestled on the edge of this beautiful lake, with a spectacular backdrop of Mt Luxmore and the Murchison mountains.
Fiordland National Park is larger than all the rest of New Zealands national parks put together.
The 22km long fiord of Milford Sound is the most popular attraction in the Fiordland National Park. With towering granite cliffs on both sides of the sound, which seem to shoot straight up into the skies. The Milford Sound is dominated by Mitre Peak. The calm deep waters reflect ice covered mountain tops, waterfalls cascades from the cliff tops to the water below and dolphins play in the wakes of the cruise boats. This area was carved out during the ice ages and a close up and an aerial view of the awe inspiring scenery is a must. A variety of boat cruises or popular kayaking trips are offered and these provide opportunities to see the fur seals, crested penguins and the dolphins that inhabit the sound, while scenic flights give a unique perspective on the region. Milford and Fiordland have the highest rainfall in New Zealand, and although the mountaintops might not be visible through the clouds, the streams of water and waterfalls rushing down the cliffs is a magnificent sight not otherwise seen in dry weather.

Doubtful Sound is a fiord on the south west corner of the Fiordland National park. The steep hills are known for their hundreds of waterfalls during the rainy season. This fiord is home to one of the southernmost population of bottlenose dolphins. With only 56 individuals this population is small and has been drastically declining over the past 6 years. It is common for tour boats to interact with these dolphins. There are three distinct arms to the sound, which is the site of several large waterfalls, notably Helena Falls, at Deep Cove, and the Browne Falls which have a fall of over 600 metres. Sometimes called "the Sound of Silence", there is a cloistered serenity within Doubtful Sound that contrasts with Milford Sound. The Fiord is rich in flora and fauna. New Zealand Fur Seals and Fiordland Crested Penguins can be seen on many of the small islets in the entrance of the Fiord. There are many ways to experience Doubtful Sound, by kayak or cruise, as a day trip or on an overnight experience.


Fiordland is a must see for all who wish to explore New Zealands natural treasures. Come, see and you will enjoy......

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