Fiordland National Park
New Zealand is famous for its national parks and there are heaps to explore. When you travel to Fiordland National Park, you will be visiting one of the most remarkable and beautiful parts of New Zealand and one of the few places in the world where there are Fiords. This place truly is magical.
Fiordland National Park is nominated World Heritage area on the south west corner of the South Island of New Zealand and it is New Zealand’s largest National Park as well as the largest National Park in the world. The scenery is breathtaking you won’t believe until you see for yourself. You will witness steep mountains, waterfalls and exotic rainforests.
Within the Fiordland National Park you will experience New Zealand’s most beautiful landscape Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound which attracts thousands of visitors every day. Other attractions include the Routeburn and Milford tracks, two of New Zealand’s Great Walks which pass through 32 kilometers of Fiordland National Parks. There is also the 580 meter high Sutherland Falls to see on the Milford Track, one of thousands of waterfalls in the park.
In general Fiordland is one of the wettest places but in saying that it’s the weather that gives the area its unique quality. On a nice day the landscape is just breath-taking.
There are many ways to see this vast area but a boat experience is probably the best as you can experience the solitude and tranquility of the area.
Fiordland has never had any significant permanent population.
The climate is highly changeable so when you visit prepare for all weather conditions.
Christchurch to Fiordland National Park is 706kms via state highway 8 approx 9 hours
Queenstown to Fiordland is 450kms approx 6 hours
Fiordland National Park is located on the South Island of New Zealand and is comprised of several sounds including Milford Sound, Thompson Sound, Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound.
It covers an area of 1,260,740 hectares. Access by road is via Te Anau, considered to be the gateway to Fiordland national park. The Southern Scenic Route offers road access to southern Fiordland locations.
- Take a boat cruise around Milford, Doubtful, Dusky or Thompson sounds. The unspoiled and stunning scenery of forests, mountains, waterfalls and lakes are a breathtaking sight.
- Cruises range from half a day to several nights. Some companies also offer fishing, kayaking and diving experiences. We know a few people that have completed a Discovery Cruise with Real Journeys through Fiordland and all gave great feedback. Their Discovery cruises include all meals prepared by an onboard chef, specialist nature guides, guided walks, exploration of the coastline on a kayak. For more details about the various cruises visit http://www.realjourneys.co.nz
- Go on a day or multiday kayaking adventure in Fiordland. Kayaking is a real fun and active way to explore Fiordland especially if you have a small group. There are companies that offer great kayaking experiences range of trips – from half a day to 7 day, 6 night adventures.
- Take a cruise or sail on the beautiful clear waters of Lake Te Anau, the South Island’s biggest lake surrounded by majestic mountain scenery. Take a walk in the evening around the lake and watch the sunset view over the lake.
- Visit the Glowworm caves on the edge of Lake Te Anau. If you’re planning to see Glowworms in New Zealand then we definitely recommend that this is the place you see them. The glowworms can be seen throughout the cave. You take a boat out to the island where the glow worms are and it’s a nice boat trip on the lake to get there so well worth it.
- A scenic flight is just one way to appreciate the extraordinary beauty of Milford sound and discover a hidden landscape.
- Hike some of the many trails throughout the park. Fiordland National Park can be explored independently or as part of a guided group. A number of companies offer guided walks within the Fiordland region. The most popular are Routeburn and Milford tracks, two of New Zealand’s Great Walks which pass through 32 kilometers of Fiordland National Parks.
- Twenty minutes from Te Anau is picturesque Lake Manapouri, a beautiful lake framed by spectacular Mountains which you take an hour long trip across to get to Doubtful Sound.
- Fiordland National Park is an excellent place to do many activities with your family and friends, including walking, sailing, camping, climbing, fishing, kayaking, and lots more.
- Fordland’s marine reserves offer excellent scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities. There are ten marine reserves in Fiordland where all species and habitats are protected. You can choose to dive or snorkel independently or with one of the professional companies.
- Rock climbing activities around Fiordland is a popular activity and it hardly surprising why with the stunning scenery that Fiordland offers. The Darran Mountains provide the greatest climbing challenge in the Fiordland area.
- Mountain biking and cycling is not permitted on any of the walking tracks within Fiordland National Park, however it is allowed on proper roads and a few local tracks around townships.
Did you know?
- There are 10 Marine Reserves in Fiordland?
- It is the largest of the 14 national parks in New Zealand, with an area of 12,500 km², and a major part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site.
- The most famous (and most visited) fiord is Milford Sound.
- The wildlife in this area includes dolphins, seals and birds.