A World Heritage wilderness
Fiordland is undoubtedly one of New Zealand’s most breathtakingly beautiful regions. Home to the Milford and Doubtful Sounds as well as Fiordland National Park, the country’s largest park, this is natural and unspoilt wilderness on a grand scale, and an absolute paradise for adventure lovers.
A place where few people live but thousands visit each year, the region was carved by glaciers over 100,000 years leaving behind deep fiords, lakes, waterfalls and mountain peaks covered in lush forest filled with life. It’s little wonder then that the region has been recognised as a World Heritage area. Hiking, kayaking and even scuba diving are all on offer or you could simply enjoy the incredible views with a scenic cruise.
Top things to do in Fiordland
Looking for ideas to help you plan the ultimate New Zealand outdoor adventure? Here are some of the top things for active travellers to see and do in the Fiordland region.
Explore Milford and Doubtful Sounds
Milford Sound is the more popular and more easily accessible of the region’s fiords. At the head of the fiord, approximately 16 km / 10 miles from the sea, is a small settlement that serves as a base for tourists. From here you can catch one of a number a scenic day or overnight cruises. For the more adventurous there’s the opportunity to explore the fiord in a kayak with Rosco’s Milford Kayaks or scuba dive with Descend Milford Sound.
Doubtful Sound is the deepest of all the fiords and since it’s not directly accessible by road, it remains remote and virtually untouched. Getting there involves catching a boat across Lake Manapouri and then a coach ride to the head of the sound. This should all be arranged as part of a scenic cruise or guided kayak experience.
Hike the Great Walks
New Zealand has 10 officially designated Great Walks that showcase some of the countries best scenery. Unsurprisingly, 3 of these walks, Milford, Kepler and Routeburn, are located in the Fiordland National Park. All three are multi-day hikes taking between 2 and 4 days. Even if you don’t have the time to do the full walks, consider these tracks as day options are available. You can find more details on the Department of Conservation website.
See glow worms near Te Anau
If you find yourself in Fiordland not having visited glow worm caves on the North Island, most notably at Waitomo, then this is your opportunity. A boat ride across Lake Te Anau to the western shore will take you to the cave entrance where, together with a guide, you can explore this underground world, complete with subterranean waterfall. For more details visit the Real Journeys website.