The sheer size and majestic splendors of the Fiordland seem surreal. But to thoroughly explore this dramatic region, I encourage you to do so both on and under the waters, by aerial tour, as well as walking and hiking. Every one of these excursions offer something totally different.
The Fiordland National Park cover an area of 1.2 million hectares, and includes snow-capped mountains, pristine clear and deep lakes, glacier carved fiords (fjords) and valleys, and lush green rainforests. Noted for its fiords and sounds of which the most popular attractions are Milford Sound and the largest but least accessible Doubtful Sound, Fiordland also has numerous waterfalls and lakes, including Browne Falls and Sutherland Falls, and Lake Hauroko, Lake Manapouri, and Lake Te Anau.
Both Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound offer an array of nature activities. These include walking and hiking trails, including the popular Milford Track. This trail takes five days to complete. There are other trails that can be walked in four and three days, respectively, as well as addition routes that can be explored on shorter walks.
Sea kayaking and diving in the Fiordland National Park can be an exhilarating adventure. You can explore a number of the fiords, and lakes in Te Anau and Manapouri by kayaking. Underwater of the Fiordland, disclose a world packed with sea creatures and plants. Scenic eco-cruises and flight trips take travelers over this majestic landscape, including those areas that are not easily reachable, otherwise.
Milford Sound at Fiordland
Rudyard Kipling referred to Milford Sound as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. It was chiseled by glaciers during the ice ages. Milford Sound is the only fiord accessible by road and travelers can reach its entire 16km length all the way to the sweeping ocean. Breathtakingly serene throughout the year and during any weather condition, Milford Sound’s rock-peaks rise out of the waters and tower over the landscape, reaching the skies and reflecting into the lake below.
Doubtful Sound at Fiordland
Imposing, grand, and depicting the deepest gorge of the fiords, Doubtful Sound has a depth of 421 meters. Doubtful Sound with its three twisting and distinct ‘arms’ clad with rainforest and islands and copious waterfalls has much to offer in terms of natural splendor.
Although lesser known and least visited compared to its sister fiord Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound is about ten times larger and its majesty and beauty is remarkably. As well, in addition to its long and winding features and soaring 900-metre sea cliff of Commander Peak, the area comprising the fiord is inhabited by wildlife, including the bottlenose dolphin, the New Zealand fur seal, and the Fiordland crested penguin.
Article by: Tiffany Huggins