Most travelers heading to New Zealand do it in the search of adventure, scenery, and nature. Without a doubt, one of the best places to fulfill this search is the Fiordland National Park in the South West corner of the South Island.
A stretch of 215km (134 mi) coastline with 14 fiords so beautiful that this park has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1990 as part of the Te Wahipounamu site (which covers other National Parks in this region).
This awe inspiring park comprises 12,500 km2 (4,826 mi2) of fiords, valleys, peaks, forests, unique fauna and flora, and a full range of activities to suit all tastes and budgets. An amazing gift for nature lovers and landscape seekers.
When it comes to the fiords themselves, the main and most spectacular are Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound.
The most popular Milford Sound gets its celebrity from its breathtaking scenery and accessibility. On the other hand, Doubtful Sound brings more of a remote experience though not as dramatic. Go to both if you cannot make up your mind!
What can you do here?
An important thing to take into account is the distances as it takes time to go from one area to another, so plan your timings accordingly.
If you decide to overnight, specially from late October to late April as it gets quite an amount of visitors so booking in advance is a good idea. Remember that, being distances so big, you would not want to be stranded and far from the next possible place to stay.
Te Anau is a town that serves as a base to many travelers specially in the Milford Sound area. Just remember that name in case you need a reference if traveling independently.
Te Anau is accessible by State Highway (SH) 6 & 94 from Queenstown (2 ½ hrs drive), SH’s 1 & 94 from Dunedin (4 hrs drive) or via two options from Invercargill the Southern Scenic route or State Highway 1 & 94 (both between 2 –3 & 1/2 hrs driving). Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill all have regular scheduled domestic flights. Regular coach connections are also available from each of these centres. Te Anau airport also has three inbound DC3 trips three times a week over peak season connecting with Queenstown, plus charter flights available.