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Fjordland / Milford Sound

The power of Fiordland’s scenery never fails to enthral travellers. Waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into massive fiords; ancient rainforest clings impossibly to the mountains; shimmering lakes and granite peaks look the same today as they did a thousand years ago. 
 
From the lakeside townships of Te Anau and Manapouri, you can experience Fiordland in the way that suits your travelling style. Adventurers can embark on kayaking tours of the lakes and fiords; hikers have access to a choice of well known walking challenges; scenery lovers can catch a scenic flight or enjoy lake and fiord cruises; divers can discover rare black corals growing just beneath the water’s surface.

MY TRAVEL AGENT'S suggested experiences in Fjordland:

 
 
1.  EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTY OF MILFORD SOUND
 
Milford Sound is the most famous and accessible of the grand, glacier-carved fiords along the South Island's lower western coast. While it was named a 'sound', it's actually a fJord, because it was created by glaciers. A sound is a river valley that has been flooded by the sea.

The road to Milford is a wonderful alpine drive - allow plenty of time to stop and take in the photographic and walking opportunities along the way. Coach tours leave daily from Te Anau and Queenstown, if you'd prefer to let someone else do the driving. Scenic flights take off daily from Te Anau. Aerial views include the Southern Alps, Milford Track and Lake Te Anau. Scenic flights also connect with boat cruises on the sound.

Boats cruise the full length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea, pausing at various points to view waterfalls and marine life. Cruises leave from the main wharf at Milford Sound. You can also experience Milford Sound by sea kayaking, diving and a visit to the Underwater Observatory in Harrison Cove.

 

2.  GO UNDERGROUND AND SEE THE GLOWWORM CAVES

The fascinating caves system on the western shore of Lake Te Anau offers an underground adventure that charms visitors of all ages.  Following a scenic cruise across beautiful Lake Te Anau, informative and friendly guides take you on an exploration of the caves by path and small punt.  Observe how the rushing water sculpts the rock formations, before gliding through silent darkness to the glowworm grotto. The delicate incandescence of thousands of tiny glowworms is a magical sight.

 

3.  HIKE SOME OF THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS WALKS

The Milford Track (53.9 kilometres) follows several glaciated valleys, ascends an alpine pass and traverses some spectacular scenery. The walk takes four days and involves boat travel at both ends. You can walk the track independently or take a guide.  From the Milford end of the track, you'll start your journey at aptly named Sandfly Point. Maori legend imaginatively explains the presence of Fiordland's famously large sand flies: The goddess Te Hine-nui-te-po released the sandfly to stop people from lingering too long in the beauty of the fiords.  Other famous walking tracks in Fjordland include the Routeburn, Kepler, Hollyford, and Tuatapere Hump Ridge Tracks.

 

4.  HOOK A TROUT ON A SPECTACULAR LAKE

Fiordland's fishing is almost as spectacular as its scenery.  A range of experienced operators offer guided freshwater and saltwater fishing. Licenses are required and are readily available at a number of outlets in Te Anau and Manapouri.  Fish for wild brown and rainbow trout on Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapouri, which are open for fishing all year round. The rivers are generally open for the summer months.  


 
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