Image: Clinton River Valley by tewahipounamu, on flickr.
"A cherished corner of the world where mountains and valleys compete with each other for room, where scale is almost beyond comprehension, rainfall is measured in metres and scenery encompasses the broadest width of emotions".
- Mountains of Water: the story of Fiordland National Park
Established in 1952, Fiordland National Park is now over 1.2 million hectares in size, and encompasses mountain, lake, fiord and rainforest environments.
Home to Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and three world-famous walking tracks, Fiordland is the largest of New Zealand’s 14 national parks and is administered by the Department of Conservation.
Visitors flock to the region for its scenic beauty, the myriad of wildlife on display, and the challenging and rewarding walking tracks that allow its secrets to be discovered.
Image below: Alpine Tarn, Milford Track by Chris Murphy, on Flickr
Many of the plants and wildlife living in the remote Fiordland region are completely unique, and are believed to be the best modern representations of ancient life from the supercontinent of Gondwana. This is one of the reasons Fiordland forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Te Wahipounamu (which also includes the Aoraki/Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring and Westland national parks).
Image below: Bird by Chris Murphy on flickr.
Experience the wild beauty of this area by going hiking in Fiordland National Park. Fiordland has an excellent network of walking tracks, including several of New Zealand's 'Great Walks' - hence its reputation as the Walking Capital of the World. Te Anau makes a great start and end point for hikers.
In addition to multi-day trails there are many short walks in Fiordland on diverse terrain, providing walking opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.
Fiordland weather is notoriously unpredictable, so be prepared for rapid changes in conditions including cold temperatures, strong winds and heavy rain at any time of year. It is essential to carry warm and waterproof clothing (even on a day trip), and sunscreen. Check the weather and track conditions before you start, come prepared and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of this region. More about Fiordland and Milford Sound walks
Image below: Routeburn Track by Lwtt93, on flickr.