Home of the famous Milford and Doubtful Sounds
Located on the South West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand is the region of Fiordland, home of famous Milford and Doubtful Sounds as well as many world renowned walking tracks. When you visit Fiordland, you will be visiting one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand. Fiordland is a World Heritage area and the largest National Park in New Zealand.
The hub of the Fiordland region is the attractive town of Te Anau. From here it is an easy two hours drive to Milford Sound and twenty minutes by coach to Lake Manapouri and the start of a Doubtful Sound excursion.
Te Anau and Manapouri – each on the shores of spectacular lakes – provide excellent bases to explore Fiordland.
Destination Fiordland is part of the Southern Lakes region incorporating Wanaka, Queenstown, Central Otago and Fiordland. Southern Lakes offers visitors an unsurpassed range of holiday possibilities through its diversity of landscape and attractions. Stunning landscapes range from hill country to rugged mountains, tussock lands to lush rainforests, with the climate offering summer and ski options providing year round attractions, contrasting bustling cafes and shopping possibilities, with remote wildernesses and solitude, adrenalin rushes to peace and tranquillity – a destination that can truly boast something for every interest.
In this land the air is clear and climate invigorating, the weather can be mild, it is often relentless, and the results are frequently startling and memorable. Waterfalls pour out of the sky, volumous skirts enveloping the surrounding forest in misty shrouds. Forest floors swell closely wrapped in a quilt of moss and ferns; streams tingle the smell of leaf litter fills the air.
Fiordland’s weather is what gives the region its unique character. Water is what makes Fiordland a verdant land with lakes, rivers, streams, cataracts, waterfalls, fiords. Visitors should always be prepared to enjoy some rainfall during their stay. It is recommended to bring sensible clothing for cool and wet weather to fully appreciate your stay.
The area of Fiordland transects a steep gradient from the open ocean and coastal environments to high mountain peaks and sheltered valleys. This rugged terrain can cause weather effects to be quite localised with the mountains sheltering inland areas from showers. The rainfall varies significantly from areas immediately at the coastline to mountain passes meaning that Milford Sound can experience above average rainfall whilst Te Anau is below average.
Fiordland’s steep mountain ranges sometimes cause avalanche conditions on the Milford Road over spring and winter months. The avalanches are constantly monitored and on rare occasions the Milford Road may need to be closed until safe. Most avalanche danger occurs in spring.
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Fiordland experiences long twilights over the summer months allowing time for evening activities such as:
• Lakeside strolls
• Te Anau Glowworm Caves operate each evening on Lake Te Anau
• Fine dining
• Bars open till late
Cool, calm and clear days, snow capped mountains, spectacular waterfalls and wildlife all combine to make winter a great experience in Fiordland when the Doubtful and Milford Sounds show off their majesty. Peace, tranquillity and isolation make the holiday resorts of Te Anau and Manapouri ideal destinations to visit. Crisp air and snow-capped peaks offer clarity to the days that will take your breath away. Heavy snow can lead to avalanche conditions affecting the Milford Road, however, an extensive avalanche control programme is in place to manage the risk.