Nestled in the southwestern corner of New Zealand's South Island, Fiordland is an awe-inspiring region renowned for its dramatic fiords, rugged mountains, and lush rainforests. Fiordland is home to iconic locations such as Piopiotahi Milford Sound and Patea Doubtful Sound. The lakeside town of Te Anau is the perfect place to base yourself as it's known as the gateway to Fiordland National Park.
Fiordland is a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers, offering unparalleled beauty and diverse outdoor experiences in the heart of New Zealand's breathtaking landscape.
Discover Fiordland's gems with a day or overnight cruise. Set voyage in Piopiotahi Milford Sound, marvelling at Mitre Peak and cascading waterfalls. In Patea Doubtful Sound, cruise through fiords surrounded by lush rainforests and wildlife. Or experience the illuminated glowworm caves in Te Anau. Whichever way you explore Fiordland, our experiences make for an unforgettable adventure.
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Fiordland National Park is situated in the south-western region of New Zealand's South Island. The park spans across this corner and is known for its breathtaking natural landscapes.
Fiordland stands out as a haven for nature lovers, with an unparalleled focus on hiking and walking experiences. Renowned for hosting three of New Zealand's prestigious Great Walks—Kepler, Milford, and Routeburn — Fiordland beckons adventure seekers to explore its stunning landscapes. Beyond these iconic trails, the region offers an extensive array of day walk options, ensuring that every visitor can find a trek suited to their preferences.
To reach Fiordland in the South Island of New Zealand, your journey usually begins in Te Anau, the main hub offering accommodation, dining, and services. This town also serves as the gateway to the breathtaking Piopiotahi Milford Sound and Patea Doubtful Sound.
Travelling from Queenstown to Te Anau treats you to a scenic drive along Lake Whakatipu, through the picturesque rural Southland and culminates in Te Anau at the edge of Fiordland National Park.
If you're coming from Invercargill or Southland, opt for the Southern Scenic Route for a real spectacular journey, unveiling the beauty of the south's rural and coastal areas.
You can stay in Fiordland National Park – there are numerous accommodations in Te Anau, from lodges to hotels, and Airbnbs to motels. Freedom camping is not allowed as Fiordland is a UNESCO world heritage site. However, there are plenty of campgrounds throughout the national park. A full list can be found on the Department of Conservation website.
Fiordland National Park offers a huge range of activities for nature enthusiasts. Visitors can experience scenic cruises to Milford Sound and be immersed in the fiord and its incredible waterfalls. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the world-famous Milford Track, renowned for its scenery and quality.
For an experience further off the beaten path, take a boat tour to Doubtful Sound, known for its untouched wilderness. Wildlife lovers might spot native species like dolphins, seals, and penguins. Fiordland National Park is a haven for outdoor adventure, and its visitors can kayak, stargaze, and explore. They might even seek out Te Anau’s mysterious glowworm caves. Awe-inspiring landscapes combined with exciting activities to make Fiordland National Park an unforgettable adventure in the heart of nature.
Discover the elusive tawaki, or Fiordland crested penguins, in the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand's South Island. For the best chances of spotting these unique birds, head to the southwest corner and explore the stunning Lake Moeraki coastline. The best time of year to see tawaki is July to November, their breeding season. Moulting season is also a popular time to spot the bird, which is from mid-January to early March.
Fiordland, home to the Fiordland National Park, sprawls across an expansive 12,600 square kilometres. It proudly holds the title of New Zealand's largest national park and stands as one of the world's expansive natural wonders. Within Fiordland’s vastness, you'll find renowned visitor destinations like Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, and the world-famous Milford Track. In Fiordland, nature's scale truly incredible.
The weather in Fiordland is known to be one of the world's wettest! With Milford Sound experiencing an average annual rainfall of approximately seven meters, Fiordland is renowned for its precipitation. Rainfall is year-round, so it's wise to come prepared with a reliable rain jacket and sturdy footwear. Whether you're planning a summer hike or a winter escape, the key to enjoying Fiordland is to pack smart, check the forecast, and stay weather-ready throughout your adventure.
The closest town to Fiordland National Park is Te Anau, on the eastern side of Fiordland. The town is approximately 20 minutes from Manapouri, a gateway to Doubtful Sound, and 2 hours from Milford Sound. Te Anau is equipped with cafes, toilets, a supermarket, and a fuel station, for all your needs.
Spend 3 days in Fiordland, at least, so you can check off the must-see destinations, Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, which require a day each (at least) to experience. Travel to Te Anau on day one and explore the mesmerising glowworm caves and spend the night. On day two, travel 2.5 hours to Milford Sound, head out on a day cruise to experience the epic waterfalls and mountains and return to Te Anau that evening. Day three, drive 20 minutes to Manapouri and head out on a day cruise into Doubtful Sound, a remarkable wilderness on your doorstep.
When planning your visit to Fiordland, New Zealand, the best time to experience its stunning landscapes and mild weather is during summer in New Zealand, which is from November to March. During these months, there are pleasant temperatures, with January and February typically being the hottest. This period offers the best conditions for outdoor activities such as hiking, boat tours, and wildlife spotting and is part of the Great Walk season.
However, be mindful that Fiordland experiences a high level of rainfall throughout the year regardless of the month, so be prepared for precipitation, especially in winter months. To make the most of your trip and witness the beauty of Fiordland's fiords and wildlife, the summer months are generally considered the best time to visit.