Fiordland Attractions

Discover Fiordland for a remarkable vacation in a quaint and pastoral cottage. It’s the most preferred holiday destination, and you’ll certainly have a memorable experience.

Located in the southwest corner of New Zealand, Fiordland is famous for its fantastic nature, beautiful wildlife, breathtaking scenery and numerous walking trails. Towering mountains from the sea, canyons carved in humongous glaciers and the long fiords pressing on into the mountains make Fiordland a dramatic and impressive destination. The following are some of the major attractions in Fiordland:

Fiordland National Park

This is the largest national park in New Zealand, covering a conservation area of about 1.2 million hectares. It’s accessible via Te Anau, a charming township on the shores of Lake Te Anau. Along the shores of Lake Manapouri is a peaceful town with a similar name which initiated environmental awareness in the 1950s, following plans to generate power from the lake. It’s now the starting point of a range of day and night nature walks, as well as the Doubtful Sound excursions.

The Fiordland region has 14 fiords, 13 of which are accessible by cruise boats which take visitors out into the open sea. It’s Milford Sound that is accessible by road. If you are a big fan of flora and fauna and dazzling landscapes, then you should head to Doubtful Sound. It’s a remote wilderness which is longer than Milford and is accessible by boat and plane.

Nature and Wildlife

The distinctively stunning natural features of Fiordland earned it a World Heritage status in 1986. Other contributing factors were its unique role in demonstrating the Earth’s evolutionary history as well as its dazzling beauty. Besides the endangered takahe, Fiordland is also a haven of the native birds such as the grey warbler, tomtit, bellbird, kaka, kea, tui and native pigeon. The pest-free offshore islands are utilised for running endangered species programmes; among them, the breeding of kakapo, kiwi and takahe. Even the flightless alpine that was on the verge of extinction has had its population considerably increased through this breeding project.


It’s the Māori people who discovered this remote wilderness of Fiordland and thus have the indigenous knowledge regarding its establishment and naming of various regions. It’s believed that a demi-god used a hammer to carve out a jagged coastline and other numerous islands until he attained perfection. Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) remains his top achievement. However, Hine-nui-te-po (the underworld goddess) was wary of the possible hesitation by visitors to leave, prompting her to send sandflies to sting and chase them away.

The first European to visit Fiordland was Captain James Cook. Together with his crew, he arrived in 1773 for a tour which lasted five weeks. This pioneering visit produced charts, maps and other illustrative descriptions that attracted other whale and seal hunters. After that, prospectors, explorers and surveyors also started exploring the area. In their early days, the Māori visited this region for hunting exploits, beginning at Tangiwai and extending to the mouth of Milford Sound.

Outdoor Activities

Escape to Fiordland and discover New Zealand’s nine Great Walks, particularly the Milford, Routeburn and Kelper, which are ranked among the best trails in the world. Visitors explore the area alone, or with the help of tour guides. If you intend to visit this area, it’s advisable that you make advance bookings for accommodation and boat access.

Kayaking and pack-rafting are everyday activities here. Guided trips are available at the Doubtful Sound/Patea and Milford Sound/Piopiotahi, along Eglinton River and on the Waiau River. The area has numerous boat launching ramps along the lake, but this excursion is subject to weather conditions which can vary rapidly. Visitors are prohibited from littering the lake and rivers with invasive weeds such as didymo and oxygen weed.