Drama and beauty are fused together at the Fiordland National Park in South Island, New Zealand. Spread over an area of 12,607 square kilometres, Fiordland features a gorgeous natural phenomenon wherever you look. On the one hand you have incredible ancient forests that cling possessively to the mountain slopes, on the other waterfalls that tumble slip and relinquish themselves to the gigantic fiords. All of this glory lies in the shadow and shimmer of snow-capped mountains.
The park is located in the Southwest Corner of the South Island of New Zealand. The main base of the park is located at the small town of Te Anau, which is 171 kilometres southwest of Queenstown. Te Anau is well-equipped with hotels, cafes and other conveniences that tourists may need after their visit to the park.
Tel: +64 3 249 8900
Hours: Between 8:30 AM-5:00 PM (these fluctuate).
Timings: Fiordland National Park is open every day of the year.
1st May to 22nd October: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
23rd October to 30th April: 8:00 AM- 05:00 PM.
Christmas Day: 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM.
The park is home to 14 fiords (steep valleys) that stretch across 215 kilometres of the coastline. This lush land is one of the most visited areas of New Zealand – by both locals and tourists alike. Nearly 1 million people have visited Fiordland in 2019. With attractions like the iconic Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, the Te Anau Glowworm Caves and more, the park is an open invitation to gawk at the wonder of nature.
There are different ways to reach the national park – suitable for every budget.
By Car: Drive from Queenstown to Te Anau via State Highway 6 or you can choose State Highway 94. The latter is a longer route, which takes more than 2.5 hours, however it is extremely scenic.
By Plane: During the summer season, you have the option of three flights a week that go from Queenstown to the Te Anua airport. If you’re flying from Auckland and Wellington, the closest airports to fly to are Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill.
By Bus: From Queenstown to Te Anua you can catch the daily bus to the national park.
Mother Nature must be an artist, because Fiordland National Park is a masterpiece. Featuring 14 different fiords, including the iconic Milford Sound, the park is a smorgasbord of natural wonders. The Māori’s believe that this area was crafted by the demi-God Tu-te-raki-whanoa. Whatever its origins, Fiordland National Park is a treasure trove. An area that represents biodiversity at its best.
The land itself is covered with ancient trees and rocks that have witnessed more than we could in a thousand lifetimes. The forests, lakes and the coastline are home to some of the most beautiful and rare birds and animals. On your trip to the park, you’ll encounter seal pups, penguins, dolphins and even the occasional whale breaching the water. A trek through the forests will reveal all kinds of shrubs, tree ferns, mosses, lichens, silver beech trees, alpine daises, herbs, buttercups and even bright purple fungi. The lovely black coral trees in this area are over 200 years old.
The park is the perfect playground for all those with a deep appreciation for nature. The skies, the water, the forests and the mountains are yours to explore. Take a scenic flight via helicopter, float plane or vintage biplane. Sail over the Manapouri and Te Anau lakes on a cruise. Experience the beauty of Milford Sound on an overnight cruise. Slip into the earth’s glowing embrace as you tour the famous glow worm caves in the region. Take a scenic road trip to Milford Sound, via the gorgeous Milford Road. Go scuba diving in one of the fiords. Kayak your way to the gushing waterfalls. Go fishing on the lake. Wake up at the crack of dawn and photograph the sunrise over Milford Sound. Each new day is a new adventure at Fiordland Park. One visit will never be enough.