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Fiordland's extraordinary serrated coastline and deep branching lakes were carved out by glaciers millions of years ago, leaving behind an area internationally acclaimed for its spectacular scenery, isolation and uninhabited environment which is a designated World Heritage Area covering nearly 1.2 million hectares. It includes the townships of Manapouri, Milford Sound and Te Anau.


  Te Anau is the hub of the Fiordland region and it is nestled at the southern shores of lake Te Anau. From Te Anau it is a two hour drive to Milford Sound and twenty minutes by coach to Lake Manapouri and the start of a Doubtful Sound excursion.
Fiordland represents nature on a grand scale, where waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into massive fiords; ancient rainforest cover incredibly steep mountain slopes and valleys; glacier-carved fiords cut inland from the coast; pristine lakes and granite peaks look the same as they did a thousand years ago.
Three of New Zealand's great walks are found in Fiordland - the Routeburn, Milford and Kepler tracks. A range of short tracks also lets you experience the wilderness for a few hours.
The road to Milford Sound, is considered one of the finest alpine drives in the world. The Homer Tunnel is a highlight of the road to Milford Sound and it was carved from solid rock in the 1850s. Arriving at Milford, visitors are confronted by the most famous of New Zealand icons - the majestic Mitre Peak.
Main attractions & activities

  From the townships of Te Anau and Manapouri, you can embark on kayaking tours of the lakes and fiords and hikers have access to a choice of well known walking challenges. Scenic lovers can catch a scenic flight or enjoy lake and fiord cruises and divers can discover rare black corals growing just below the water's surface.
Roads provide access to only a relatively small part of Fiordland, and flightseeing provides one of the best ways to really appreciate this vast wilderness. Flights are available from Queenstown, Te Anau or Milford. Taking the road one way and flying the other adds variety but take into account that the extreme geography of the region means that weather can be unpredictable so always be prepared for sudden changes.
Fiordland National Park contains five of the country's best-known hiking trails, ranging from 1½-day nature walks to three-day walks on well-established tracks. Other activities in the Te Anau area include, cycling, golf, fishing, sailing, swimming, hunting and visits to spectacular glow-worm caves.
If you have time to cruise the sounds, you will be surrounded by mountain peaks and towering sheer granite cliffs from which spectacular waterfalls plunge to the sea below. This is the realm of playful bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and gulls. Milford Sound is the most famous, but Doubtful Sound is the deepest and is a haven for nature, with resident bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins. Kayak tours and overnight eco-cruises are a great way to enjoy the solitude and serenity of Doubtful Sound.

To get there

  Scheduled daily coach services link Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill to Te Anau township. Visitors can also take a fixed wing aircraft or Helicopter sightseeing flight from Queenstown to Milford Sound. Driving time from Te Anau to Queenstown is 2 hours, 45 minutes and from Te Anau to Milford Sound is 2 hours. Driving time from Dunedin to Te Anau is 4 hours, 15 minutes. 

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