Exploring Fiordland

Milford Sound, Fiordland | Image: Steve Camp

Exploring Fiordland

Named for the 14 fiords that carve into its coastline, Fiordland contains some of the most dramatic scenery in New Zealand.

It’s been an internationally renowned destination for decades. Rudyard Kipling called it the “eighth wonder of the world” and American author James A. Michener described it as “the most stirring sight in the Pacific”. The Fiordland area is home to the nation’s largest National Park and was designated a World Heritage Area in 1990. It is also the setting for some of New Zealand’s best-known hiking trails, including the Milford, Kepler and Routeburn tracks, and walking is a popular way to experience the unspoiled wilderness. Boat cruises are another great way to see the landscape.

Do & Discover

Cruise, cycle, kayak or hike through Fiordland, a magical place where legends and myths mingle with awe-inspiring landscapes of forests and fiords. Get out on the water with Deep Cove Charters, Real Journeys, Rosco’s Milford Kayaks, or Southern Discoveries. To explore on foot and experience some of the world's greatest walking tracks, talk to the helpful crew at Te Rua-o-te-moko/Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in Te Anau. You can also catch a film at Fiordland Cinema, view the unique sea life of the Sound at Milford Sound Underwater Observatory, explore the Te Anau Glowworm Caves with Real Journeys, or get in the saddle with Wild Rides.

Food & Drink

When you’re done drinking in the jaw-slackening views, Fiordland lays claim to a collection of pretty special cafés, bars and restaurants. In Te Anau, Redcliff Café is a delightful local favourite where you can dine on fresh local produce (including wild game). Sip a drink with the locals at The Ranch Bar & Grill. In Milford Sound, try Blue Duck Café & Bar, popular with visitors. There are several good restaurants in Te Anau. Try The Fat Duck or Café La Dolce Vita, a stylish spot serving Italian cuisine.


Set in one of New Zealand's most scenic locations, Fiordland accommodations are rooms with a view. Try Fiordland Hotel & Motel in Te Anau, Kepler Mountain View in Manapouri, Milford Sound Lodge, or Te Anau Lodge B&B.

Local Knowledge

The closest domestic airports to Fiordland with scheduled services are at Queenstown and Invercargill. Queenstown has domestic and trans-Tasman flights, while Invercargill provides domestic flights only. If you're behind the wheel, Te Anau is on SH 94. It is 2 hours from Queenstown and 2 hours from Invercargill. Regular coach services operate. It is a two-hour drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound. Find out more at the Fiordland i-SITE on Lakefront Drive.

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