NZ Bush Tip No. 5

Use the stem of the native lance wood for an unbreakable shoe lace while tramping in the bush.

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Fiordland is another of New Zealand's World Heritage Sites – not surprising considering its spectacular scenery and the exceptional natural beauty of this wilderness. It is here that you can see the world-renowned Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound, two of the most incredibly stunning fiords. Fiordland also has some of the most well-known walks in the country, including the Milford, Kepler and Routeburn tracks. Being at the southern end of NZ, you can take advantage of the long summer twilights to fit even more experiences into your day.

Must experience:

  • Walk the Milford, Kepler or Routeburn tracks
  • Overnight on Doubtful Sound, on board The Fiordland, for scenic and wildlife viewing, kayaking and exploring in the tender craft with the nature guide
  • Cruise charter amidst the 14 fiords within the 215km coastline of the region
  • Look for the Fiordland crested penguin
  • Visit the underwater observatory beneath Pembroke Glacier, amid the towering mountains of Fiordland National Park

Facts at a glance

  • With 1.2 million hectares of national park, encompassing everything from coastal to alpine environments, there is a wide range of opportunities to view nature at its best.
  • Much of Fiordland's forest clings to steep faces of hard rock, covered by a thin layer of rich, peaty humus and moss.
  • The Murchison and Stuart Mountains support about 160 takahe – a flightless alpine bird thought extinct earlier this century.
  • The underwater environment in the fiords is one of the most intriguing and unique in the world. Due to the very high rainfall that drains through the lush forests, the water becomes stained with tannins until it is the colour of strong tea. This dark freshwater does not mix with the sea water of the fiords but sits on top, limiting the amount of light that reaches into the depths and restricting almost all of the marine life to the top 40 metres of water depth. As a result, light-sensitive species that normally live at great depths are found much closer to the surface in Fiordland waters, so there is an opportunity to see rare species such as the red and black corals at relatively shallow depths.


On the Fiordland navigator they anchor at a chosen mooring for the night
On the Fiordland navigator they anchor at a chosen mooring for the night giving you the opportunity to kayak around the shoreline, go exploring in the tender craft with our nature guide or simply relax on deck. A sumptuous three-course buffet is served in the evening, showcasing some of the region's finest produce.

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