Mabel Fatokun

Fiordland: The Smell And Looks That Take You Back In Time

New Zealand

  • 5,259,954
  • 268,021 km²
New Zealand

Fiordland, the rough, indented coast on the South Island of New Zealand, has a serene, unspoiled atmosphere that transports visitors back in time. “Very little has changed since the end of the Ice Age 15,000 years ago,” a sea captain informed us, referring to this as the very last area of Earth to be populated by humans. Everything looks and smells like it has just been cleaned in this breathtakingly beautiful World Heritage Site and protected National Park. Here, rainfall is expressed in metres. The steep Southern Alps are battered by moisture-laden westerly winds, creating a spectacle of swirling clouds, waterfalls, rainbows, snow, and ice surrounding the deep sea inlets.


Remarkably, the majority of the fiords in Fiordland National Park’s collection are named after sounds, a fact that has made them famous worldwide. Oddly enough, both words are accurate. A sound is the topographical name for a sizable ocean entrance, and a fiord is the geological term for an ice-carved terrain that has been flooded by water, usually the sea. Examine a map of the wild western coast of the South Island and read out a list of names in both Maori and English, each having a unique tale to tell. The entire region was given the name Fiordland to reflect the sense of magnificence that the environment offers. There are only few locations on Earth where you can witness the breathtaking

One of the most beloved natural landmarks in New Zealand, Fiordland National Park is known globally as a component of the larger Te Wāhipounamu (Place of the Greenstone) UNESCO World Heritage site. Since New Zealand was a part of the supercontinent Gondwanaland, it has been home to glaciers, mountain ranges, and a distinct flora and fauna.

The Department of Conservation is responsible for overseeing the 1.2 million hectares of mountain, lake, fiord, and rainforest habitats that make up Fiordland National Park. Due to its difficult and untamed terrain, Fiordland has seen little human activity.

If there’s one thing that makes Fiordland famous, it’s water. Here, water has sculpted the landscape, creating lakes, rivers, streams, waterfalls, verdant rainforests, breathtaking fiords, and water trapped as glaciers. Being ready for Fiordland weather and rain, come rain or shine, is the key to making the most of your time here. You may, of course, experience a drought—two days or longer without rain! Bring appropriate footwear, layers of clothing, and a reliable raincoat, of course.

When visiting Fiordland, the townships of Te Anau and Manapouri serve as a base and provide a variety of lodging choices, eateries, retail establishments, services, and recreational opportunities.

There are numerous methods to travel to Fiordland from Te Anau or Manapouri, including coach and cruise alternatives, private charters, scenic flights, and scenic cruises.


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