The area

When you travel to Fiordland/Te Anau you will be visiting one of the most beautiful and dramatic parts of New Zealand.

With it's mountainous country and multitude of activities within, it's a magical place to be absorbed in.

Area Facts

  • Largest National Park in New Zealand 1,251,924Ha established in 1952.
  • "Walking Capital of the World" with famous tracks as Milford track, Kepler Track, Hollyford Track and many more.
  • Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound two of many places on a must-visit basis.
  • Homer Tunnel 1.2 km of engineering marvel giving access to Milford sound. Completed in 1953.
  • Te Anau and Manapouri are the main towns for the Fiordland region.
  • Location from Te Anau - 120kms to Milford Sound or 170kms to Queenstown.
  • Local population approx 2000 swells over the summer period.
  • Lake Te Anau is the largest lake in the South Island and second largest in New Zealand.
  • Lake Depth: 417m max

Flora 

Much of Fiordland's forest is beech with two main varieties with  silver beech being the most wide spread. The red beech is also found in more sparse areas such as the Eglinton valley. Evolution over time thru glacial formation means much of Fiordland's forest clings to steep mountain sides. High rainfall from coastal weather fronts often brings tree falls, yet mother nature is quick to repair. Other species such as totara, rimu and miro also hold a prominent place in Fiordland.

In the wetter areas, shrubs, tree ferns, mosses and lichens grow in abundance. Above the bushline, snow tussocks dominate with showy alpine daisies, buttercups and other herbs. 

Fauna

Fiordland is home to several threatened native animals. The Murchison and Stuart Mountains are home to about 160 takahe - a flightless alpine bird thought to be extinct until the 1950's. Our Department of Conservation have a rearing programme locally where the birds are breeding in a hope to boost numbers in the wild. The kakapo,  a ground dwelling parrot near extinction, has been moved to protective islands in Fiordland.

The Eglinton Valley is a natural habitat for yellow-crowned parakeets, yellowheads (mohua) and long-tailed bats. Brown teal, blue duck and southern crested grebes are found on Fiordland lakes and streams.

Visitors are likely to see common forest birds like tomtits, brown creepers, grey warblers, fantails, tui, bellbirds and woodpigeons. The mountain parrot, the kea, is a regular entertainer at high altitudes.

Climate

Fiordland weather is highly changeable, so when you visit prepare for all conditions. Cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur at any time of the year. It can be sunny too though!

Temperatures in Fiordland

In New Zealand, January and February are the warmest months of the year (summer), and July is the coldest (winter). Fiordland in the south is generally colder than the north, but weather varies throughout the region and can change rapidly within a day.

Summer in Fiordland offers the warmest days (e.g. between 10 - 28°C). Winter temperatures (between May and November) can be between 1 - 9°C (example from July), however cold weather can occur at any time of year.

Attractions

  • Scenic flights – Helicopter - Southern Lakes Helicopters,  Float Plane - Wings and Water
  • Lake Cruise – Lake Manapouri or Lake Te Anau
  • 18 Hole Golf Course, with stunning lake views
  • Horse Treks / Quad bike tours
  • Glow Worm Caves (Te Anau)
  • Overnight or daytime cruise on the Sounds – Doubtful or Milford
  • Kayaking the sounds – get up close and personal with the waterfalls and wildlife
  • Dive Milford Sound – view rare black coral or visit the Underwater Observatory (Milford Sound)
  • Drive to Milford Sound on the most beautiful scenic drive, the Milford Road
  • Hike on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks
  • Day walks up to Key Summit from The Divide, or to Lake Marion, self-guild or guided options available.
  • Visit Gunns Camp and Musem, home of Davey Gun – Hollyford Valley
  • Luxmore Jet taking in the river Waiau and Lord of the Rings locations

Around Town

  • Fiordland Cinema – Ata Whenua, Fiordland on Film
  • Miles Pies don't leave town without trying!
  • Large choice of restaurants and bars
  • Mini golf
  • Te Anau bird sanctuary
  • Frisbee Golf (Ivon Wilson Park)
  • Perenuka Mountain Bike Park (Sinclair Road)