Fiordland is a bucket list destination with a variety of world-class experiences to match. With its striking glacier carved landscape, Fiordland is dominated by the snow-capped Southern Alps, sheer cliffs, granite peaks and deep lakes. A natural wonderland to discover, here’s our four favourite experiences in Fiordland and why they should be on your must-do list too!
1. Scenic flight for a picnic on remote Fiordland mountain top
As a World Heritage Site that is home to the infamous trio of Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds, Fiordland is the perfect destination to go deeper into the unknown. A scenic flight to faraway, hidden gems is the must-do ultimate experience in Fiordland. There’s really nothing quite like a bird’s eye view of this unique and remote area of the world. Once airborne, you will discover deep hanging valleys, cascading waterfalls and spectacular fiords. What feels like a journey to the ends of the earth, is a magical Fiordland experience that will stay with you forever. You can even indulge in a gourmet picnic to on top of a majestic mountain at one of your landing locations so make sure you are camera ready.
Scenic Fiordland flight with Southern Lake Helicopters.
2. See rare wildlife at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary
From the rare takahē, to the beautiful New Zealand forest parrot known as the kākā, you can see rare New Zealand wildlife at the local Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary run by the Department of Conservation. Located an easy, 15-minute walk from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre, the sanctuary is open daily from dawn to dusk with free entry. There is a daily feeding tour at 10.30 am provided by Department of Conservation rangers where a gold coin donation is greatly appreciated. Bring a picnic and enjoy the lake side views of the sprawling grounds.
Takahē at the bird sanctuary. Photo credit: DOC.
3. Watch the iconic film Ata Whenua – Shadowland
Ata Whenua – Shadowland takes you on an unforgettable journey to Fiordland in front of the big screen. This cinematic masterpiece puts Fiordland World Heritage Status wilderness on centre stage and always elicits a standing ovation. Predominantly filmed from the heights of helicopters, across changes of seasons and terrain, this phenomenal 32-minute film is not just a movie to see but one that you will feel. An intimate look at the vastness of Fiordland, Ata Whenua – Shadowland is an eye-opening, evocative tribute that will remain with you for some time. Screens daily at Fiordland Cinema.
4. Explore Milford Sound
Described by Rudyard Kipling as the eighth wonder of the world, the iconic Milford Sound is another must-do experience in Fiordland. With its picture-perfect peaks that juts above the base of deep dark waters, you can explore the wonders of Milford Sound by scenic cruise or kayak. If you’re lucky to get some rain when you’re in Fiordland, watch the waterfalls cascade down its cliff face from as high as 1000 metres and watch the magical Milford Sound come alive.