The Fiords Are Alive With The Sound Of Milford

The Fiordland of the South Island is one of the most dramatically beautiful places in New Zealand. It is home to some spectacular scenery and an abundance of long and short walking tracks. The area has gained world-heritage status, and it's not wonder, because there really is no other place like it!

The easiest way to access the hub of the Fiordland is from Queenstown. Campervan Hire New Zealand has several depots here, which means that you can become adjusted to your new driving conditions and then head to the vast, remote and isolated region that is Fiordland. On the drive there alone, you will discover an ancient wilderness of calm lakes, majestic, snow-capped peaks and dense rainforest. While driving past all this scenic beauty, you won't be able to stop yourself from pulling over to absorb and breathe in your stunning surrounds. This is the great thing about having your own campervans New Zealand: it means that you can pull over to the side of the road at any time to soak up the breathtaking landscapes. However, if you are not stopping at a rest stop, but merely on the side of the road, take care of passing traffic, as many of these roads are windy and unpredictable.

The Fiordland region is home to many amazing fiords, small townships and beautiful natural wonderlands of lakes, waterfalls and rivers. The most notable destinations in Fiordland are undoubtedly Te Anau, Milford Sound, Lake Manapouri and Doubtful Sound. Be sure to spare several days for each of these areas as you will want to expLore all that they have to offer, without missing out on a thing!

Te Anau

The community of Te Anau is the hub of the Fiordland region and is the perfect place to begin your exploration of this fascinating area. Nestled on the banks of a lake of the same name, Te Anau boats a spectacular background of Mount Luxmore and the Murchison Mountains. As mentioned before, the easiest way to access Te Anau is via the city of Queenstown. This scenic drive will probably take you a good 3 hours, as it is about 170 kilometres in length, and although the roads are sealed, they are also windy. You must also take into consideration the fact that your campervan is a large vehicle and you will not be able to travel the same speed as you normally would in a car.

Once you arrive in Te Anau you will find a full range of services, including 7-day a week shopping and a wide range of holiday parks, which means that you will have somewhere to park your campervan on your stay here. This is the perfect base for exploration of the Fiordland National Park, along with the equally fabulous Te Anau glow worm caves. Te Anau is also regarded as the 'walking capital of the world', with so many walking tracks that you will be kept busy for days.

Milford Sound

This is undoubtedly the best known of the fiords and for very good reason! It is also the only one that can be accessed by road. This is one of the best things about Milford and is often overlooked. The drive from Te Anau to Milford is simply spectacular as Milford Road is a stunning alpine drive.

Once you reach the sound, the array of activities on offer will pleasantly surprise you. Choose to kayak, dive or cruise the sound and discover the stunning fiords that call Milford home. The most spectacular of these would have to be Mitre Peak, its dominant presence felt as soon as you view its tip. Also take some time to discover the life under the fiord and visit the underwater observatory. This will give you a whole different perspective of the fiords and their sheer awe will simply take your breath away.

Lake Manapouri

Manapouri is often regarded as the loveliest of all the lakes of the South Island. It is home to 33 small islands as well as a small, tight-knit community in which you will find some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. The lake enjoys a stunning backdrop of the Cathedral Mountain ranges and is also the perfect place for a spot of fishing. Manapouri is the departure point for Doubtful Sound, which makes it the ideal base for exploration of this stunning area.

Doubtful Sound

The final destination of your Fiordland adventure must undoubtedly be, Doubtful Sound. The superb, physical grandeur of this sound is amazing and it is an area rich in native flora and fauna. Doubtful Sound is home to many New Zealand fur seals and Fiordland crested penguins. It is the deepest of the sounds and is sometimes called the 'sound of silence'. It is home to many long, winding distinctive fiords and several outstanding waterfalls. Now, as Doubtful Sound is not accessible by car (or campervan for that matter), all you have to do is leave your vehicle at Manapouri for the day and then cruise up to the sound on a boat. This experience will allow you to get up close to these majestic natural formations and discover nature at its best.

Fiordland would have to be the most beautiful part of New Zealand, hands down. No visitor could be disappointed as the beauty and wonder here is like no other. The sounds alone are enough to take your breath away and the magnificent scenic drives will make this a campervan experience to remember forever!

Christine Barton


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