Fiordland And

Fiordland, the south-west region of the South Island, is New Zealand’s largest National Park and is half the size of Israel. We spent about two weeks in the area, culminating in walking the famed Milford Track Great Walk (next post! spoiler – it was amazing). Our base in Fiordland was the tiny town of Te Anau (sounds like “have fun” in Hebrew) where we got to know Toni’s pizza really, really well. From Te Anau we went on several day trips and hikes in the area, including a kayaking trip on Doubtful Sound and a drive up and down Milford Road. The weather, once again, cooperated and we were lucky to see many sights in really optimal weather conditions (while they are often described in guidebooks as “misty”, “drizzly” and “cloudy”).

This area of New Zealand may be the most spectacular in this already-spectacular country – hopefully the photos capture some of this.

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Milford Sound (point B) is probably New Zealand’s premier tourist spot, yet this 120km/two hours road from Te Anau (point A) is the only way to reach it via land (and the only real road in whole of Fiordland). At the bottom you can see Bluff, which is the southernmost town in the South Island.

Some native residents of Te Anau.

Some native and migrant residents of Te Anau.

Warming up the camera at the beginning of Milford Road.

Warming up the camera at the beginning of Milford Road.

Mirror Lakes. Full of reflections and tourists.

Mirror Lakes. Full of reflections and tourists.

Tracking up Routeburn on the way to Key Summit. This picture is one of many similar  ones, where each time you look up and have to take a photo because it's so darn  gorgeous.

Tracking up Routeburn on the way to Key Summit. This picture is one of many similar
ones since each time you look up during the hike, you just have to snap another photo because it’s so darn gorgeous.

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

Sometimes we took photos of us taking photos.

Sometimes we took photos of us taking photos.

Mt. Christina and Lake Marian.

Mt. Christina and Lake Marian.

A wee alpine lake.

A wee alpine lake.

In addition to our Lonely Planet New Zealand guidebook, we're also using a guidebook called "NZ Frenzy". Its recommendations can be hit or miss, but this one was definitely a huge hit! When you're reach the summit of the Key Summit track, the book recommends another 30-minute walk which brings you to this place - in our opinion this spot is really the point of the entire track: Key Summit is so named as it's the meeting point of three different valleys / fiords. However only from this point, and not from the "official" summit can you actually see the three fiords merging (only two in the picture as our lens isn't wide enough...). In short, this was an absolutely amazing viewpoint and the book fully justified its price :)

Our fringe New Zealand guidebook, called “NZ Frenzy”, justified its price with this little secret trip, off the end of the “official” Key Summit track: continuing for 30-minutes brought us to a summit view of three valleys/fiords merging (though the camera could only capture two as the lens wasn’t wide enough). An absolutely amazing viewpoint.

More of one fiord.

View of remote Dusky Sound before starting our kayaking trip. To reach this point, we drove to a meeting point, went on a short minibus ride, took an hour long boat ride and then another 30-minute bus drive. Remote indeed.

View of remote Doubtful Sound, before starting our kayaking trip. To get here, we used four vehicles: We drove to a meeting point, went on a short minibus ride, took an hour long boat ride and then another 30-minute bus drive. Remote indeed.

Kayaking in Doubtful Sound! Note the color coordination. We kayaked on an excellent small guided tour with five other kayaks.

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We were lucky to see this lone Fiordland Crested Penguin who apparently was out-of -season for making an appearance (not our best penguin shot, for significantly better
ones see our Catlins post and Fauna page)