On the west coast of the South Island you’ll find the jaw-dropping scenery of the Fiordland National Park. Home to Doubtful and Milford Sounds, these stunning fiords were carved by glaciers during the ice ages and are best explored by boat.


The fiord’s cliffs, clad in dense forest, rise vertically from the dark water and are breath-taking in any weather. When it rains, as it often does, the waterfalls cascading into the fiords multiply and are even more incredible – some have a drop of over 1000 metres!

Take a full day tour or over-night cruise to admire this spectacular scenery – thanks to the dark skies the stars at night are unbelievable. Doubtful Sound is larger but more remote as it is only accessible via a cruise across Lake Manapouri, followed by a drive across Wilmot Pass. Milford Sound is a 2-hour drive from Te Anau, so is more accessible and popular.

Whilst you enjoy your cruise, don’t just look up at the scenery above you, look down too as you might be lucky enough to spot fur seals, bottlenose dolphins and the rare Fiordland crested penguins!

If you enjoy hiking, then the Milford Track winds its way through lush rain-forest giving you views across the mountains, fiords and waterfalls and you can take a boat trip for the final part to Milford Sound Wharf. Sea-Kayaking and diving are also available for the more adventurous!