It’s been a month since I wrapped up three weeks in Fiordland and Southland, two of my favourite corners of New Zealand. Summer time right here is magnificent, and there are lengthy scorching days, chilly river swims, thrilling tramps within the mountains, and a few of my favourite birds.
One of many areas hardest hit by the shortage of vacationers, I’m tremendous excited to begin sharing extra from my Fiordland to encourage you guys to journey down right here. It’s peaceable and quiet, and it’s by no means been a greater time to go to! Severely. Milford used to see over 1,000,000 guests a yr, and now it’s nearly empty. Along with supporting native small companies, it’s a good time to see one of the crucial visited vacationer locations with out the crowds. Not then was it crowded earlier than, however it’s undoubtedly quiet now.
Listed below are a few of my favourite pictures and snippets from my time in Fiordland in January. Get pleasure from!
I by no means get bored with visiting Milford. By no means. Gorgeous in each season and each climate, it’s a spot that’s as dynamic as it’s instagrammable.
It took me years, however I lastly took a photograph on the iconic swing in Milford Sound (it’s simply off of the Milford Sound Forest Stroll alongside the foreshore). I do know I preserve saying it, however severely it’s by no means been a greater time to go to Milford Sound. I had the swing all to myself, watching the skies flip pastel on the finish of the day over Mitre Peak. It was so particular. Our borders are opening up quickly, and vacationers will return, so it’s time to boogie on all the way down to one among New Zealand’s pure wonders with crowds.
I’m already counting down the times until I can return!
I primarily based myself on the Milford Sound Lodge proper in Milford, a spot I’ve been staying at for nearly ten years, again when it was a backpackers. There’s one thing extraordinary to have the ability to keep the evening in Milford as an alternative of visiting as a day journey. Particularly now that I’m staying within the fancy new chalets overlooking the river, as an alternative of sleeping in a tent.
I hit the water for an intimate small boat cruise with Cruise Milford, one other family-run enterprise in Milford. With dusky dolphins escorting us up the fiord, not one thing you see fairly often, it made for an unforgettable journey.
Nothing beats a morning paddle in Piopiotahi with Rosco’s when you have got the fiord all to your self! At present, it’s like slipping again to the ’70s with extra native fishing boats than tour boats. I’ve been right here so many instances, and it was simply spectacular to be on the water alone and really feel such as you had Milford Sound, one among New Zealand’s biggest treasures, all to your self. It’s even magnificent within the rain!
Rosco’s is one among New Zealand’s OG tourism companies, and I used to be stoked to get again onto the water with them. And did I point out he additionally organizes and runs the annual Homer Nude Tunnel Run? What a legend.
The highway from Te Anau to Milford Sound is likely one of the most scenic experiences in New Zealand. It’s epic, and it’s house to a few of the greatest websites in Fiordland. Give your self oodles of time to soak up the walks, hikes, and picture stops.
The primary main spotlight is the Eglinton Valley, with unbelievable views so far as the attention can see. It’s additionally house to New Zealand’s solely native mammal – the bat. Additional alongside, you’ll discover the Mirror Lakes, which mirror the Earl Mountains on a relaxed day.
The Homer Tunnel, house of the annual bare tunnel run and engineering marvel of New Zealand, heralds your descent to Milford Sound. Kea normally hang around across the entrances however don’t feed them, even by chance.
Lastly, lastly FINALLY! After ten years of residing and loving the South Island, I FINALLY made it to the long-lasting Dusky Sound! I spent 5 magical days off the grid with Wild Fiordland, who gives small bespoke adventures on their lovely boat, the Breaksea Lady. Kayaking, snorkeling, consuming, strolling, and exploring one of the crucial distant corners of New Zealand, after flying in by helicopter from Te Anau (badass, I do know), was the very best journey I’ve had in a very long time.
Being off the grid is my completely happy place, particularly on the water, and it was so particular.
All of this time in Dusky Sound gave me a lot house and time to suppose and ponder whereas I used to be within the mountains and the bush. I’ve a lot to be pleased about, particularly for locations that make me really feel alive once more. Nature is remedy.
Fiordland is New Zealand’s largest nationwide park and is house to many gems. The native Te Anau DOC workplace additionally places on many unbelievable occasions that share a few of the greatest tales from the area you may not know a lot about. Enable me to introduce the Borland Valley!
Not too long ago I tagged alongside on one among their day journeys discovering the alpine world of crops. Spoiler alert – it’s so cool! You guys know I’m an enormous plant nerd, however I do know little of native alpine crops past fairly buttercups and daisies, and naturally, all of the tussock. With famend botanist Brian Rance, we explored all alongside the Borland Saddle and Mt Burns space, peering down on the floor and marveling at this lovely, tiny jungle beneath our ft. The unbelievable droseras (sundews) are a few of New Zealand’s solely carnivorous crops and had been considerable in addition to cushionbogs and strange orchids, together with 9 species of snow grass, probably the most various space in New Zealand.
As somebody inherently drawn in the direction of the great thing about the peaks, I loved slowing down and searching down. I discovered a lot in regards to the many crops I’d have tramped proper on by up to now. The biodiversity of this space is magnificent! With highway entry up nearly to 1,000 meters, it makes this distinctive alpine atmosphere extra accessible, not that it’s busy.
Summertime is for adventures, and I’m profiting from it. How fortunate am I that I’ve a job that permits me to play exterior? I’ve thrown myself into nature this summer time, realizing how a lot good it does for my psychological well being. And never simply being offline and within the mountains or surrounded by forest, which is nice for the soul, however extra of the train, of the problem of bodily working onerous.
For me, I don’t suppose I’m naturally a type of loopy match folks you typically run into this a part of the South Island.
The day after I went as much as the Luxmore summit on the Kepler Observe was the annual race, the place folks race your complete 60km monitor in a day. Whereas I perceive and applaud these folks, I additionally know that’s not me, not remotely, and I’m by no means going to faux it’s.
Moody Fiordland is my favourite Fiordland. When the mists dip in between the excessive peaks and waterfalls emerge from the clouds, that’s whenever you get hit with the sensation that, rattling, this place is out of this world. Actually, it’s otherworldly.
I used to be so stoked to move again to Uncertain Sound for a day journey with Actual Fiordland (previously Actual Journeys). Pre-COVID, Uncertain Sound was all the time the quieter of the fiords. However now instances have modified. Kiwis are heading to Uncertain, leaving Milford Sound a lot quieter.
This time round, as an alternative of hopping again on the Actual NZ bus over the Wilmot Go, I caught round Uncertain for a couple of days at Deep Cove Hostel. A nonprofit belief that conjures up conservation and schooling in Uncertain Sound, I used to be in a position to decelerate and discover this unbelievable place for longer.
Have you ever been to Fiordland earlier than? Does this make you wish to go to stat? Spill!
Many because of Nice South for internet hosting me in Fiordland; like all the time, I’m protecting it actual – like you might anticipate much less from me!