New Zealand’s stunning landscape has provided the backdrop for movies like Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings, and for hikers there’s no better place to experience the beauty of New Zealand than the Fiorland National Park.
The park offers endless hiking and walking opportunities that can be explored on your own or as part of a guided group as you take in virgin forested valleys, stretches of crystal-clear lakes, towering granite peaks, and breathtaking rainforest.
Hiking and Walking Trails
In New Zealand, hiking is known as ‘tramping’ and what we call trails in the U.S., they refer to as tracks.
Fiordland National Park features an outstanding network of walking tracks giving the area a reputation as the Walking Capital of the World.
For those who don’t know where to start, some of the ‘Great Walks’ to consider include the Milford, Kepler, and Routeburn which start and end at Te Anau, a town on the eastern shore of Lake Te Anau in Fiordland. Here, trekkers can stock up on provisions and check weather conditions before leaving.
The Fiordland National Park is perfect for all skill levels, too, with short walks available which still incorporate diverse terrains and offer opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.
These short walks take walkers to the rainforest, lake and alpine vistas, so those with limited time or fitness can still enjoy the natural beauty in this pristine setting.
Those looking for a guided tramping experience will find a variety of guided walks available. Teams guide hikers safely through the wilderness and offer insights into this World Heritage area that you may otherwise overlook.
Book Accommodations Early in Peak Season
When planning your trip to Fiordland National Park, it’s important to note that peak season runs between October and April. If your visit falls within that time frame, it is important to book your accommodations and activities in advance.
Te Anau tends to be quite busy in February and the next town is rather far, if you haven’t booked your accommodations. And even if you’re not arriving during peak season, it is still best to book ahead as there are also times during the summer months when both Te Anau and Manapouri properties fill up.
One last thing worth mentioning is the weather. Fiordland weather is extremely unpredictable so trekkers should plan for rapid changes in conditions which can include cold temperatures, strong winds and heavy rain at any time of year.
Photo credits: hikeart