The Fiords of Southern New Zealand

The Fiords of Southern New Zealand

Nestled on the southwestern coast of the South Island, New Zealand’s Fiordland is a destination that captivates the senses with its dramatic landscapes, pristine wilderness, and unparalleled tranquillity. Unlike the more developed fiords in the north, access to many of the southern fiords is by sea or air only, meaning very view people get to experience the breathtaking beauty of this magical place. Let us introduce some of the fiords you’ll encounter on a cruise in NZ’s Southern Fiordland.

Reflections of mountains in the water at famous milford sound, fiordland, southland, new zealand

Doubtful Sound

Immerse yourself in the serenity of Doubtful Sound, sometimes called the ‘Sound of Silence’ and is the deepest of the South Island’s fiords. During the wet season you’ll sight splendid waterfalls including the 619m cascades of the Browne Falls. Be prepared to encounter bottlenose dolphins, playful seals and even penguins as they navigate their natural habitat.

Dusky Sound

Sail the tranquil waters of one of Fiordland’s largest and remote fiords, Dusky Sound. Stretching 40km in length the Sound is dotted with more than 350 small islands. Predator-free Anchor Island currently houses half of the world’s population of the Kakapo and the Little Spotted Kiwi, and nearby pigeon island is now a sanctuary for native birdlife thanks to early conservation efforts.

Chalky Inlet

You’ll pass the impressive limestone cliffs of Chalky Island as you sail up Chalky Inlet. The uninhabited island is now a bird sanctuary for critically endangered species including the Little Spotted Kiwi. Explore the North and South Port and uncover the human history in the inlet, and keep an eye out for dolphins, southern right whales and orcas that frequent the surrounding waters.

Preservation Inlet

Wild, remote and unspoiled, this inlet is the southernmost fiord. Whilst in the past, the natural harbours in this area attracted early whalers and miners, only a few traces of their attempts to tame the landscape remain. Discover the early settler history at mining towns Cromarty and Te Oneroa, and follow the coastal walk to one of the country’s most remote lighthouses, Puysegur Point.

Join Back Track’s Sarah and discover the unspoiled waterways of this region for yourself on an exclusive expedition cruise in February 2024, in partnership with Wild Earth Travel and Heritage Expeditions.

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