About Fiordland

Fiordland is a true wilderness area with World Heritage Status and is the largest National Park in New Zealand. Renowned for its spectacularly beautiful, natural scenery with lush forests, expansive lakes and incredible mountains.  Fiordland is also home to the Kepler, Routeburn and Milford Great Walks, New Zealand's premier hiking tracks. Breathtaking Milford Sound is also here and a must-do on any travelers bucket list. 

'The Walking Capital of the World' and ’The Gateway to Fiordland’

Trips & Tramps is based in Te Anau, an attractive town nestled beside the South Island's largest lake against a backdrop of wild mountains and lush native forest.

Te Anau is the closest town to Milford and Doubtful Sound, making it the perfect base for exploring this World Heritage Area.  Plus with of 3 of New Zealand's 9 Great Walks places on our back door step it has gained the reputation as 'The Walking Capital of the World'.  Fiordland is home to The Milford Track, Kepler Track and Routeburn Track.

With a variety of accommodation there is a bed for everybody's needs, whether it be a Luxury Lodge, hotel, motel, bed & breakfast, holiday park or backpackers. We do recommend you book in advance to save disappointment, especially in months of November through to mid March.

Local cafés and restaurants provide a range of dining options, and the opportunity to sample local Fiordland fare of venison, lobster and other seafood for any budget.

Te Anau offers seven day a week shopping facilities with competitively priced goods, including high quality apparel, gift and souvenir shops.

A full range of services exists within the town including ATM facilities, two major banks, service stations (offering fuel and workshop facilities), a medical centre and a dentist.

  • Queenstown
  • Milford Sound
  • Key Summit, Routeburn Track
  • Giant Gate Water Fall, Milford Track
  • Luxmore Hut, Kepler Track
  • Te Anau

Milford Sound and Fiordland’s climate overall is cool temperate.

Fiordland Weather in Winter Time - May through to August

The coldest months are May to August when the winter sun is at a low angle and frosts produce ice on the sunless valley floors.   During winter Fiordland’s steep mountain ranges can cause avalanche conditions on the Milford Road.  This is constantly monitored and on rare occasions the Milford Road may be closed until safe. Driving during these conditions can be challenging and we recommend you leave your vehicle in Te Anau and letting us safely show you the special location on your journey to Milford Sound.  Our experienced, local drivers know the Milford Road and our small groups ensure you receive that extra personal service.  "Forget the snow chains, forget the ice, remember Milford Sound". Find out more about the Milford Road.

Read more about the pros and cons of traveling to Milford Sound in winter here .....

Fiordland Weather in Summer Time - October through to April

November to March are the warmest months, with temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius.  At Milford Sound these temperatures are moderated by a prevalent sea breeze.  Water is what makes Fiordland a lush place with countless lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls.  You should be prepared to enjoy some rainfall during your stay. 

What is Milford Sound & Fiordland like on a wet day?

When it rains in Fiordland the landscape is dramatic - the steep rock faces stream with waterfalls, mist hangs around the tops of the mountains and rivers and streams rage. To really experience this awesome environment you need to put on your coat and get out there to embrace this wildness.

It is recommended you bring suitable clothing for cool and wet weather year round.

Whatever the weather all you need is the right attitude to enjoy your day in Fiordland, and the ability to cast aside your usual interpretations of what is good and what is not.  If you need some help with this then let our guide’s enthusiasm show the way.

What is the Best Time of the Year to visit Milford Sound and Fiordland?

Fiordland is known to have "4 season in one day", and the weather is very changeable, influenced by the Tasman Sea and great mountain ranges. Each season offers a different view of the area, each with its own uniqueness.  Winter brings snow, ice and clear days (and lower rainfall), then spring with the new growth and alpine flowers.  Summer offers visitors warmer, longer days, but also awesome rain fall on occasions.  Autumn is lovely with less people around and the general slowing of the area and growth of plants.  To get the best from the area you need to appreciate wild Fiordland in all its seasons and weather moods.

Seasons in Fiordland

Season
Month
Average daytime
Temps (Celsius)
Summer January 23
Summer February 20
Autumn March 16-18
Autumn April 10-12
Autumn May 8-10
Winter June 5-8 (early morning frost)
Winter July 5-8 (early morning frost)
Winter August 6-9
Spring September 10-12
Spring October 12-13
Spring November 16-19
Summer December 19-22

State Highways connect Te Anau from Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill. The following are recommended driving times.

Driving Times by vehicle

Queenstown - Te Anau 2.5 hour driving time
Dunedin - Te Anau 4.0 hour driving time
Invercargill - Te Anau 2.0 hour driving time


By Coach

If you do not have access to a vehicle, or would prefer not to drive Te Anau has regular transport services. 

Private and on demand

Trips & Tramps can provide a charter service at competitive rates for 2 - 16 people. Departures available from Queenstown, Invercargill and Te Anau as requested.  We travel door to door on your time table and in our modern fleet of comfortable vehicles. Contact us for a competitive obligation free quote.

Scheduled coach service

Tracknet offer a regular scheduled service, and in summer travel 3 times a day between Te Anau, Invercargill and Queenstown. 

InterCity travel to Te Anau from Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown and return. This service is available daily, year round.

If you require assistance co-ordinating your transport, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Our local knowledge is second to none and we are happy to take the stress out of getting to Te Anau. We can also make all the reservations on your behalf so you have just one local contact so it is hassle free and you can concentrate on the fun stuff!

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