By Stacey Grims
Carved by glaciers during the ice ages, the spectacular scenery of Milford Sound, located in Fiordland National Park about a three-hour scenic drive from Wanaka, will take your breath away with its dramatic fiords, sheer cliff faces and cascading waterfalls.
With some of the best tramping in the country, if not the world, you can go at your own pace and discover the immense beauty that New Zealand’s nature has to offer. There are many other ways to explore Milford Sound and whether you catch a scenic flight, paddle on a kayak or take a cruise, you will be inspired by its beauty.
HOME TO SOME OF THE BEST TRAMPING IN THE COUNTRY, IF NOT THE WORLD
Milford Track is one of the South Island’s most popular walking tracks for both locals and visitors. The track is a 53.5-kilometre walk over four days, beginning at the northern end of Lake Te Anau, winding its way through the wilderness and ending with a boat trip to the Milford Sound Wharf. One of the many spectacular sights along Milford Track is Sutherland Falls – the tallest waterfall in New Zealand, cascading 580 metres down the rugged cliff face.
There are serviced huts to stay at along the way and you will need to contact the New Zealand Department of Conservation to make a booking before your walk, online at www.doc.govt.nz.
Routeburn Track is another popular tramping spot in Fiordland National Park and has recently been listed as one of the 10 Best Treks in the World by Lonely Planet. It is a 32-kilometre track that takes two to four days to complete, weaving through beechforested valleys, alongside clear green rivers and alpine lakes.
You may want to make your own way to Milford Sound and explore the area over several days or you can opt for a day trip from Queenstown. Tour operator awesomeNZ, www.awesomenz.com, is one of many options and departs daily from Queenstown. It will take you on a journey of the picturesque Fiordland National Park in a glass-roof touring coach.
KIWI – SPEAK
You’re probably aware that New Zealand and Australia have some differences when it comes to the English language… Here are a few useful translations to get you prepared before your trip!
TRAMPING – Hiking/trekking
BACH – A holiday home (pronounced ‘batch’)
JANDALS – Flip flops/thongs
DAIRY- Convenience store
WHERE TO STAY:
WYNDHAM VACATION RESORTS ASIA PACIFIC WANAKA
Located at the foothills of Mt Aspiring National Park, the resort features a mix of hotel rooms, apartments and suites. There is a casual café with alfresco area and a heated swimming pool and spa.
- 109 Mt Aspiring Road, Lake Wanaka
- +64 3 443 0025