Fiordland is one of those places that is richly deserving of every superlative thrown its way. You need to be here to believe this. Preferably, in spring, with waterfalls gushing, seal pups playing and blossoms galore – it’s truly epic. Here is our pick of places to be and what to do in Fiordland in spring.
When you‘re considering what to do in Fiordland, begin with Te Anau – the gateway to all the awesomeness this part of the world presents. It is the ‘walking capital of the world’ and some of our most famous walks – Milford, Routeburn, Kepler and Hollyford – can be accessed from here. Just before the summer rush hits the town, October and November are excellent months to enjoy these tracks. If you’re after shorter adventures, there is no shortage of day walks; the problem often is which track to do first!
In the town, walk around the lakeshore and visit the Wildlife Park, home to endangered native birds. When you want to take a break from walking, book yourself in a cruise across the lake to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves. Make sure to fit in our famous pies into your schedule – a hit in every season!
The road to Milford is not short of scenic highlights. Eglinton Valley is one of the first cabs off the rank. Carved by glaciers thousands of years ago, its steep rocky mountains are covered in native beech while the flat floor of the valley features eye-catching golden tussock grass.
In spring lupins add another shade of beautiful to the valley. Mirror Lakes Viewpoint, a topper on the ‘what to do in Fiordland’ list, is located in this valley. In spring, when the weather opens up, take time to enjoy some of the nature walks in the area and come up close to the birdlife.
Towards the east of Te Anau township, the gravel route to Mavora lakes is popular with both cyclists and hikers. It sits outside Fiordland National Park, but is still within conservation land. You’ll see many anglers in spring, New Zealand’s trout season. In fact, on a clear day the lakes are glassy, blue and clear enough for you to see the trout cruising – easy catch as some would say. For those who want more, the Mavora Greenstone Walkway is a great multi-day walk.
You’ll find some of the best rainbow trout in the country in this river. Waiau, is the largest river in Southland was also the Great River Anduin in The Lord of the Rings. The Fiordland Outdoors Company, which offers an experience that combines fishing with jet boating is a thrill you must experience when in this area [hot tip – our 3-night trout fishing magic package is a real winner].
Any Fiordland river side or lake shore
Why? Because, it is trout season and these beautiful fish are out in full gusto. Soak in the beauty and cast your reel in almost any Fiordland river to catch trout. The Waiau River guided fishing trip is fabulous. Other spots for anglers to visit are the Hollyford Valley, Eglinton and Cleddau rivers off Milford Road, rivers and lakes on Milford Track, Lake Te Anau, Lake Manapouri, Lake Monowai and many more. Remember, you need a fishing license to go fishing in Fiordland. It is available at multiple places, including the Visitor Centre.
Located in Te Anau, Whakata in Fiordland is an ideal base to explore this region’s beauty. Head out on your explorations in the day and come back to your cosy chalet with a spa pool that looks out to the mountains – all too perfect!