Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Te Anau provides a base for exploring parts of the Fiordland National Park one of New Zealand's greatest wilderness zones. From here it is an easy 2½ hour drive to Milford Sound and 20 minutes by coach to Lake Manapouri and the start of a Doubtful Sound excursion.
If it is serenity you are after, then the Doubtful Sound can provide the perfect place for quiet reflection amongst the fiord's rich flora and fauna. Milford Sound is spectacular regardless of the weather - the many waterfalls are in full force when raining, and on a clear day the reflections of Mitre Peak against the fiord's waters are outstanding.
Lake Manapouri and Lake Te Anau are ideal holiday locations for all seasons. During summer the lakes cater for all water activities and during the winter these houses are retreats from which to admire views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains.
If you are interested in visiting one of New Zealand's most remote locations, then Stewart Island should be on your must do list. Its distance from anywhere means this untouched paradise has a very small population, making it perfect for those wanting a holiday away from civilisation. Stewart Island is accessed either by plane from Invercargill or by ferry from Bluff.
New Zealand's third largest island is almost totally made up of national park. Rakiura National Park covers 85% of the island leaving little space for habitation by human. Instead Stewart Island has become a haven for the kiwi and other native birds. One really special place to visit is Ulva Island, not too far from Oban, which is the main settlement of Stewart Island. Here you will see many types of New Zealand native birds - watch out for the cheeky weka.
Other than bird watching, other popular activities on the island include day walks - there are plenty of tracks accessible from Oban or go on a kayaking tour to explore the many coves and bays. Find a holiday house tucked into the bush to listen to the native bird song and make the most of being away from it all.