Winter in Fiordland

Winter in Fiordland – Goodbye Sandfly

Yes. Its cold, the days are shorter and not everything is open. Did I mention there’s less Sandlfies?

For me, it’s the light. I love how it dances and filters through the mist in the most ethereal way and at the end of the days illuminates the sharp snow-capped mountains. On days like this, you’ll also have the perfect combination of dark, clear skies for star gazing. Did you know Fiordland is in the process of becoming an accredited dark sky park?

Hands down, the most beautiful I have ever experienced Milford Sound is in the Winter, ask any local and I am sure they’ll agree. If you’re willing to wrap up warm and get a little out of your comfort zone visiting Fiordland will be a unique experience for you.

The Milford road is stunning, a journey in itself and you can still get out and explore some of the forest tracks along the way. Expect amazing waterfalls, frosty vistas and mist rising from the earth with the sun. It is a great time to put your trust into one of our local tour operators and take the stress out of driving. Other locals and myself do the same – and its always relaxing just looking out the window a great little educational refresh of the area. We all enjoy a little snow at the tunnel too.

If you like a little adventure, the calm winters days can lend itself nicely to kayaking in the Sounds.Doubtful Sound is another great day option and offer overnight excursions. Our most two popular Te Anau outings that are well worth getting on board with are the Glow Worm Caves and our guests’ favourite – The Faith in Fiordland Sail Boat (honestly they’re just so nice onboard!)

Te Anau comes to a slower pace in the winter, and it is a great time to connect with locals. We can’t escape its winter here in Fiordland, its warm and cosy at Dunluce, and with a little more time on our hands it’s still equally inspiring to get out and about – my go to short walks are any of the access points along the Kepler where is sheltered or the Lake to lake cycle trail down to Manapouri. I often find myself wandering down and around the lake taking photographs, and I love the calm days when the waters like glass.

For the evenings, the best little winter go to is the Black Dog Bar with its open fires, hunker down in the luxe interiors and a mulled wine. Adjoined is the Fiordland Cinema – here they play 30-minute local films showcasing Fiordland and a blockbuster in the evening. Think comfy seats, intermission, cheesecake, and coffee – or take a peek at their cocktail list.

We all know you cannot beat a longs summers day, although sometimes we need to meet nature on her terms and embrace the storms of tawhirimatea that wash her clean of our footprints. It is a privilege to be able to visit these wild and remote corners of New Zealand and for the most part Fiordland will offer you both the brooding drama and the sounds of silence.


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Posted by Hannah Gray on July 14, 2021