The Eglinton Valley is north Te Anau, about 30 minutes or so away. There are wonderful views with some great flora and fauna, even on a cloudy day like today. One part of the valley is known as 'The Avenue of the Disappearing Mountain'. It's a long and narrow valley with a shingle riverbed floor housing the Eglinton River.
Doubtful Sound is a very large fjord on the south west corner of New Zealand, close to the smaller but more accessible Milford Sound which is near to Te Anau. It took second place after Milford Sound as New Zealand's most famous tourism destination.
Doubtful Sound was named 'Doubtful Harbour' by Captain Cook, who did not enter the inlet as he was uncertain whether it was navigable under sail. It was later renamed Doubtful Sound by whalers and sealers.
If you are interested to explore the famous fjords of New Zealand, you can consider visiting either Doubtful Sound or Milford Sound.
Known for its beautiful reflections of the surrounding mountains in the mirror-like surface, we were very disappointed to find that not only were there ripples on the surface, but also duck weed.
The scenery around here is beautiful, it changed from arible grazing land with the odd sheep, through thick pine foerst, then almost rain forest with lichen and moss growing on every available surface on the trees. Lots of little waterfalls tumbling down, thin veils and mist of water and mountains rising from the flats.
At 120 metres, this was once the longest dirt-road tunnel in the world (it is now sealed), took seventeen years to build (finished in 1952) and is so narrow that two buses cannot pass easily. The tunnel cuts through the Southern Alps at an altitude of 900 metres above sea level, and has a gradient of 9%. The tunnel curves slightly, so in the middle it is pitch black, as you cannot see daylight either end. Spooky!
The tunnel is named after Harry Homer, the man who discovered the Homer Saddle in 1889.
Nothing much has changed since Captain Cook first ventured into these sheltered waters in 1773 charting the coastline from Milford Sound in the north to Preservation Sound in the south.
The lush verdant forest and fern tumble from soaring peaks down to the waters edge. Seals, gulls , wildlife - bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins are found here in abundance. The mist from a thousand waterfalls billows from sheer walls of rock, close enough to touch. A glacial moraine at the shallow mouth of the sound protects the fiord from the heavy seas which roll in from the Tasman Sea creating one of the most peaceful and beautiful places on earth.
The vision of another explorer, Thomas MacKenzie later to become the Premier of New Zealand, was fulfilled when in 1904 the region became a national park creating the largest national park in New Zealand covering nearly 1.2 million hectares - one of the world's greatest wilderness areas
The vision of another explorer, Thomas MacKenzie later to become the Premier of New Zealand, was fulfilled when in 1904 the region became a national park creating the largest national park in New Zealand covering nearly 1.2 million hectares - one of the world's greatest wilderness areas. There are fourteen sounds spreading along Fiordland's remote coast and much of Fiordland National Park is inaccessible by road. However, the Milford Sound is accessible by road from the lakeside village of Te Anau, a spectacular alpine drive through lush rain forest, past tranquil alpine lakes and through rugged mountain passes.
Dubtful Sound, this is the deppest fiord of all.
You can come across a penguin and a dolphin if lucky with fiord Cruise.
By the Homer Tunnel there was snow on the ground, so we took the opportunity to have a snowball fight!
These falls descend 160 metres from a hanging valley over a near vertical face to the waters of Milford Sound
The Stirling Falls plunge a sheer 146 metres to the sea from a hanging valley about midway along the eastern wall of Milford Sound