Time Required : 3 - 5 hours
The power of Fiordland’s untouched splendor and scenery never ceases to enthrall travellers. It is among the most beautiful and dramatic parts of New Zealand.Now over 1.2 million hectares in size, Fiordland National Park was established in the year 1952. It encompasses rainforests, lakes, and mountains. The Department of Conservation in New Zealand administers this National Park. Completely unique to the area is the variety of plants and animals which have developed relative isolation in the region, leading to a high rate of endemism. These are supported by the rich and diverse habitats in the national park.
Human activity is limited within the national park region. Initially, it was a hunting ground for the Maori who also caught pounamu (New Zealand Jade) from the river and fish from the sea. Much later, the fiords provided shelter to European whalers and sealers who built small settlements in the region. Yet, the fact that the fiords have the wettest climate in New Zealand, the incredible isolation and the sheer steepness of the terrain deterred all but the toughest from settling in the region.
Fiordland found home in the most significant conservation debates in New Zealand in the 1960s when it was proposed that the levels of Lake Manapouri be raised at the west arm to assist hydro-electric power generation. The government ultimately bent under the weight of several petitions and gave statutory protection to the Fiordland National Park by passing a bill in the 1970s.
The best time to visit Fiordland National Park completely depends on what activities you wish to indulge in. If you wish to enjoy the magnificence of the fiords in their sunny glory, then summer is the best time. A few rainy days may hit you even during the summer months and offer a spectacular view of the forest region.
If you love the snow and want to try your hand at skiing, then visit during the winter season. To visit the snow-covered valley, the months between June to October are the best, indeed. You can experience the winter wind fading away from the fiords during spring. If you visit during the spring season, you can indulge in hiking through the green hills blooming with life.
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