Fiordland in New Zealand terms is often thought of as being Milford or Doubtful Sounds and the day trip road routes to visit same that leave from the towns of Te Anau and Manapouri. However when it's thought of in terms of Fiordland National Park the picture becomes one encompassing the largest National Park in New Zealand, and one of the wettest on earth, with an annual rainfall in excess of 7000mm, as well as the wildest, and remotest! A place of very dramatic landscapes.
The Park in the south is not as mountainous as in the north where it rises to near perpendicular proportions carved out long ago by ancient glaciers that ground out steep U shaped valleys that eventually were flooded by the sea. The first few metres of the sea surface in many areas is actually fresh water, and further below is a wondrous world of rare black coral thought to number in excess of 7 million colonies. Above the sea's high tide zone the steep slopes are clothed in very luxuriant forest rich in a damp undergrowth of ferns and mosses. Higher on the tree line growth is stunted and wind/rain blasted with lichens adorning mountain fuchsia and stunted beech.
Visually stunning on good days, but it thought by many to be at it's best in it's normal state: heavy rain. Hundreds if not thousands of waterfalls appear instantly to plunge into the sea. Yet in, winter when there are long fine periods, the mountains tops covered in snow changes the perspective yet again with reflections that deny one's right to know exactly where the horizon is.
The selection below has a focus on two distinct areas of Fiordland National Park: the easily accessible Doubtful Sound [day trip - by tourist bus over Wilmot pass from Manapouri, and then by boat for a few hours], and Dusky Sound which is far more remote and not a suitable day trip destination unless by plane or helicopter.