A World Heritage-listed area of dense rainforest, cascading waterfalls, serene lakes and soaring cliffs, Milford Sound lies inside the Fiordland National Park on New Zealand’s South Island. The park is home to some of the country’s rarest and most diverse wildlife, with protected species of bird life such as Blue ducks, Takehe and Mohua all found there. Marine life like Dusky and Bottlenose dolphins, Fur seals and Fiordland penguins also thrive, making Milford Sound one of the best places in New Zealand for nature lovers to spend time in.
The Milford Track is justifiably one of the world’s most famous hikes. Over the course of 33 miles, the trail includes everything from lakeshore strolls to panoramic alpine crossings, and skirts beneath waterfalls so powerful and tall they seem to fall from the sky. At the end of the epic, South Island sojourn, hikers emerge into the hallowed fjord that forms the Milford Sound—an impossibly scenic and mountainous seascape that borders on the surreal. Hiking Milford isn’t easy, however, and there are a number of logistical planning tips that can make the hike even better. If you’re considering on doing some hiking in Fiordland, these tips for hiking the Milford Track should help you out on the trail.
Dunedin is somewhat of a South Island beach town that visitors forget is a beach town. Part of that has to do with the water temperature—which averages around 52 degrees—but there is more to the beauty of being on a beach than simply going for a swim. At St. Clair beach on the city outskirts, cafés line the beachfront promenade that looks out over the waves, and surfers clad in jet black neoprene zip about in the surf. St. Clair is Dunedin’s “see and be seen” beach, and on sunny days in the summer months it’s the most popular place in town.
Unlike a place like the Serengeti, or perhaps the Great Barrier Reef, Christchurch isn’t exactly a place where you explicitly travel for the wildlife. Once you take a step back, however, and look at the area’s attractions, there are a greater number of wildlife encounters than you originally might have thought. It’s a city where you can find endangered kiwi birds that are protected in wildlife preserves, or hand feed exotic wildlife from the far corners of the globe. It’s a coastal city near an offshore trench that attracts copious amounts of marine life, and there is always someplace along the Christchurch coast where you can find a spout or a splash.
Queenstown in summer is a buzz of activity that never seems to end. Maybe the fact that there’s 15 hours of sunshine has a little something to do with it, but so does the fact that lakeside Queenstown is surrounded by outdoor adventure. From water activities on Lake Wakatipu to hiking in the surrounding hills, the best summer activities in Queenstown take place in the great outdoors. Of all the outdoor activities in Queenstown, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best that are particularly enjoyable in summer, and also added some summer activities that are a little bit closer to town.
There is so much more to Akaroa than French colonialism and dolphin tours. Just reaching the tranquil harbor town requires a winding drive through the hills, and many visitors feel the drive itself is the best part of the trip. From the moment you leave the city behind, the rolling green hills of the Banks Peninsula seem to invite you in to explore, and the meandering coast provides peek-a-boo views of distant bays and shorelines. What’s even better is that with all the places to stop on the road to Akaroa, by the time you reach the “destination,” it’s easy to feel like the journey to get there was a destination in itself.