Discover a world untouched by man – a true wilderness where deep ocean meets towering peaks.
Fiordland National Park is the largest park in New Zealand and just the wildest, wettest and most isolated part of the country.
Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds all have commercial sea kayaking expedition-style trips. The isolation and remoteness of these waterways gives you the feeling that youre the first human to set foot here. The playful dolphins, seals and penguins you encounter are very inquisitive. Combination launch cruises and kayak trips can be arranged at the operators bases in Te Anau and Milford.
You will be enthralled by these splendid, sublime landscapes – granite peaks, hanging valleys and cascading waterfalls. This land of immense grandeur and natural dignity is ruled by the weather. Seven metres of annual rainfall creates a curtain-wall of water on the steep mountain slopes. Restless rivers struggle on through boulder beds to reach the relative calm of the ocean.
Nature’s lavish beauty is nowhere better displayed than in the Hollyford River. It rises in a hanging valley above the Homer Tunnel and flows out to Martins Bay via Lake McKerrow. The most enjoyable kayaking section is from Gunns Camp to Moraine Creek Bridge. The first stage is easy shingle rapids but boulders appear amongst Grade 3 rapids further down stream. One kilometre above the creek there is a take out onto the road. From the Moraine creek footbridge part of the Dead Horse Rapid can be viewed. Precise moves are required to negotiate this Grade 4 monster. The take out is at the bottom of the Humboldt Creek rapids.
The Wairaurahiri River runs parallel to the Hump Ridge Range from Lake Hauroko to Foveaux Strait. It offers continuous Grade 2 rapids, which are relatively easy to run provided you avoid the fallen trees. This trip is often taken in conjunction with a following jet boat to return paddlers to Lake Hauroko.
The Tutoko and Cleddau Rivers have short sections of Grade 2 – 3 water up the valley from the Milford Sound hostel. The Tutoko can be entered at the main road bridge and run down to the Cleddau junction. From here short, swift rapids lead to the hostel.
Dont miss the phenomenal primal landscapes and seascapes of Fiordland – its like nothing else on earth.