Fiordland and Milford Sound have by far the biggest wow factor of any NZ landscape. Milford Sound creates the biggest variation in mood of any location in the country, and I have known incredible changes in conditions here even from one hour to the next.
Travel the road to Milford Sound on any rainy day and you will be left gasping at the incredible scale of the vertical cliffs and hundreds of waterfalls pouring down into the valleys. Within Fiordland there are an incredible number of sightseeing locations from the Great Walks like the Routeburn Track (which I was lucky to complete in 2019) and the Milford Track (completed in 2021), as well as shorter day hikes to Key Summit, Lake Marian and Lake Gunn. But to really get the true essence of Fiordland you must take in a boat cruise in Milford Sound or a scenic flight from Queenstown or even better still do both!
Further afield is Doubtful Sound/Patea (the Place of Silence). It is often said to be far better than Milford Sound, for its remote beauty, it feels untouched in a way Milford Sound can't with boat-bus-boat or flying the only option to get here. If you can incorporate an overnight or 2-night cruise, this is truly the best way to see the many moods of the Sound with many arms to explore, and wildlife spotting opportunities galore.
For more Fiordland inspiration, also check out these posts:
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