A gate way into one of the most beautiful World Heritage National Parks. The rugged interior of Fiordland, its fiords and mountains, its fast running rivers, beech rain forests, flora and mountain birds certainly make it a place to experience and to explore. Lake Manapouri - described as New Zealand’s most beautiful lake, is edged by beaches just waiting to be walked on and explored. Walk the old coach road just up from the beach, wander a little through small trees then enjoy the smell of the moss and beech.
Trees while pondering some of the past names the Maoris called this place. Roto-ua, (Rainy Lake) Moturau (Lake of Many Islands) or was it made from the tears of the two sisters Moturau and Koronae, and then there is the misspelling of names as well ... and Te Anau is just 15 minutes away!
3 1/2 hrs moderate walk:
Take a boat across the Waiau river from Manapouri's Pearl Harbour wharf. Enjoy walking through the beech forest with may be little native birds for company. See some of the lake’s islands or look to the mountains and wonder at their valleys.
To Shallow Bay or Motorau hut:
Enjoy a little of the Kepler Track. From Manapouri, it’s only 9 km to the swing bridge that when crossed puts you right on to the forest track. With the smell of the beech rain forest, the varying greens of the ferns, the fungi, moss and birds, it’s a lovely walk or you can rest at the little marsh lake to listen to the quiet sound of nature at its best.
From Manapouri it’s approx. 2 1/4 hrs, if you don't stop to Milford, but you will want to stop often. If you don't have the time to cruise, still take the drive as the Milford Sound Highway is one of the most scenic you will travel on. The scene is always changing, from tree lined vista that opens up on to glacier plains to the magic of the soaring mountains, the chasm, the many lakes and pesky mountain birds.
From Pearl Harbour cruise across Lake Manapouri to the west arm power station, then by Scenic road for 22 km on the Wilmot Pass Road to Doubtful Sound where often the dolphins are waiting for you. Cruise the fiords, maybe out to the Tasman Sea while you look for seals and penguins.