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  • Fiordland
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  • Fiordland
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Overview
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Fiordland - Scenic Journey

Start:Te AnauTours run:
End:Te Anau
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easy grade
Duration:7 days/6 nights
NZ $2,869.00
Walking






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 When you travel to Fiordland, you are visiting one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand!

 


The extraordinary beauty of Fiordland was recognised by the United Nations in 1986 when it was made a World Heritage Area. The Fiordland National Park was described as having “superlative natural phenomena” and “outstanding examples of… the earth’s evolutionary history”.

Fiordland’s west coast is deeply indented by 14 fiords spanning 215 kilometres of coastline. We focus our cruises further south than the more visited Milford Sound.

Doubtful Sound (also known as the “sound of silence”) is the second largest and 3 times longer than Milford. We also cruise Dusky Sound which is the largest at 40 kilometres long and eight kilometres wide. Captain Cook noted its entrance during his first voyage to New Zealand in 1770. On his second visit he established workshops and an observatory which we visit.

Fiordland National Park is the largest in New Zealand, at almost 10,000 square kilometres. Its Jurassic pristine glacial carved valleys are breathtakingly majestic, during this unique cruise you are highly likely to see fur seals, crested penguin’s, dolphins and maybe even whales.

The top 3 metres of the water is fresh due to rain and melting snow. With the salt underneath, it’s crystal clear. Rain washes through the leaf litter on the forest floors and into the fiords, staining the surface water a dark tea colour. Some say the environment below the water is as unique as the landscape above.

This vast remote deep wilderness enclosed by giant moss-covered gnarled trees, towering waterfalls and steep cliff faces just cannot be put into words. Surrounded by ancient native bush, the area is uninhabited… and let’s not forget the world-class fishing.

All walks are optional – you may wish to just stay on board and relax.

Our vessel Affinity is ideally suited for getting up close to waterfalls and shore lines, providing guests with world-class photo opportunities. We serve hearty Kiwi-style meals for our small groups, often supplemented with freshly caught seafood. You will enjoy your own private cosy cabin to retreat to at the end of your adventure packed days.


Book now for Next Season!

2019

1 June 2019
25 June 2019
4 July 2019
12 July 2019
9 August 2019

 

2020

2 June 2020
24 June 2020
3 July 2020
12 August 2020

 
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Dates and Availability?

Tours run:
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Customisations?

We can customise tours to suit.

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Itinerary & Map

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Fiordland - Scenic Journey

Day 1   Te Anau to  Dusky Sound

Your adventure starts from your overnight accommodation in Te Anau. At approximately 0830, Real Journeys will pick you up and bring you to the vessel Affinity.

The trip includes a coach to the Manapouri wharf then a cruise across Lake Manapouri, where at the other side you will board another coach for the trip over the scenic Wilmot Pass and down into Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound where Affinity will be waiting for you.

You arrive at Deep Cove about 12 noon. As soon as you are settled and after a briefing on the safety aspects, we will depart and cruise down the fiord. Lunch will be served as you cruise and explore Doubtful Sound.

Weather permitting; it’s down the coast to Breaksea and Dusky Sounds to explore the maze of arms, channels and islands.


 

Days 2, 3, 4, and 5

On these days you explore the Fiords and visit the historic sites in this part of the world
- The first European house site
- Where the first European baby was born
- The first recorded European shipwreck and the site where New Zealand’s first sawn timber ship was built.
You also learn of the importance of the area to the explorer Captain James Cook who spent time here in the 1770’s.
You will visit Astronomer’s Point where Cook and his team of astronomers cut down some trees and set up camp to enable them to take measurements of the planet Venus.
We take a visit to a cove where a number of fur seal pups swim around the rocks, when we put the tender in the water the pups are very noisy and like to swim alongside and pop up out of the water to see what's going on.
This is very special, as there aren’t many places in the world where you can do this. You are also able to get some amazing and very cute photos.
On these days you also have the opportunity to get off the vessel and walk through the beautiful native bush to experience wonderful scenery like nowhere else in this world.
We also pull up close to roaring waterfalls cascading down sheer cliffs, great photo opportunities.
You also have time to fish for Groper, Blue Cod and other big species that we find down here and the crew will cook them for dinner.


 

Day 6    Dusky to Doubtful Sound

Today you return to Doubtful Sound and explore some of the areas around this historic place.



 

Day 7    Doubtful Sound to Te Anau

Today is your final day with us on your magnificent cruise in this World Heritage Park.
We take it easy and slowly make our way up Doubtful Sound while investigating the various arms.
We end up back at Deep Cove at approximately 2pm to meet up with the coach for your return journey back to your accommodation in Te Anau arriving around 5pm.

 

Accommodation:
  • Walking
 
Hrs, KM


Book now for Next Season!

2019

1 June 2019
25 June 2019
4 July 2019
12 July 2019
9 August 2019

 

2020

2 June 2020
24 June 2020
3 July 2020
12 August 2020

 
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What's Included

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Fiordland - Scenic Journey

Accommodation

Accommodation is onboard the vessel in eight cabins (twin share – bed and bunk or double bed)
  • 3 bathroom facilities, separate ladies and men’s, with a good supply of hot water and these are found on the main deck
  • Air conditioning
  • Spacious vessel both inside and out, including a comfortable lounge area
View Accommodation Layout

Vessel

The vessel Affinity was purpose built in Picton by Carey’s Boatyard for the type of cruising that she does. Affinity has 8 guest cabins, a comfortable lounge for dining and relaxing and a spacious deck.
 
  • The cruise is fully catered for and all linen is supplied
  • Spacious vessel both inside and out, including a comfortable lounge area
  • Lots of interesting books to read, as well as a few board games
  • Easy access both on and off the vessel, and with both platform steps at the stern of the vessel
  • 4-meter inflatable tender for shore excursions and for use when divers are in the water
  • Use of gumboots for on deck and going ashore
  • First aid certificates held by crew members plus an oxygen cylinder onboard
  • Vessel applies with all safety regulations and holds all appropriate license.
stern

Food

 
  • Continental Breakfasts – Cereals, fruit, yoghurt, toast and spreads.
  • Lunches 
  • Pre-Dinner nibbles – Selection of cheese, crackers, chips, dips & dried fruit
  • Dinners – these are generally home style meals of meat and seasonal vegetables, sauces and gravies. Meats are generally; Roasted chicken quarters, baked salmon, steak, corn silverside, tasty casseroles.
  • Desserts – These range from pavlova, apple sponge, fruit salad and ice cream, trifle etc…
Tea, Coffee and Juice are available as well.

If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking.

All meals are included in your tour cost. Wine and other beverages are available to be purchased during dinners.

 
dining
 

General


There are no laundry facilities available. Small items can be hand washed.

Q. How long have you been operating?
A. Affinity Cruises have been operating since 1996.

Q. What are the cabins like?
A. Seven cabins can be either double (double bed on the bottom with a single bed above the foot) or twin share (two single bunk style beds with the second bed above the foot of the bottom bed). One cabin is either just a single or double, does not have bed across the foot of the other bed.

Q. What bedding / linen is provided?
A. Each bed is made ready for your arrival with sheets and duvets. You are allocated two towels for a seven day cruise, this is to reduce the effect on the environment.

Q. What if I have special dietary requirements?
A. There is a place on the booking form that covers your requirements. We will do our very best to accommodate your requirements but in some cases we may ask you to bring along some of your favourites.

Q. What is there to buy in your on board shop?
A. Items such as T-Shirts, hats, coasters, drink bottles, key rings etc…

Q. I often suffer from seasickness - what can you suggest to help me?
A. Ginger is known to contain properties to alleviate nausea. There is also other options from pharmacies and supermarkets (sea legs tablets, pressure bands etc…) If you are feeling unwell talk to one of the crew as soon as possible.

Q. Am I limited to the amount of luggage I can bring?
A. As there is limited room onboard we recommend 1 medium sized bag per person.


Book now for Next Season!

2019

1 June 2019
25 June 2019
4 July 2019
12 July 2019
9 August 2019

 

2020

2 June 2020
24 June 2020
3 July 2020
12 August 2020

 
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Queen-Charlotte download

 

 


Photos

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire








Book now for Next Season!

2019

1 June 2019
25 June 2019
4 July 2019
12 July 2019
9 August 2019

 

2020

2 June 2020
24 June 2020
3 July 2020
12 August 2020

 
btn enquire

Queen-Charlotte download

 

 


History

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire







History and Culture of Fiordland National Park
Fiordland has a wealth of history from the early navigators and explorers to whalers, sealers and surveyors.
Fiordland National Park was officially constituted in 1952. Today it covers over 1.2 million hectares and was declared a World Heritage Area in 1986.
Ata Whenua
Fiordland was well known to the Māori, and many legends recount its formation and naming. Demigod Tuterakiwhanoa is said to have carved the rugged landscape from formless rock. Few Māori were permanent residents of the region but seasonal food-gathering camps were linked by well worn trails. Takiwai, a translucent greenstone, was sought from Anita Bay and elsewhere near the mouth of Milford Sound/Piopiotahi.


Hardship and persistence in some of the remotest, most difficult country in the world characterise the tales of human exploration and settlement of Fiordland.

And as the noted naturalist and explorer Richard Henry observed, Fiordland was ’fine country for a waterproof explorer or prospector’, country ’utterly useless except for mountaineers’. Tongue-in-cheek remarks - undoubtedly but they convey something of the essential flavour of the region and the exasperation it can induce.

The historian John Hall-Jones has written that in Fiordland can be found ’some of the earliest signs of man’s first contact with’ New Zealand. The country’s first European house seems to have been built in the area, and New Zealand’s ’first shipwreck and first ship-building’ took place in the remote fiords of the southwest.

Early Maoris began to explore Fiordland from about 800 years ago. They were inventive, adventurous and resilient, as all who venture off the well-trod way must be. Remnants of the major southern Maori tribe Ngatimamoe, fled into remote parts of the Fiordland in the late 18th century. They were pursued by Ngaitahu tribesmen from the north, and about 1780 two battles are said to have been fought in the far southwest at Preservation Inlet which the Maoris called Rakituma, ’the threatening sky’. About 5 years later legend has it that Pukutahi led another group of fleeing Ngatimamoe intending to take refuge and settle in the Murchison Mountains (’the land of the moho’ - takahe) between the south and middle fiords of Lake Te Anau. Te Hau, a Ngaitahu warrior, led a party which caught and slew some of the escapers in a fracas thought to have taken place across the lake from the hotel at Te Anau.

The survivors disappeared and entered lore as the poignant holders of the names ’lost tribe’ or ’wild natives’ of Fiordland. In 1851 Captain Stokes of the survey ship Acheron recorded that he and his crew ’came on the fresh foot-marks of some natives’ in Bligh Sound, most likely members of the ’lost tribe’ that Paddy Gilroy, skipper of the Amazon, had seen there in 1842. And Captain Cook had earlier made contact with Maoris when he put the Resolution in to Dusky Sound for repairs and to rest his crew from March to May of 1773.

Europeans approached Fiordland from the cold lumpen seas of the south and west, or from the south and east over a rolling and often rugged landscape. The great navigator and voyager, Cook, took Endeavour in close to Dusky and Doubtful sounds in March 1770 but the time of day, and the wind direction, forced him to sail prudently away. But he returned in 1773 and left us with a rich legacy of information and observation which fascinates to this day.

One of Cook’s midshipmen, George Vancouver, returned to Dusky in 1791. The following year a party of 12 sealers went ashore from the Britiania. Within about a year they’d collected 4,500 seal skins, and so began a period of intense slaughter (which decimated and threatened fur seals around New Zealand’s southern coasts with extinction) before the activity became uneconomic and the carnage ended early in the 19th century. The sealers knew the wild coastline as well, and likely better, than anyone, and in the early 1 800s there were sealing stations at Dusky, Dagg and Doubtful sounds.

In 1829 a substantial whaling station was built at Preservation Inlet but it too, due to indiscriminate killing of a kind that had quickly destroyed the sealing business, soon came to the eerie end that follows excesses caused by ignorance and greed. By 1838 the station at Preservation was deserted and the whales, those great and noble ’singers of the sea’, were given a temporary respite and reprieve.

From then until 1851 when Stokes surveyed the West Coast in the Acheron, there was a lull in the exploration and charting of the Fiordland coast. Stokes and his party pieced together the work of earlier arrivals, greatly added to the number of places and features named, and provided the basis for all subsequent maps.

Land explorers, surveyors, gold-seekers and runholders approached the region via the Waiau and the upper Mataura and Greenstone valleys from 1852 on.

C. J. Nairn and W. H. Stephen reached Lake Te Anau in January 1852. Sheep runs were taken up in the 1850s, David McKellar and George Gunn looked into the Eglinton and Hollyford valleys and beyond in 1861, and James McKerrow surveyed large areas of the southern half of the Park in 1862-63. In 1863 Patrick Caples was the first European to travel overland from Queenstown and down the Hollyford to Martins Bay where a short-lived settlement, promoted vigorously and with misplaced optimism by Otago’s superintendent James Macandrew, began in 1870. Jamestown a ’miserable’ place according to one of many disgruntled settlers - endured for about 5 years before most abandoned the place.

Explorers came and went but some stayed. One who remained was the legendary Donald Sutherland who arrived at Milford in an open boat in December 1877. As he said himself, 96km in ten hours was indeed ’a bully run’. The same year, 1877, William Docherty began his nearly 20 solitary years of prospecting in Dusky Sound.

Another notable Fiordland pioneer was the naturalist Richard Henry who lived in a hut on the south shore of Lake Te Anau from 1883 until he left in 1894 to become official caretaker on Resolution Island in Dusky Sound. Henry spent about 15 years on the island and for many years he attempted to establish there hundreds of flightless birds such as the endangered kakapo and kiwis. To his dismay he discovered that stoats and weasels were swimming to the island and undoing all his efforts. Sadly, he wrote in his diary that he was beaten: ’I feel I cannot stay here much longer.’ It was another instance of introduced animals hastening the descent towards oblivion of native species.

While Henry was making his heroic efforts in the southwest others were continuing to explore the country further north. Quintin Mackinnon was given credit for discovering the pass on the Milford Track (he was drowned in Lake Te Anau in 1892), Te Anau township then called Marakura - was surveyed in 1893, and the real thrust of road and track construction was then set to begin.

Gold-mining and prospecting also lured people to Fiordland last century. In 1886 there was a small rush to Martins Bay but pickings were slim and within a year all but a hopeful handful of miners had left. The area around Big Bay was worked over in the 1890s, and there was a thriving gold-mining town, Cromarty, at the head of Kisbee Bay in Preservation Inlet. Sawmills also operated there and at other places along the south coast, some of them persisting well into the early years of this century.

But the gold ran out, sawmilling slowed and then stopped, and the remote coasts of Fiordland seemed to have again with-drawn into a kind of primeval isolation and quiet - except for the birds, of course, the slow irresistible encroachment of the magnificent forests, the barking of seals, and the whistle and roar of wind and wild seas.

After 1945 the crayfishers began to arrive in increasing numbers from ports around the South Island, and in the 1950s and 1960s crayfishing boomed. It became a major export industry; small fortunes were made, vessels and lives were lost. Since then catches have declined but there is still a reasonable living to be made by the hardy people who engage in this hazardous occupation.

Hazardous, too, is the business of live deer recovery and commercial shooting from helicopters. Though not as lucrative as it was, this high-risk activity is still of major economic importance to Fiordland.

Farming in the Te Anau basin along the fringes of the Park has grown rapidly in recent years, especially since 1960 on land developed with direction and assistance from the government’s Lands and Survey Department. Cattle and sheep farming (black sheep are a feature on some properties), and deer farming too, are carried out with an intensity never envisaged before the depression of the 1930s.

But the most important commercial activity in the Fiordland area is tourism. People come from all round the globe to visit the region and experience its magnificent natural features. Tourism has grown steadily over the years, starting in earnest, perhaps, with the opening of the Milford Track in the 1890s and blossoming even more when the Homer Tunnel went through and was opened to traffic after World War II. Then with jet travel firmly established the future of the region as a tourist attraction was assured. Both commercial operators (of which Fiordland Travel Ltd is by far the largest) and the Fiordland National Park staff work together in an effort to protect and preserve the qualities and natural features of the region for the enjoyment of future generations of people.


Book now for Next Season!

2019

1 June 2019
25 June 2019
4 July 2019
12 July 2019
9 August 2019

 

2020

2 June 2020
24 June 2020
3 July 2020
12 August 2020

 
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Queen-Charlotte download

 

 


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