Fiordland National Park makes up more than 1.2 million hectares of the South Island's south-west corner and is part of the Te Wahipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is the largest of the New Zealand's 14 national parks and features clear and expansive lakes and towering peaks carved out over millennia by giant glaciers.
The hiking in the park is legendary, with the Milford Track widely considered one of the world's greatest walks. Less known, but just as atmospheric is the Routeburn Track.
It is best to stick to the designated paths, partly to help preserve the unspoiled terrain but also because so much of the region is virtually impenetrable. The scenery is spectacular on all of these routes and if you're lucky you may spot a kiwi, as three species of the bird live among the fiords. So, too, do around 100 flightless takahe, one of New Zealand's rarest birds.
Very few people live here, so a visit provides the chance to experience a genuine wilderness area.
The tiny settlement of Te Anau, home to just 3,500 people on the eastern shores of Lake Te Anau, is the gateway to the surrounding Fiordland National Park.
Te Anau is quiet in the winter - the kind of place where the Sunday papers arrive on Monday - but bustles with hikers and sightseers in the summer.
Many come to explore the lake, which is the South Island's largest, stretching 61 kilometres from head to toe. For others, the town is their starting point on the Milford Road, a stunning 119-kilometre drive into the heart of Fiordland and Milford Sound.
Top itineraries in Fiordland
From the subtropical beaches of the Bay of Islands, the geothermal pools of Rotorua and wine lands of Hawke's Bay to the majestic glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef and the towering peaks of the Southern Alps, New Zealand is home to some of the world's most spectacular driving routes.
Free car hire
Discover the Bay of Islands, Coromandel and Rotorua on the North Island and Kaikoura, Fox Glacier and Fiordland on the South Island at your own pace, with the chance to sample a full range of off-the-beaten track adventures and excursions.
Beginning in Auckland in the North Island, this 14-day escorted tour from leading tour operator APT winds its way through the length and breadth of New Zealand, taking in the country's star attractions along the way.
Alternatively, call one of our experts on 020 7590 0614. We are open today until 4:00 pm.
Meet our Fiordland experts
Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0614Meet the team