Every time I get in the car and drive South, I have to pinch myself. I am lucky enough to spend a sweet amount time down in Fiordland National Park with work and every single visit leaves me speechless. For those of you who have never been, Fiordland is in the South of New Zealand and home to ridiculously beautiful mountains, fiords, glaciers, and walking tracks, enough to keep you busy for weeks.
Milford was founded over 1000 years ago by Maori people, they would hunt, fish and collect Pounamu around the fiord. As there was no access to Milford via road they would walk from afar. The treks from the east used traditional pathways across passes that are now famously known as the MacKinnon Pass on the Milford Track. The early Maori settlers named the area, Piopiotahi, legend has it a hero Maui died trying to win immortality for his beloved people, a Piopio (a long-extinct native bird) was said to have flown here in mourning.
I don’t know if it’s the rich history or the dramatic landscape that makes this region so magical, but it is, and I can’t quite explain why. Maybe it is the feeling of being cut off, maybe it’s the towering peaks, the unpredictability of the weather or the silence. Whatever it is, it’s captivating.
I recently jumped in the car and went exploring deep into Fiordland with my beautiful friend Thuc. We set off on a frosty morning in Queenstown before the sun appeared. Driving from Queenstown to Te Anau is a journey in itself, obligatory coffee stops, and snack breaks were had before switching off for the day and heading into the national park. I tell you the perks of being on the road early mean no traffic, no people and candy floss sunrises all to ourselves. We slowed the pace when driving through the park and soaked in all that mountain goodness, stopping for all the photo ops and Kea Bird appreciation.
Upon reaching Milford, even with our old lady like driving still left us time to explore the surrounds. We parked up and headed on a little mission to the foreshore. The short jaunt through the native bush along the wooden walkway only takes around ten minutes and brings you right in front of Mitre Peak itself. You can watch the boats moving in and out of the terminal and search for that famous swing, hidden in the trees.
We cruised, we ate, we soaked in all the mountains for two whole hours. Milford from the water is captivating and we were blessed with epic conditions. The drive home was a flurry of creativity and inspiration.
A beautiful day spent with a beautiful friend in New Zealand’s most beautiful setting.
Thanks to Trespass for keeping me warm and dry #gofurther