81. All aboard an overnight cruise of Fiordland
With a natural landscape that encompasses everything from geothermal wonderlands to magnificent fiords and glaciers – you’ll be expressing your astonishment at every turn: here is No. 81 of our 101 Reasons To Stop Dreaming About New Zealand And Go.
Tucked right down at the bottom of the South Island/Te Waipounamu, and not easily accessible, Fiordland is sometimes dismissed by potential visitors as too much effort. Big mistake! Not only is the journey to get there a spectacularly scenic experience in itself, but the destination is even more stunning: soaring bare stone peaks rising from deep, dark waters, the fiords edged with ancient rainforest cut through by tall, drifting waterfalls that are even more dramatic during one of the region’s many downpours, which deliver an annual seven metres of rain. In such elemental surroundings, it’s even more enjoyable to have the luxury of arriving by helicopter onto the roof of a five-star catamaran for a luxurious overnight stay– or longer.
Fiordland Discovery’s MV Fiordland Jewel delivers a pampered experience to the guests in its nine cabins, whether they’re after a laid-back introduction to this raw scenery, or something more interactive. From a single night in world-famous Milford Sound/Piopiotahi to six (or longer) exploring some of its neighbouring less well-known fiords, the guarantee is stunningly beautiful, unspoiled natural surroundings and delicious comfort, both delivered with friendly ease. There will be deep silence as well as loud birdsong, fur seals and dolphins, kayaking, boating and bush and beach walking. You can soak in the top-deck spa, catch fish, or just watch them courtesy of the boat’s Remote Operated Vehicle, with its underwater camera. Finally, you’ll lift off from the boat again, to watch all this incredible scenery shrink away beneath you.