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Jump into a kayak or onto a paddleboard and get close and personal with what surrounds you. Explore the rich pre European as well as early European history of the area. Simply indulge in some of the stunning local seafood. Get into fishing and collecting seafood yourself. Jump in for a SCUBA dive for some of the best diving in the world. Explore this fascinating underwater world and its marine life whilst free diving. Go for a walk in this beautiful subtropical rainforest and its island sanctuaries. Bird watch and learn more about the flora. Try your luck at hunting some of the introduced deer. Observe and understand the local ecosystem and wildlife. Get lost in photography or purely relax and soak up the atmosphere.
Let yourself be humbled by the atmosphere of powerful solitude and embrace IT whichever way is right for you.
Diving in Fiordland is special not only because of the beautiful natural environment and the marine reserves that exist here, but also because of an interesting effect caused by the high rainfall in the area.
As the rain flows through the lush forests it becomes stained with tannins and that stained fresh water forms a layer on top of the seawater. Much like a pair of sunglasses this layer filters out more light so sensitive species that normally live at great depths can be found much closer to the surface. This gives divers the opportunity to see rare species relatively shallow depths.
There is nothing quite like gliding past the steep mountain faces that continue down from above the surface.. ancient black and red corals, schools of fish, reef communities, braciopods, crayfish, seadragons, sharks, seapens, rays, scollops, jason nudibrancs, paua and the list goes on. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for your dinner, enjoying the moment or captureing life with your camera; you won’t forget a dive in Fiordland.
The Fiordland as well as Stewart Island coast has the rightful reputation of being a little rough at times. But it doesn’t matter what the weather is doing once you’re within the internal waters of the Fiords or the coves of Stewart Island you’ll always find a sheltered spot. This means there are endless opportunities to explore coves and rivers at your own pace.
We believe in ocean to plate.. gathering only what you need for the table, treating your catch respectfully and utilising every catch fully. Being able to enjoy what we gather is a privilege to us!
Fiordland is a very special place for fishing as there two different fishing areas with a wide variety of local and seasonal fish species to be caught.
The outer Fiords and the Fiordland coastal waters are protected from over fishing thanks to the fact that it is open to or part of the Tasman Sea. A stretch of water which used to be known as “The roaring forties” because of the sound the wind made in the rigging of the sailing ships.
When the weather allows us to do so we venture out into the big boys fishing grounds to get the fishing rods bending with all sorts of treats to put on the dinner table.
The internal waters of the Fiords are protected from the weather which means endless fishing oportunites and also tighter local fishing regulations that only allow a feed to be taken from these waters. This is how we keep the fish stocks the way they are supposed to be so that generations to come can enjoy the same childlike wonder about the bounty of Fiordland waters.
Just to give you an idea of the species that can be caught in the area.. Blue Cod, Groper (Hapuka), Tarakihi, Gurnard, Kingfish, Tuna, Ling, Bluenose, Flounder, Mussels, Crayfish, Scollops, Paua, Cockles and Kina.
Hunting is encouraged in New Zealand’s National Parks to keep the population of introduced animals to a manageable number as they have no natural predators. Deer can be found everywhere from the mountaintops down to the shoreline. In April during the Roar (Rut) Stags can be heard roaring across the fiords.
A Hunting permit is required to be able to hunt within New Zealand’s National Parks. Permits can be obtained free of charge from the Department of Conservation by clicking here or by walking into any DoC office.
As much as there is to do on board, within the National Park as well as in the water life naturally slows down in a place like this. So far from civilisation and in tune with the natural rhythm of sun and tides you’ll find yourself truly relax. Some people like to be active to wind down others simple enjoy being in the moment, finally getting to read THAT book or watching the scenery go by.
Despite the area’s rainfall, which can be a massive eight metres annually, below the surface layer, it is clean and clear with an almost twilight hue. Here the visibility opens up to between 20–25 metres or more in places. You will come through kelp forrests and great plumes of butterfly perch, particularly around black coral and any sunken branches; to find yourself diving in the company of large terakihi, moki as well as copper moki, blue cod, ocotpus, butterfish and trumpeter. Adding to this mix are inquisitive stingrays, spiny dogfish and seven gillers representing the shark family. Not forgetting large amounts of Fiordland Rock Lobster and the chance to come across a mainland Hapuka. You won’t want to get out of the water... especially wearing our 7mm two piece suits as well as knowing that there is a hot tub waiting for you..
Our vision is for Dusky Sound to be one of the most intact ecosystems on Earth, and New Zealand's largest ‘bio bank’ – a source of endangered native species that can be sent to pest free locations throughout the country.
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Within the 1 250 000 hectars of National Park are endless trails to explore the unique temporate rainforest. Most of the tracks are fromed by Department of Conservation in order to set and check traps as part of their pest erradication programs. So some of the trails even allow you to venture through pest free areas and across islands with a chance to spot rare and endangered birdlife.
So be it the want to simply stretch your legs, train for your next mountain run, get lost in the rich fauna or hope to glimpse unique birdlife.. a walk through the Fiordland Bush is something special.
There are many places on earth that look beautiful on a beautiful day but not many that look stunning in any weather. Fiordland National Park is one of the few and it wont matter how much time you spend exploring it with your camera you will always find new treasures that take your breath away.
Thinking about Fiordland National Park now can make it hard to imagine that it was in fact where European history started for New Zealand some 248 years ago now.
Captain Cook sailed into Dusky Sound in 1773... his records of the seal numbers as well as charts which meant safe passage brought sealers and whalers to the area. The very first whaling station in New Zealand was built in Preservation Inlet. Soon the mining followed and townships popped up in the southern Fiords driven by the gold fever. Although the native bush has reclaimed most there are still remains to be discovered if you know where to look.
The choice is YOuRS...