The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
Southland, New Zealand

Nature and Activities in Southland, New Zealand

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Doubtful Sound Adventure Kayak and Cruise

Manapouri

Adventure activities

Experience the mystery, moods and isolation of one of New Zealand’s deepest and least disturbed fiords from the cockpit of your very own kayak. Enjoy a refreshing cuppa and cookies before gearing up to paddle this remote geological monument. Towering cliffs, sheltered coves, wooded islands, sandy beaches and crashing waterfalls, an area renowned for its dolphins and birdlife - in a word, awesome!

Doubtful Sound Adventure Kayak and Cruise
  • Prices: Doubtful Sound: full day tour $205 pp, two day tour $315 pp. Lake Manapouri kayak rentals from $45 pp per day.
  • Contact: 33 Waiau Street, Manapouri, Southland
  • Tel: 03-249-6626
  • Fax: 03-249-6923
  • Email: information@fiordlandadventure.co.nz
  • Web: www.fiordlandadventure.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Tawaki Dive

Te Anau

Adventure activities

You can stop re-reading your depth guage, for in water less then 18m deep expect to come face to face with other-waterworldly creatures that normally live to depths of 50m to 200m! Both the diving and the marine life here in Milford Sound are truly remarkable and it’s all due to a small layer of tannin-stained fresh water that floats on the surface of its relatively clear, denser seawater. Make this much more than just interesting dinner-party chat by doing the diving deed and seeing it for yourselves. Dave and Sarah run the only diving operation in these waters, and their trips are informative, safe and importantly, really good fun.

Tawaki Dive
  • Prices: Milford Sound day trips: 5 hr cruise and 2 guided dives, ex Te Anau $199, ex Milford $169, full scuba gear $75; non-divers and snorkellers is $100 less pp, snorkel hire $35. PADI courses: open-water $525, advanced $399, rescue diver $399.
  • Contact: 44 Caswell Road, Te Anau, Fiordland
  • Tel: 03-249-9006
  • Fax: 03-249-9009
  • Email: sarahdave@tawakidive.co.nz
  • Web: www.tawakidive.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Fiordland Cinema

Te Anau

Cinemas

Sit in your large, plush seat, order a cheese-board and enjoy a glass of wine as you rise up from the sea to 8,000ft and look down over some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on earth. Mysterious, evocative, exhilarating and utterly, utterly spectacular, Ata Whenua (Shadowlands) takes you on a journey through extremes of season, climate and terrain, all filmed within the nearby Fiordland World Heritage National Park. This is truly unforgettable stuff, so good in fact that it’s probably the first film ever to have its own cinema built just for its viewing.

Fiordland Cinema
  • Prices: $10 adult, $5 child for Ata Whenua. Feature movies prices vary.
  • Contact: 7 The Lane, Te Anau, Fiordland
  • Tel: 03-249-8844
  • Fax: 03-249-8850
  • Email: info@fiordlandcinema.co.nz
  • Web: www.fiordlandcinema.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Fiordland Ecology Holidays

Manapouri

Nature & wildlife

A huge map of the southern seas covers the entire ceiling of Ruth and Lance’s 45° South bookshop. Below it, over cups of tea, true natural history, eco-tourism experiences are hatched. Voyages combine nature, conservation and research and cover all of Fiordland, Stewart Island and sub-Antarctic Islands. It is all very exciting. With 28 years’ worth of experience Lance’s knowledge of these areas is as broad as its waters are deep. "The best 6 days wilderness adventuring I ever spent was a trip in the safe hands of Lance Shaw." So said David Bellamy. Trips, taken on the ‘Breaksea Girl’ (the only chartered eco-tourism boat operating in the remote and otherwise inaccessible Dusky Sound) are totally unique and offer fascinating opportunities to explore for dolphin, seals and penguins and to walk in forests to learn about eco-systems. 45° South Bookshop has an amazing selection of books on anything that deals with 45º South and below.

Fiordland Ecology Holidays
  • Prices: 3 - 7 day scheduled cruises for groups of 10, diving &/or research trips, available for private charter to Doubtful & Dusky Sounds, Preservation Inlet & Stewart Island from $250 per day per person.
  • Contact: 5 Waiau Street, Manapouri, Fiordland
  • Tel: 03-249-6600
  • Fax: 03-249-6600
  • Email: info@fiordland.gen.nz
  • Web: www.fiordland.gen.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience

Stewart Island

Nature & wildlife

Furhana has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the birdlife, marine life, flora, fauna and geology of her adopted home, Stewart Island, and anything she doesn’t know is probably not worth knowing anyway. Squawked over by kaka and kakariki (that’s parrots and parakeets to me), Ruggedy Range HQ is a little building in a big native forest and the base from which Furhana operates a huge variety of trips on Stewart Island, Rakiura National Park and predator-free Ulva Island. You can hike, sea-kayak, kiwi-spot and walk on this bird filled island amidst dunes, wetlands, alpine tops, primeval forests, wild beaches and crystal clear waters. Educational, fun and with conservation as the guiding principle, Ruggedy Range offers unbeatable ‘off the beaten track’ wilderness experiences.

Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience
  • Prices: Ulva Island - Birds & Forest: 4 hrs $85, 8 hrs $135. Coastal Highlights: 1 day $155. Sea Kayaking: day trips $95 - $155. Kiwi Journey: overnight kiwi spotting $385. Wilderness Escape: 4 days $1,950. Island Culture 2hrs $45. Rakiura Great Walk: 3 days $850.
  • Contact: Birds & Forest Booking Office, 170 Horseshoe Bay Road, Stewart Island
  • Tel: 03-219-1066
  • Fax: 03-219-1078
  • Cel: 027-478-4433
  • Email: mail@ruggedyrange.com
  • Web: www.ruggedyrange.com
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Trips'n'Tramps

Te Anau

Nature & wildlife

These guys are brilliant. They operate small-group trips to Fiordland including hiking, cruising on Milford Sound and meeting up with one of the most amazing helicopter rides around. With their laid-back style, hugely personalized approach and wonderfully informative nature guides, Trips’n’Tramps stand miles apart from the typical megalith operators transporting tourists to Milford daily by the bus-load. This way, you can stop where you want (nicely avoiding the big buses), do what you want (within reason) and importantly have a good laugh while you’re at it… huge and contented sighs of relief all round.

Trips'n'Tramps
  • Prices: Scheduled day trips Te Anau - Milford Sound up to $148 pp, includes nature cruise. Private transfers and charters anywhere on South Island up to $800 day rate/late model Landcruiser.
  • Contact: Kakapo Road, Te Anau, Fiordland
  • Tel: 03-249-7081
  • Fax: 03-249-7089
  • Email: trips@teanau.co.nz
  • Web: www.milfordtourswalks.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Southland Highlights

  • Cross over to complete wilderness in Doubtful Sound. Skim over its still waters in a kayak among bottle-nosed and dusky dolphins, Fiordland penguins and furry seals.
  • Stock up on mint cake, get yourself a compass, buckle up your tramping boots and head out on the 3 - 4-day walking extravaganza that is the world-famous Milford Track. Alternately, for another walk in the Fiordland National Park that's big on scenery yet low(er) on crowds, try the 4-day Kepler Track from Te Anau.
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