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Fiordland is a land of unique biodiversity and represents nature at her most rugged and raw. Due to its designated National Park status combined with a landscape of towering mountains and dense native bush, the region has escaped the grips of the logging industry and is now the shining jewel in New Zealand’s crown.
Preservation and sustainable tourism are best practice here, and there are many ways you can visit as a tourist while contributing to the local conservation initiatives. So why not add one of the following experiences to your itinerary?
Cruise Milford Sound and peer into Sinbad Gully
‘Conservation’ to some means the inability to access wilderness areas. But for most it is easy to realize why the most spectacular landscapes are off-limits. The magnetism and allure of these remote scenes in their uninhabited glory is what makes them most worth visiting. Peer into lost worlds deep within Milford Sound as you cruise the waters alongside. Catch a glimpse of Sinbad Gully – New Zealand’s Jurassic park – and learn about the Sinbad Sanctuary Project, that helps safeguard endangered birds and other protected species in the region.
Join the Matariki Night Time Nature Walk
In July each year you can join a night walk on the Kepler Track to see the wild side of the forest. Department of Conservation Rangers will guide you through this raw alpine landscape as they listen for nightlife and help you uncover the creatures of the dark. Learn how they safeguard the region as well as picking up tips and tricks for additional wilderness areas worth exploring. The walk is just one of the many events that our local Department of Conservation runs throughout the year.
See bird conservation in action at the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary
For your chance to get up close and personal with New Zealand’s rarest native birds, visit the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary. See the flightless takahē, kākā and morepork, and join the hugely popular tours that run each day to learn more about the preservation of our local bird population. Entrance is free, but a gold coin donation is always appreciated. Proceeds go towards local conservation efforts.
Experience VolunTourism in Fiordland
Join Wairaurahiri Jet on one of their adventurous hiking trips to re-set and re-bait the stoat and rat traps that help protect our native birds. Help to monitor the bird life in the area, explore vast wilderness areas within Fiordland and then top off the trip with a jet boat ride up the wild Wairaurahiri River.
Join a Department of Conservation Discovery Expedition
For the ULTIMATE eco-tourism experience join the Dusky Sound Conservation and Restoration Program, hosted by the Department of Conservation and Real Journeys. Every year they seek conservation-minded locals and travelers to partake in a 5-day expedition through Dusky Sound to visit three remote islands (Anchor, Indian and Long). Get involved in trap setting and checking, bird monitoring, track clearing and the maintenance of backcountry huts while experiencing the best New Zealand has to offer.
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