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Winter Pearls of Fiordland National Park

We frequently get asked, when is the best time to visit Fiordland National Park? Although it's hard to quantify as each season brings about its own pearls; with the cooler months just around the corner it is timely to share why we think Fiordland is a fine destination for a holiday even in the winter. Check out our top picks as to why planning a winter adventure in the wild corners of Fiordland National Park is worth its weight in gold!


Hugely awe inspiring, the mountains are even more so when there is a layer of snow on their flanks. As the cool air sits low in the fiords, the still waters generate a perfect mirror for reflections. Although the tops are better left to the warmer months to explore, the valleys lead you into the comfort of the bush, and great for a stroll. The vibrant colours on the forest floor are pretty cool and you’re likely to have native birds keep you company along the way.


As the weather systems travel through, they are typically short stayers. With the sun sitting lower on the horizon, shafts of sunlight split the clouds and produce phenomenal light beams and striking silhouettes which cast across the landscape. It really is astonishing. Captivated by the moods of nature; it’s tricky to tear yourself away back to the boat in time for a pre dinner local delicacy.


Winter in Fiordland brings less rain to the fiords. This means the freshwater layer is minimal and depicts clear blue waters. Great for kayaking and easy to see down through the tidal layer along the towering rock walls, and of course produce excellent visibility for freediving. If you’re into sitting outside on the deck with a nite cap in hand, the crisp skies yield perfect star gazing opportunities. It takes a while for the moon to come over the steep sided mountains, hence the stars get to shine their brilliance. It really is quite special.


Winter is a great time to visit Fiordland National Park. There are less people venturing into the area which will flood you with a true sense of remoteness, a chance to breathe, adventure or simply put your feet up and catch up with those you love to spend time with. The cooler temperatures also mean the sandflies are less prevalent. Although not so much a problem when you can retreat to a sailboat at the end of the day, the sandflies can be a little pesky on the beaches in the summertime, if you don’t keep moving!


Don’t be put off visiting Fiordland in the cooler months for a heart warming escape. Being on board the Breaksea Girl is nothing short of cosy. It’s charming wooden interior, diesel fire and warm showers will have you grinning in no time after a day in the elements. Generous portions of wholesome food and endless supply of hot scones will fuel you just fine. On a sunny winters day, there’s nothing better than to drop into a beanbag on the spacious deck, and make time for that true holiday past time of diving past the cover of a good book with a cuppa or delicious local drop of Fiordland Pinot. And before you’re ready to slip into the comfort of your bed, why not have a cheeky dram of whisky to set the scene for reliving the days adventures. How much better does it get!

And if you need more inspiration to venture into Fiordland to kayak, cruise, free dive, paddle board or for some excellent hiking opportunities, or simply to unwind in the wild; be sure to check in to our instagram and facebook pages for updates on what we are getting up to.

- Fiona Lee


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