Experiences Back Guided Nature Walks

New Zealand abounds in excellent walking tracks and here in Fiordland we are based at the gate-way to one of the world's greatest National Parks which is now part of the "Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area."

The Te Anau and Fiordland region are promoted as the "walking and sight-seeing capital of the world" and rightfully so as in this region alone, there are over 500km of walking tracks and we believe the scenery just does not get any better anywhere.

We offer to share this world with you with our guided walks and hikes and we can take you to a place of your choice, arrange an itinerary for you, or you may wish to join one of our scheduled packages.

We have a wide choice of scheduled trips available from half day walks every day of the week to interesting local areas, some of which are rich in local history, to hikes of a number of days or more into the remoter regions of Fiordland.

We have the knowledge and expertise to ensure that any walk, no matter how long or short, is enjoyable.

Below is a selection of our guided walks that depart daily from Fiordland Lodge.

Lake Marion Guided Day Walk

The Lake Marian guided walk allows you to enjoy a lesser-known Fiordland track with an experienced, friendly local guide. Enjoy a day hike amongst native forest and raw alpine scenery in the heart of New Zealand's South Island mountain divide. Your effort is well-rewarded, with a panoramic view at the top of this beautiful glacial carved, hanging valley.

Begin your journey with a spectacular scenic drive along the Milford Road to the Lower Hollyford, the starting point for the guided walk to Lake Marian. En-route there are opportunities for short nature walks and photographic stops. The hike starts with a gentle walk alongside a spectacular series of waterfalls, then steepens and becomes quite rocky underfoot as we ascend through a lush forest of fuchsia, ribbon wood and beech trees.

With a maximum of 6 walkers your friendly guide will share information and stories about the natural and human heritage of Fiordland. Stops for photographs, bird-watching and enjoying the scenery are regularly made along the way ensuring a pleasurable, easy-going climb. Hot drinks and energy snacks are carried by the guide, and a wilderness tea break is made available as required.

After walking 2-3 hours, Lake Marian, our stunning alpine destination, is reached. This beautiful lake is surrounded by a hanging valley bordered by steep, snow clad mountains. As weather allows, we enjoy a picnic lunch and relax in this magnificent alpine amphitheatre.

When the group is ready, we make a leisurely decent back down the track to the Hollyford Road and then travel back to Te Anau by coach.

Rate: $195 per person 

Routeburn Track, Key Summit Guided Walk

Enjoy a guided day walk from Fiordland Lodge to Key Summit on the renowned Routeburn Track, a New Zealand Great Walk. Ascending through lush forest and into a unique alpine herb field offering panoramic views of mountains, alpine lakes and bush clad valleys far below. This walk offers an incredible day out in the heart of New Zealand South Island main mountain divide.

This spectacular walk ascends through lush, temperate rainforest and onto a unique alpine herb field. On the summit, hikers experience panoramic views of mountains, alpine lakes, and deep, glacial carved bush clad valleys. The Routeburn Track is an inspiring place to be and enjoy natural beauty.

Walking in a small group your guide provides an excellent opportunity to learn about this stunning natural environment. If time allows, a visit is made to the tramping hut at Lake Howden before retracing our steps to the Divide.

This 8km return Routeburn Track walk begins at the Divide Shelter with a steady climb on a well maintained track. Gaining an elevation of 400 metres, the ascent takes approximately 2 hours at a leisurely pace. On a fine day lunch is on the summit, and in unfavourable conditions in the shelter of a nearby tramping hut. After lunch we descend back to the Divide Shelter.

Price: $220 per person 

Milford Track Back End Guided Walk

Soak up the grandeur of the world-famous Milford Track with a guided walk to Giant's Gate Falls. This New Zealand Great Walk is suitable for all abilities and there is much to see. From the ancient canopy trees towering above to the emerald-green ferns below and the birdsong that echoes through the trees, it is a unique World Heritage Area best explored by foot.

You will be picked up from Fiordland Lodge by your guide and drive through to Milford Sound. Then departing from Milford Sound, you begin with a short boat ride to Sandfly Point. The walk meanders alongside the cascading Arthur River through lush rainforest to Giant Gate. This spectacular waterfall is best viewed from the large swing bridge spanning the river.

Walking at an easy going pace in a small group, your knowledgeable nature guide will point out the native plants and birds inhabiting this lush environment, and share the track’s stories, bringing the history of the area to life.

Please note that you will depart Fiordland Lodge at approximately 6.45am for Milford Sound with your scheduled transport and guide, join the water taxi to Sandfly Point and the Milford Track, then walk to Giant Gate Waterfall, an iconic and highly photographed waterfall. The track is flat and well maintained through spectacular forest, river and lake scenery.

Once you are off the track we round your off with day a Real Journeys Milford Scenic Cruise before returning on the Real Journeys cruise back to Te Anau and Fiordland Lodge.

Rate: $307 per person 

Gertrude Saddle Guided Adventure Walk

Gertrude Saddle offers an adventurous guided day hike from Fiordland Lodge. Explore the Fiordland mountains and its unrivalled alpine terrain to gain spectacular views of Milford Sound from the summit. In a small group, your local, knowledgeable guide will lead you safely through the area and provide information on the incredible array of alpine plants and birds along the way.

From the lodge you take a very scenic drive along the Milford Road for about two hours to the upper Hollyford Valley and the Alpine Homer Hut. This drive takes us to the heart of the Darren mountains and up into the sub alpine herb fields.

The hike to the Gertrude saddle is challenging at times, but the rewards are most definitely worth it. Rough and rocky underfoot, the track follows the valley floor up to the imposing Barrier face, then commences a steep and steady climb to the chilled waters of the mystical Black Lake. Walking across giant granite slabs and supported by fixed ropes near the top, finally the saddle is reached. From the safety of the pass, enjoy incredible views into the surrounding valleys and down onto Milford Sound.

On a sunny day the Saddle is a wild, awe-inspiring place for lunch, though with no shelter available it is imperative appropriate warm clothing is taken, as well as a good lunch and snacks. Hot drinks and energy snacks will be carried by you guide, and a wilderness tea break is made available during the walk and as required. It takes about three hours to gain the saddle and nearly the same to return to the van as we retrace our steps.

This is a more demanding walk than Lake Marian, and only suitable in good weather. Lake Marian is the back-up walk if your guide deems the weather is not suitable for this walk. You can spend a whole day exploring the lower valley and if this is preferred then we suggest you book a private guide. The lower valley has incredible alpine flowers and scenery; it is not necessary to reach the saddle, or anywhere near it to have an amazing day.

Rate: $910 Private Guide (1 -4 people includes lunch)

What to Bring: The Fiordland weather is unpredictable and can change very quickly. Firstly, if you are planning on staying at Fiordland Lodge and targeting day walks we suggest an appropriate day pack. We recommend bringing comforatable walking boots/shoes, waterproof jacket, warm clothing including hat and gloves, sun screen and insect repellent, sun hat, camera and any personal medication if required. Walking poles are optional.