Susan ar Strae 2009 travel blog

Welcome to FIORDLAND - South Island, NZ

Start of one of the Great Walks - Kepler Track close to...

Lake Te Anau, Fiordland, NZ

Lake Te Anau, Fiordland, NZ

View over lake Te Anau, Fiordland, South Island, NZ

Te Anau lakeside, Te Anau, Fiordland, NZ

The Other Pearl Harbour - Manapouri, Fiordland, NZ

The Other Pearl Harbour - Manapouri, Fiordland, NZ

The Other Pearl Harbour - Manapouri, Fiordland, NZ

Lake Manapouri, Fiordland, NZ

Frasers Beach on Lake Manapouri, Fiordland, NZ

View from Frasers Beach Lake Manapouri, Fiordland, NZ

Frasers Beach - Lake Manapouri, Fiordland, NZ

Someone gone walking with no boots?? Fraser's Beach on lake Manapouri, Fiordland,...

Forest trail alongside Lake Manapouri, Fiordland, NZ

Pearl Harbour - Lake Manapouri, Fiordland, NZ

Lake Manapouri at evening, Fiordland, NZ

Lake Manapouri at evening, Fiordland, NZ

Lake Manapouri at evening, Fiordland, NZ

Lake Manapouri at evening, Fiordland, NZ

Takitimu Mountains view from The Wilderness Lookout - Te Anau , Fiordland,...

Takitimu Mountains Mystery explained - Te Anau , Fiordland, NZ


So we're in Fiordland at last! The ubiquitous Captain Cook and Co were the first Europeans to arrive in Fiordland. After that many sealers and whalers came and became the first settlements to the region. In 1986 it was made World Heritage and today there are over 500km of walkways making it a leading World Walking - some say Capital.

The 14 fiords are 215 km in length. They were called Sounds by the early European settlers - who were mainly English or Welsh who would not have been familiar with Fiords. A 'true' sound is actually a drowned river valley caused when the sea level rises..

New Zealand is famous for its walks of course (you might have picked up on the noticeable increase in walking references of late) and even more so for its so-called Nine Great Walks. Three of these 3-4 days hikes are here in the Fiordland National Park and Gerard is hoping to trek them all so first stop was the Dept of Conservation visitor centre where he registered for the nearby Kepler Track.

I walked the first part of the Kepler - about 1.5 hours through nice beech forest along the te Anau lake and ran back along a great running trail whilst he headed for the mountain hut on Mt Luxmore (above 1000 metres; no showers, bunks, etc - not for me!)Happily the weather looked good.

Had our first encounter with sandflies - these are the NZ bug curse.. seems to be one everywhere you go just to remind one that Nature Reigns in these here remote parts! They bite a little like mozzies but thankfully they are slow critters so at least if you keep moving and cover up they don't bother you so much.

I took the van for a spin to a nearby look out and on to Lake Manapouri (Moturau in Maori - meaning 'lake of many islands' - 34 in all) where I did some short walks along Frasers beach )not to be confused with famous Fraser Island!) and took some nice shots of the sun setting over this vast lake with the Keplers in the distance.

I successfully managed to 'set up camp' myself in the van - this means dismantling the table and putting up the drapes before pouring myself a glass of red blenheimer vino from our goon.



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