Fiordland National Park Facts

Fiordland National Park Facts
Fiordland National Park is a more than 8000 square mile park located on New Zealand's South Island. The park is made up of mountains, waterfalls, lakes, rainforests, and fiords, which are believed to have been created over the past 100,000 years. A fiord is valley that was carved into a U-shape by a glacier and flooded with water. Prior to Australia discovering the region in the 1600s the Maori people hunted and fished in the area. European settlers attempted to establish themselves there but the isolation and rainfall were a deterrent to most. In 1904 Fiordland was established a reserve. In 1952 it was given national park status.
Interesting Fiordland National Park Facts:
In 1986 Fiordland National Park was declared a World Heritage Area, and in 1990 the park became part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site, which includes 4 national parks in total.
According to Maori legends and beliefs the fiords were carved from rock by Demigod Tuterakiwhanoa.
The first Europeans to visit Fiordland were Captain Cook and his crew, in the 1770s.
There was a brief gold rush in the 1890s but no permanent mines were established.
In 1889 tourists began to arrive, thanks to Donald Sutherland and Quintin McKinnon who acted as guides after creating a route called the Milford Track.
Some of New Zealand's oldest rock is found in Fiordland National Park. These old rock types include granite, gneiss, and schist. Other rock found in the park includes limestone, mudstone, and sandstone.
There are 14 fiords in Fiordland National Park, which are referred to as sounds or inlets. These include Preservation Inlet, Chalky Inlet, Dusky Sound, Breaksea Sound, Dagg Sound, Doubtful Sound, Thompson Sound, Nancy Sound, Charles Sound, Caswell Sound, George Sound, Bligh Sound, Sutherland Sound, and Milford Sound.
Milford Sound was described by Rudyard Kipling as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World," because of its beauty.
There are 500 kilometers of walking tracks in Fiordland National Park for visitors to explore. The Milford Track is considered to be the 'Finest Walk in the World.'
Because of the preservation of the area there are many plants and animals that are found only in Fiordland National Park.
The only flightless parrot in the world lives in Fiordland National Park. It is called the kakapo. The only alpine parrot in the world also lives in the park. It's called a kea. The kiwi can also be found in the park.
In the fiords a variety of marine species are commonly found including seals, dolphins, tawaki penguins, and in Doubtful Sound the most southern population of bottlenose dolphins lives.
There is a 580 meter tall waterfall called the Sutherland Falls in Fiordland National Park which can be reached along the Milford Track.
Visitors to Fiordland National Park can experience diving, sea kayaking, cruises, hikes (referred to as Great Walks), fish, hunt, and scenic flights.
The weather at any time of year can change and visitors may be subjected to unexpected snow, winds and heavy rain.
The mostly untouched landscape and breathtaking scenery in Fiordland National Park served as a backdrop for the Lord of the Rings trilogy movies.


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