Day 26 was the start of what I had been looking forward to before even coming to New Zealand… it was our first day, of many, in Fiordland National Park. Fiordland is probably the most well known national park in New Zealand and I would argue the most photographed. Milford sound has even been called the 8th Natural Wonder of the World.

This particular day we began in the far south of Fiordland. I didn’t know much about Lake Hauroko prior to going there but a local guy mentioned there was a nice day walk that went to a great lookout on top of the lake. He failed to mention that the walk was a million miles from nowhere… which made it even better! Solidarity & seclusion have, sort of, become the mantras of our trip thus far. We have really been able to “get away from it all” and connect with nature. The drive to Lake Hauroko was an hour down a 50km, one lane, dirt road. We didn’t see a soul the entire day. It really and truly was magical. The hike was extraordinarily neat because it was our first time to see the rain forests of Fiordland. The entire west coast of New Zealand is rain forest. Not a tropical rain forest but a rain forest nonetheless. Ferns are everywhere (hence why it is New Zealands national symbol). Green, wet, and beautiful. A fantastic hike & a fantastic day.

Lake Hauroko is located in a mountain valley in Fiordland National Park in the South Island of New Zealand. The long S-shaped lake is 30 kilometres in length and covers an area of 63 km². The surface is at an altitude of 150 metres above sea level, and the lake is 463 metres deep. It is New Zealand’s deepest lake. One of the country’s southernmost lakes, it is 35 kilometres northwest of Tuatapere, between the similarly-sized lakes Monowai and Poteriteri. It drains via the 20 kilometre-long Wairaurahiri River into Foveaux Strait 10 kilometres to the west of Te Waewae Bay.

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