Amazing Places

Fiordland, New Zealand: The Eighth Wonder Of The World

If you're a Lord of The Rings fan, New Zealand probably tops your travel bucket list. The breathtaking views of mountains, wilderness, and beaches now synonymous with the series were filmed at one of the most remote locations in the world: Fiordland, New Zealand.

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Fog drifts over Fiordland's ancient mountains.
It's dappled with mirror-calm bodies of water.

The Eighth Wonder Of The World

Fiordland, on the southwest corner of New Zealand, was carved by glaciers 100,000 years ago. It's home to New Zealand's largest national park: Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage site. The area includes Dusky, Doubtful Sounds, and Milford Sound, which was named the Eighth Wonder of the World by author Rudyard Kipling. (The Jungle Book, anyone?)

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As you'll likely remember from the Lord of the Rings films, Fiordland has "snowy peaks, alpine lakes and primeval forests," as well as "14 fjords that slash into its coastline," according to the New York Times. If you visit Fiordland and walk the famous Milford Track, you can see mountains, lakes, valleys, and New Zealand's tallest waterfall—all in one trek. Packing your bags? Before you move to Fiordland, be ready to really know your neighbors: there are approximately 18 permanent residents.

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It's even beautiful in winter.
Lush forests of Fiordland
One of Fiordland's many waterfalls

Attracting Tourists Since 1908

While Fiordland is quite remote, the community is tight-knit, and the impressive views have been drawing large numbers of international visitors for years. The Milford Track was coined "The Finest Walk in the World" by a British newspaper in 1908, and, according to the New York Times, the number of tourists doubled since the first Lord of the Rings film was released in 2001. If you're ready to hike some snow-capped mountains one day, and then surf or kayak Lake Te Anau the next, then make like Frodo and visit this remote New Zealand wilderness.

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Living Off The Grid In Paradise

Warrick Mitchell lives in New Zealand's oldest national park in Fiordland. While the isolation can be challenging, the views ain't bad.

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Surfing's Middle-Earth: New Zealand's Remote Fiordland

Three surfers from Australia experience Fiordland's remote lifestyle at the mercy of the elements—snowy mountains in the morning, and surfing in the afternoon.

8 Things You Didn't Know About New Zealand

The name of the longest town in the world is "Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu," and it is located near Porangahau in Hawke's Bay in New Zealand.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. There is a festival in New Zealand where chocolate is celebrated for an entire week. 00:27

  2. New Zealand has the town with the longest place name in the world. 00:55

  3. New Zealand is home to the world's steepest street. 02:20

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