Fiordland National Park

The Chasm, Fiordland National Park

Looking for an easy walk while driving to Milford Sound? The 20 minute (if that) round trip hike to the Chasm is a great chance to stretch your legs and get a taste of Fiordland National Park’s pristine tracts of native forest. And there’s also a waterfall thing (if you needed more convincing).

The walk

The track leading to the Chasm is about as easy as it gets in this part of New Zealand. It’s mostly flat and is wide enough for a few people to walk side by side. I imagine it might get muddy if there it has rained recently, so decent shoes are recommended.

The Chasm

I’m not entirely sure how to describe the Chasm. Is it a waterfall? A series of rapids? A mix of the two? Who knows, but it is pretty cool to see. After walking through the forest you’ll come to a bridge across the crashing water. Standing on the bridge, surrounded by water carved boulders and thundering rapids is a great experience. We visited on a cold winter morning and we were the first car in the car park. Soon after we arrived at the bridge there were other people milling around though – I bet this place gets overrun if you time your visit wrong (AKA whenever a tour bus or two is there).

Getting to the Chasm

The Chasm car park is located 109 kilometres along the Milford Sound Road (around 30 minutes from Milford Sound. This road cuts through one of New Zealand’s most beautiful regions and it’s worth taking your time and stopping as much as you can. There are some great longer hikes in the area but if you only have a day there are lots of short walks and easily reached viewpoints, including the Mirror Lakes, Lake Gunn Nature Reserve and Marian Falls.

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.
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