Fiordland National Park, established in 1952, covers over 1.2 million hectares. Here, you will find the breaktaking fjords of Milford and Doubtful Sounds, where rising peaks frame the water, and ancient beech forests fringe the shores. See Mitre Peak, which rises nearly 2000m above sea level, dominating Milford Sound, whilst the Earl Mountains reflect across the glassy surface of the Mirror Lakes area. The region is also home to endangered animals like the takahe bird, thought to be extinct till it was re-discovered here in 1948, and the kekapo, the world’s only flightless parrot. You'll also be in with a chance of seeing the Fiordland crested penguins and southern brown kiwis, protected and vulnerable native species. As you hike through the ancient forests or tour Milford Sound, keep an eye out for these rare animals. Immediately outside the National Park is the quaint lakeside town of Te Anau. You’ll find plenty of restaurants, boutiques, and trendy pubs here as well as some excellent hotels. From here, you can head off on three of New Zealand’s Great Walks or explore Lake Te Anau. As the second largest lake in New Zealand, this lake is perfect for swimming or boating. You’ll also find the Te Anau Caves here which feature limestone caves home to thousands of glow worms – a unique site.