Sutherland Falls

New Zealand offers some of the world’s most spectacular scenery and is the ultimate destination for the adventure traveler. The South island of New Zealand is home to the city of Queenstown, which is the top draw for tourism. The easy accessibility to the lakes and the mountains makes the region a hot sport for skiing, hiking, biking, water rafting, caving, heli-skiing, and parachuting. These are just a few of the dozens of possibilities for adventure sports. If you are visiting the South Island, it’s worth the trek to the southwestern tip to visit the Sutherland Falls.

The Falls are located in the Fiordland National Park, which is the largest national park in New Zealand, which in turn is major part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. Traveling here allows you to see in person one of the tallest waterfalls in the world, with a total drop of 1904 feet. The water feeds in from Lake Quill, which in turn is fed from several glaciers that produce their own waterfalls. There are 3 total drops that measure 1904 feet, dropping 751 feet, then 815 feet, and 338 feet respectively.

If you’ve got your hiking shoes on, it’s a 2-mile trek to the base of the falls from the Milford Track. Hiking to the Sutherland Falls offers you one advantage that the latter choice doesn’t. If you’re brave enough, you can walk to the base of the falls where you can experience the powerful roar of the falls firsthand. Another exciting way to explore and see the falls is from the air.

Helicopter tours depart daily from Queenstown; however they are on the pricy side. For roughly $750 (parities of 3 or more) or $1100 USD (2 people), you and your guest can embark on an unforgettable 3 1/2 hour flight across Lake Wakatipu where you get your first exposure to the spectacular falls. The helicopter then follows the infamous Milford Track en route to the Sound, where the helicopter makes a landing on the glacier. Truly a once in a lifetime experience! The trip ends with a gourmet feast at a rustic cabin.

En route to Queenstown you’ll fly over Mt. Aspiring National Park over the Moonlight and Shotover Canyons. If the adventure travel doesn’t appeal to you as much and you are enchanted with Lord of the Rings film series, this part of the world is where the magic was created and flocks of people make the trek annually to take in the awe-inspiring beauty.