Fiordland

We would like to inform about Fiordland and its fauna, flora, geology, history, weather, etc. If you feel you can write a dedicated article please contact us and we can discuss it - all suggestions and recommendations are welcome. There are many themes that can be covered.

Why is it called Fiordland?

Fiordland is one of my favourite places, still with hidden mysteries, precious fauna and flora, dramatic landscape, interesting geological and human history.

Already the origin of its name I found interesting - it was named after three arms of Lake Te Anau (South, Middle and North Fiord). Captain E. M. Hankinson drew the first charting and naming of the lake and he is probably the first person who used name "fiord" in Fiordland. Later the name
was applied to the whole area of Fiordland.
Because all sea fiords used to be known as sounds and bear that name even today (even they are fiords) they weren't motive for the name Fiordland as is today wrongly widely presented. (Name "sound" is given to a valley that was created by river and usually has V shape but name "the fiord" belongs to U shaped valleys which were carved by glaciers). So finally luckily the region and its park got the right - logical name thanks to the arms of Lake Te Anau.1
The coastal inlets of Fiordland are each named ‘sounds’ (such as Doubtful Sound), but are collectively known as ‘fiords’. ‘Sound’ was used when the waters were charted by Captain John Stokes of the British navy ship Acheron in the early 1850s. The word comes from ‘sund’, Old Norse for ‘swimming’ or ‘strait’. ‘Fiord’ is from the Norwegian ‘fjord’, and relates to the verb ‘to ford’. It was first used in New Zealand in the 1860s – perhaps because Norway’s fjords were popular with British travellers at that time.2
Martin Sliva

References, source: 
1. Fiordland Place-Names, John Hall-Jones
2. http://www.teara.govt.nz/Places/Southland/SouthlandPlaces/10/en

Information about Fiordland

Destination Fiordland - oficcial tourism website - www.fiordland.org.nz
A local perspective on Fiordland and Southlandwww.fiordlandlocalnz.com
Photo gallery of Fiordland with informative description of photos - www.newzealandphoto.info/photos/fiordland

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