Eglinton Valley

Eglinton Valley

Eglinton Valley is the only substantial post-glacial river valley you can drive along within the Fiordland National Park. It sits between the steep beech-covered Earl Mountains to the west and Livingston Mountains to the east. The valley is one of a few large areas of lowland beech forest and there are more than 30 rare or endangered species of flora and fauna. Restoration of rare mohua (yellowhead birds) and pekapeka (short-tailed bats) have been major projects.

The beech trees extend down to the Eglinton River and road in places. But it is the open-sided flat valley sections, covered in golden tussock grass and surrounded by mountains, that are the most spectacular.

There is one particular golden tussock area that is the most popular place to stop, including for the tour buses heading to Milford. Even with the buses, there is plenty of space and you can easily wander off into the tussock for a quieter experience.

There are also other options to pause and stretch out in the valley – Knobs Flat with the last flush toilets before Miflord, the Lake Gunn Nature Walk at Cascade Creek, and with a number of other DOC campgrounds. At the north end of the valley before the Divide are several lakes, including Lake Gunn.

For LOTR fans, the Earl Mountains represented the Misty Mountains in the Fellowship of the Ring.

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