Fiordland, New Zealand: Vast Landscape, Massive Mountain Range, Unlimited Wilderness

We're four days walk from the nearest road. The landscape's vast, the wilderness is almost unlimited. The access is by aircraft, on foot, or on the right day, you can boat it, but it's a challenge in itself. 

Really, we are at the mercy of the weather and the tides in our day to day life. It's difficult living out here, but if you do what's needed and everything comes together, it's a really rewarding place to be. 

Warrick Mitchell lived in Fiordland, New Zealand's oldest and largest national park. It covers over 12,000 square kilometers, but is home to only a few dozen people. The park's massive mountain range isolates Warrick from civilization. 

Living out here, like everywhere, you need shelter, a good dry camp. We have solar panel for power, lighting, and our satellite communications. We have a quad bike, we have two boats for fishing and diving, and we have the freezer which keeps our food and our produce cold. We rely on rainwater for drinking water, so that's not too hard with seven meters of rainfall annually. 

We largely live off the land. When you're living off the land, you're really at the mercy of the weather and the elements, so there's certain times that will allow you to go out and harvest a deer or catch a fish, capture the menu. 

If you have a down day and the waves are really good, you're more than likely gonna go surfing. If the waves aren't good, but the river's looking nice, you might catch a trout. If the waves are flat but the ocean's calm, you might go sea fishing. If the ocean's stormy, you might go up the river for a kayak or go through the bush and see if you can spot a deer. 

Living in the wilderness doesn't mean you're living in isolation from people. We certainly couldn't be doing what we do if it wasn't for the pilots and our neighbors and our friends. Whether it's the harshness of the environment and being so isolated that brings people together or the fact that the people that are willing to travel this far have like minded passion for the environment and the outdoors, one thing's for sure over the years is that the community's become really tight knit. 

When things break or things don't go your way, it's always really important to remember you're in the green. The experience is being out here and enjoying being out here. Everything else is a bonus, so you can't get too serious if one thing breaks. 

I don't know too many places in the world where you can stand on a boat looking back and you can just see ocean leading into forest leading into massive snow-capped mountains and glacier-shaped bays with pristine rivers and clear water. The trees are as they were 200 years ago, and the people that I bring out here, they get to experience this nature as it was and as it should be, and we try to keep the area and the environment pristine in this little corner of New Zealand. 

Just in case you want to be there, check this place on the map! 

Source: Great Big Story

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