Flora and Fauna of Milford Sound

As you travel through the fiord on JUCY's Milford Sound nature cruise you will view some of the most beautiful, dramatic and striking native bush and forests in New Zealand.

Flora and forests

Forests cover most of Fiordland National Park. The predominant trees are Red Beech (Nothofagus fusca), Silver Beech (Nothofagus menziesii) and Mountain Beech (Nothofagus solandri). Podocarp forests are also present at low altitude and in particular the western or Tasman Sea side of Fiordland. The most common of these species are rimu, miro, and Hall's totara which make up the canopy with many shrubs, ferns, tree ferns and epiphytes making up a dense understory.

Tree avalanches

On the steeper slopes such as those surrounding Milford Sound, very little soil is found and the vegetation in these areas is held together by a mat of intertwined roots. Occasionally tree avalanches occur when heavy vegetation clinging to the steep and rocky valley walls gives way under the impact of heavy rain. This usually occurs after a prolonged dry spell. It takes about 70 years for the forest to regenerate to full maturity making these forests the world fastest regenerating rain forests.

About Flora

Occasionally tree avalanches occur when heavy vegetation clinging to the steep and rocky valley walls gives way under the impact of heavy rain.