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Lake Marian, Fiordland National Park

An icy Lake Marian is a must-see diversion on the drive to Milford Sound. Photo: Edith Leigh
Fiordland National Park
Turn onto the Hollyford Rd just past The Divide on the Milford Rd (SH94) and park at the Lake Marian car park
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For reward to effort ratio, Lake Marian cannot be beaten.

Deep in the Darran Mountains, sheltered in the bottom of a hanging valley, the lake beckons those who take the time to stop to stretch their legs on the long drive to Milford Sound.

The three-hour return track skirts Marian Creek, which tumbles from the alpine lake towards the Hollyford River. Boardwalk hugs the cliffs and hangs out over the Marian rapids, before the track leaves the roar of the creek behind and climbs steeply through thick beech forest.

Near the top of the valley, the beech trees shrink, their branches drowning beneath thick layers of moss, and the understory is coated in waist-high ferns.

Anybody travelling on the road to Milford Sound should put Lake Marian at the top of their ‘to do’ list.