Milford Sound (Piopiotahi in Māori) is a fjord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island, within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world's top travel destination in an international survey (the 2008 Travelers' Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor) and is acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. Rudyard Kipling had previously called it the eighth Wonder of the World.
Fiordland National Park occupies the southwest corner of the South Island of New Zealand. It is the largest of the 14 national parks in New Zealand, with an area of 12,500 km², and a major part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. The park is administered by the Department of Conservation.
Te Wāhipounamu (Māori for "the place of greenstone") is a World Heritage Site in the south west corner of the South Island of New Zealand.
Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1990 and covering 26,000 km², the site incorporates several national parks:
It is thought to contain some of the best modern representations of the original flora and fauna present in Gondwana, one of the reasons for listing as a World Heritage site.
The South Island (Māori: Te Wai Pounamu) is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean. The South Island covers 150,437 square kilometres (58,084 sq mi) and is influenced by a temperate climate.
The South Island is sometimes called the "Mainland". While it has a 33% larger landmass than the North Island, only 23% of New Zealand's 4.4 million inhabitants live in the South Island. In the early stages of European (Pākehā) settlement of the country, the South Island had the majority of the European population and wealth due to the 1860s gold rushes. The North Island population overtook the South in the early 20th century, with 56% of the population living in the North in 1911, and the drift north of people and businesses continued throughout the century.