Saba, The Netherlands

The Mysterious Dutch Queen of Saba

Windward Side II
Glimpse of Windward Side from the summit of Mount Scenery.
The Iron Crown of Saba
Communications antenna over Mount Scenery, the highest point in Saba and the Netherlands.
a tropical europe
Windward Side Townhouse with St. Paul Conversion Church featured.
Windward Side II
Windward Side townhouse at the foot of Mount Scenery, the highest point in Saba and the Netherlands.
little black beast
Goat gives life to Windward Side, Saba's second village.
The traditional white-green-red houses of Saba.
a lush descent
Child runs down the Mount Scenery trail.
The Bottom I
The capital of Saba The Bottom, in one of the deepest valleys on the island.
Well's Bay Beach
Well's Bay Beach, a beach, from time to time devoid of sand, as in the picture.
the jeweler
Jeweler Mark Johnson at his The Jewell Cottage on Windward Side.
Windward Side street market participants.
Sacred Heart Church-Saba-Dutch Caribbean
The Sacred Heart Church on the edge of the capital The Bottom.
Sabantine Chapel
Sacred Heart Church painting with real faces of Saba inhabitants.
St. Pauls conversion church-Saba-Dutch Caribbean
The St. Pauls Conversion Church, the Windward Side church.
The Bottom II
The round-shaped houses of The Bottom.
Saba view from the Dawn-Dutch Caribbean ship
View of Saba from the deck of the "Dawn", the boat that provides connections to St. Maarten.
With a mere 13km2, Saba goes unnoticed even by the most traveled. Little by little, above and below its countless slopes, we unveil this luxuriant Little Antille, tropical border, mountainous and volcanic roof of the shallowest european nation.

We took off from the Princess Juliana airport in Sint Maarten, made famous for having the small one at the beginning of its runway. Maho beach, for the reason that planes do to you and to bathers moments before landing.

And because the fun of experiencing the power of the jets of the biggest Boeing and Airbus models has become popular there. The aircraft we flew to Saba had little to do with these.

Saba is visible from the Maho Beach. As are Anguilla, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Eustatius and Saint Kitts & Nevis, along much of the coast and peaks of Sint Maarten. Unsurprisingly, a quarter of an hour after departure, we landed on the runway at Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, one of the shortest in the world.

After immigration, the bags were collected, and we met Dona, a convenience taxi driver from St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands, but who had moved twenty years ago and finally moved to Saba, her grandmother's island.

It is in Dona's car that we make the first trip through Saba, like the following ones, typical of a roller coaster.

Windward Side, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands

Windward Side townhouse at the foot of Mount Scenery, the highest point in Saba and the Netherlands.

Windside of Saba

Always at those, we ascend the steep slope of Zion's Hill to the island's second village, Windward Side. There we find a village full of white villas, with white fences and red tin roofs from which hang Victorian ornaments. gingerbread trim and windows with green shutters.

This architectural and visual harmony is not unrelated to a set of laws in force, created to avoid disformities and aberrations.

Saba might even be Dutch. It is, in fact, the smallest municipality in the Netherlands. These houses, many of them secular, are the product of the island's intricate history.

Typical houses-Windward Side-Saba-Holland

The traditional tricolored houses of Saba.

Mark Johnson's Creative Jewelry

Dona takes us to the presence of Mark Johnson, one of Saba's prodigal, wealthy, and creative sons. We found him in your room. The Jewel Cottage, a 150-year-old cottage adapted as a luxury jewelery showcase where Mark spends part of his time behind his laptop filtering orders and other important messages in his mailbox.

In addition to being a designer and jewelry merchant, Mark is an art collector and a serious traveler with a passion for the history and reality of the places he has the privilege of visiting, sometimes in search of new exotic gems of superior quality, or in search of paintings and sculptures and the like worthy of your investment.

Mark Johnson, Windward Side, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands

Mark Johnson at his The Jewell Cottage on Windward Side.

Regardless of the place or theme we are talking about, Mark is not only aware of but also surprises us with repairs, analyses, stories and experiences, some more precious than others, all of which mold in us an inevitable wonder.

Mark takes us to Villa Compass, one of the charming traditional villas on his Saba property list. Show us around the house and give us some time to get settled. Soon after, we went out for lunch.

With the days in Saba numbered and the afternoon progressing, we did it in a bit of a hurry. “If you are really brave, leave as you still have time. Just know that it's pulled.”

Mark commented on the ascent to Mount Scenery (887m), the supreme summit of the island and the Kingdom of Netherlands. We were aware that we were going to suffer. Accustomed to these penalties, we are not deterred by the host's warning.

To the achievement of the Ceiling of Saba. and of the The Netherlands.

We find the start of the well-marked trail by the roadside, just below Mark's home and the center of Windward Side.

Gradually, uphill by steeper, step by step, we saw the path to the Dutch zenith grow steeper and lusher, flanked by prolific colonies of large ferns, some arboreal, palms, bananas, elephant's ears and soaked trees and carpeted with bromeliads, moss and lichens.

Child, Mount Scenery trail, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands

Child runs down the Mount Scenery trail.

The higher we climbed, the wetter and windier the slope became, eventually battered by gusts that dragged an endless caravan of clouds from the southeast.

Finally, we reach the flat area of ​​the summit. The trail is subdivided in the direction of two distinct thresholds, both on vertiginous cliffs. Either way, they zigzag through a dense forest of trees and undergrowth.

We avoid a black snake. We continued towards the southern edge of that top. We avoid the cloud-disguised precipice and climb a final rocky ramp that takes us to the vantage point facing Windward Side.

Barely holding on to a communications mast to prevent the gusts from sending us flying, we spotted the village below, lit by a dim sunlight that had somehow managed to evade the billowing mist.

Mount Scenery, Saba, Netherlands

Communications antenna over Mount Scenery, the highest point in Saba and the Netherlands.

At the mercy of the Endless Nebulosity

The moment proved exceptional. From then on, for a good half hour, the best we could manage was to get a glimpse of the village again in two or three lapses between clouds.

Windward Side, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands

Glimpse of Windward Side from the summit of Mount Scenery.

As we waited, we realized we were in the company of a stubborn rooster, we guessed coming from the lands below. For a while, he remained at the base of the rock, watching our movements, but when he saw us open two energy bars, he climbed it in three times and did not give up until he got his share.

Convinced that capricious weather would get the better of us, we inaugurated the poignant return to Windward Side.

A Precious Welcome at The Jewel Cottage

That night, sore but satisfied by the small achievement, we had dinner with Mark Johnson and Glenn Holm – responsible for promoting tourism in Saba – at The Jewel Cottage of Mark. We exchange travel and adventure stories. Diverse about the wanderings and the world of Mark's gems.

Several others about the genesis of Saba and the life of its approximately two thousand inhabitants, many of them Dominican, Venezuelan and other immigrants who arrive attracted by the rewarding salaries and conditions and end up settling and establishing or bringing families.

The small size of the island meant that the historic families are few, with half a dozen predominant nicknames, especially Hassell and Johnson. Most of them have mixed Dutch, English, Scottish and African ancestors.

Street Market, Windward side, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands

Windward Side street market participants.

Some even share the genes of Irish exiles in 1625 by Charles I, when the newly incumbent king sought to remedy rebellions he himself generated by assigning rebel lands to a group of Scottish nobles who supported him.

The Rollercoaster Tour to Saba

Early the next morning, we leave with Glenn Holm who leads us from Windward Side across the island. There are so many ups and downs, the hills and the valleys that, at times, it seems impossible for Saba to measure only its 13km2 officials.

We pass through Saint Johns. Shortly after that relative high, we spotted The Bottom – English corruption of the Old Dutch de Botte (the cup).

The Bottom, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands

The round-shaped houses of The Bottom.

The Botte, or rather The Bottom

As the current name suggests, the capital of Saba appears in a deep valley, surrounded by mountains on all sides.

Glenn proudly explains to us that the Saba University School of Medicine is located there, a reputable institution that attracts hundreds of students from the United States determined to obtain their MD (Medicine Degree) in an exotic environment but which, without nightlife or similar escapes, keeps them stimulated and focused.

We had lunch at The Bottom. Soon after, Glenn challenges us to look inside the Sacred Heart Church, built in the remote year of 1935. We open the door. We found the temple deserted. We are attracted by the bright colors that surround the altar.

Painting, Sacred Heart Church-The Bottom, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands

Sacred Heart Church painting with real faces of Saba inhabitants.

We realized in three stages, why the willing islanders refer to it as “The Sistine Chapel of Saba”. The person in charge is Helen Cornet, a local artist who painted that corner of the nave with incredible detail and, so Glenn Holm informs us, illustrated with the faces of her determined countrymen.

The Now Sandless Beach of Well's Bay

From The Bottom, we descend a new steep slope in the direction of Well's Bay. The rounded cove lacks the white – or even black – sand, characteristic of almost all the Caribbean islands.

As Well's Bay is missing, Saba in general lacks such sands, and the closest thing it has is the beach with large round and polished pebbles that we see ahead. Saba doesn't belittle for it.

Well's Bay Beach, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands

One of the few beaches in Saba, from time to time devoid of sand, as in the picture.

“Can you see those colorful buoys floating by the rock? Must be divers. We have established ourselves as one of the best diving destinations in the world. Most of the visitors we receive come here for nature and, in particular, for the incredible diving they find here.”

Are characteristic of the Saba National Marine Park, underwater caves and tunnels and underwater volcanic pinnacles up to 30 meters from the seabed, covered by healthy and lush coral reefs, sponges and other invertebrates.

In this increasingly rare type of ecosystem, divers can easily find parrotfish, barracudas, sharks, rays, octopuses, turtles and lobsters, among many other sea creatures.

For a long period of Saba's history, Well's Bay and others around the island were the habitat of other specimens much more feared by colonial powers.

Casario, Windward Side, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands

Windward Side Townhouse with St. Paul Conversion Church featured.

Colonial Lottery Wins for Holland

Saba was inhabited by Arawak Indians at the time when it is believed that Christopher Columbus sailed off the island, not very enthusiastic about disembarking there due to the rugged and rocky coastline. Only 140 years later would Saba welcome European visitors, a group of English castaways with no alternative but to try to get there.

Three more years later, a Frenchman adrift in the Caribbean claimed Saba for King Louis XIII. Completely ignoring this pretension, the Dutch governor of the neighboring island of Saint Eustatius – which we plan to visit on an upcoming incursion into the Antilles – has assigned Dutch families to occupy it.

After another twenty-four years, Saba had already been dominated by piratical Jamaican governors, the dreaded Edward, Thomas and Henry Morgan.

The reign of this trio and Saba's reputation as a refuge for pirates lasted until, in 1816, the Netherlands took it for good and, using slaves brought from Africa, it developed sugar, indigo and rum productions there.

Casario, Windward Side, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands

Windward Side Townhouse with St. Paul Conversion Church featured.

The Smallest Municipality in the Netherlands

In more recent times, Saba became part of the Netherlands Antilles, but when, in October 2010, this autonomous territory was dissolved, Saba became a special municipality within the Netherlands.

It was endowed with a specific constitutional status equal to that of Saint Eustatius and Bonaire, a status that allows the inhabitants of these islands to vote for the election of members of the Dutch House of Representatives.

Early the next morning, we boarded the “The Dawn”, the vessel that ensures the marine connections between Saba and Sint Maarten. The Caribbean Sea was still churning and condemned us to an hour and a half jumping up and down frightening waves. Nothing new in those remote places.

Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands

View of Saba from the deck of the “Dawn”, the boat that provides connections to St. Maarten.

Three days after flying to Saba, we return to Sint Maarten, half of the other Lesser Antille (the rest of the territory is French), constituting the Kingdom of Holland.

There we returned, committed to resuming the north-south route through the stepping stone of the Antilles. The more of its islands we visited, the more we were enchanted by the countless Caribbean eccentricities.

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Home Silver

Puerto Plata resulted from the abandonment of La Isabela, the second attempt at a Hispanic colony in the Americas. Almost half a millennium after Columbus's landing, it inaugurated the nation's inexorable tourist phenomenon. In a lightning passage through the province, we see how the sea, the mountains, the people and the Caribbean sun keep it shining.
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Oviedo Lagoon, Dominican Republic

The (very alive) Dominican Republic Dead Sea

The hypersalinity of the Laguna de Oviedo fluctuates depending on evaporation and water supplied by rain and the flow coming from the neighboring mountain range of Bahoruco. The natives of the region estimate that, as a rule, it has three times the level of sea salt. There, we discover prolific colonies of flamingos and iguanas, among many other species that make up one of the most exuberant ecosystems on the island of Hispaniola.
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda's Divine "Caribbeans"

Discovering the Virgin Islands, we disembark on a tropical and seductive seaside dotted with huge granite boulders. The Baths seem straight out of the Seychelles but they are one of the most exuberant marine scenery in the Caribbean.
Maho Beach, Sint Maarten

The Jet-powered Caribbean Beach

At first glance, Princess Juliana International Airport appears to be just another one in the vast Caribbean. Successive landings skimming Maho beach that precedes its runway, jet take-offs that distort the faces of bathers and project them into the sea, make it a special case.
Guadalupe, French Antilles

Guadeloupe: a Delicious Caribbean, in a Counter Butterfly-Effect

Guadeloupe is shaped like a moth. A trip around this Antille is enough to understand why the population is governed by the motto Pas Ni Problem and raises the minimum of waves, despite the many setbacks.
Fort-de-France, Martinique

Freedom, Bipolarity and Tropicality

The capital of Martinique confirms a fascinating Caribbean extension of French territory. There, the relations between the colonists and the natives descended from slaves still give rise to small revolutions.
Saint-Pierre, Martinique

The City that Arose from the Ashes

In 1900, the economic capital of the Antilles was envied for its Parisian sophistication, until the Pelée volcano charred and buried it. More than a century later, Saint-Pierre is still regenerating.
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

We move around Martinique as freely as the Euro and the tricolor flags fly supreme. But this piece of France is volcanic and lush. Lies in the insular heart of the Americas and has a delicious taste of Africa.
Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Great Pyramids of the Antilles

Perched above a lush coastline, the twin peaks Pitons are the hallmark of Saint Lucia. They have become so iconic that they have a place in the highest notes of East Caribbean Dollars. Right next door, residents of the former capital Soufrière know how precious their sight is.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Alaskan Lumberjack Show Competition, Ketchikan, Alaska, USA
Architecture & Design
Ketchikan, Alaska

Here begins Alaska

The reality goes unnoticed in most of the world, but there are two Alaskas. In urban terms, the state is inaugurated in the south of its hidden frying pan handle, a strip of land separated from the contiguous USA along the west coast of Canada. Ketchikan, is the southernmost of Alaskan cities, its Rain Capital and the Salmon Capital of the World.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
Miyajima Island, Shinto and Buddhism, Japan, Gateway to a Holy Island
Ceremonies and Festivities
Miyajima, Japan

Shintoism and Buddhism with the Tide

Visitors to the Tori of Itsukushima admire one of the three most revered scenery in Japan. On the island of Miyajima, Japanese religiosity blends with Nature and is renewed with the flow of the Seto Inland Sea.
Bonaire, island, Netherlands Antilles, ABC, Caribbean, Rincon
Rincon, Bonaire

The Pioneering Corner of the Netherlands Antilles

Shortly after Columbus' arrival in the Americas, the Castilians discovered a Caribbean island they called Brazil. Afraid of the pirate threat, they hid their first village in a valley. One century after, the Dutch took over this island and renamed it Bonaire. They didn't erase the unpretentious name of the trailblazer colony: Rincon.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Peasant woman, Majuli, Assam, India
Majuli Island, India

An Island in Countdown

Majuli is the largest river island in India and would still be one of the largest on Earth were it not for the erosion of the river Bramaputra that has been making it diminish for centuries. If, as feared, it is submerged within twenty years, more than an island, a truly mystical cultural and landscape stronghold of the Subcontinent will disappear.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
forms of payment when traveling, shopping abroad
Travel does not cost

On the next trip, don't let your money fly

Not only the time of year and in advance with which we book flights, stays, etc. influence the cost of a trip. The payment methods we use at destinations can make a big difference.
Jingkieng Wahsurah, Nongblai Village Roots Bridge, Meghalaya, India
Meghalaya, India

The Bridges of the Peoples that Create Roots

The unpredictability of rivers in the wettest region on Earth never deterred the Khasi and the Jaintia. Faced with the abundance of trees elastic fig tree in their valleys, these ethnic groups got used to molding their branches and strains. From their time-lost tradition, they have bequeathed hundreds of dazzling root bridges to future generations.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

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A Defending World: Castles and Fortresses that Resist

Under threat from enemies from the end of time, the leaders of villages and nations built castles and fortresses. All over the place, military monuments like these continue to resist.
Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. South Pacific, Safotu Church
Savai'i, Samoa

The Great Samoa

Upolu is home to the capital and much of the tourist attention. On the other side of the Apolima strait, the also volcanic Savai'i is the largest and highest island in the archipelago of Samoa and the sixth in the immense Polynesia. Samoans praise her authenticity so much that they consider her the soul of the nation.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
On the Crime and Punishment trail, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimirskaya
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"

In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
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unmissable roads

Great Routes, Great Trips

With pompous names or mere road codes, certain roads run through really sublime scenarios. From Road 66 to the Great Ocean Road, they are all unmissable adventures behind the wheel.
Masada fortress, Israel
UNESCO World Heritage
Massada, Israel

Massada: The Ultimate Jewish Fortress

In AD 73, after months of siege, a Roman legion found that the resisters at the top of Masada had committed suicide. Once again Jewish, this fortress is now the supreme symbol of Zionist determination
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde, Landing
Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde

Santa Maria and the Atlantic Blessing of Sal

Santa Maria was founded in the first half of the XNUMXth century, as a salt export warehouse. Today, thanks to the providence of Santa Maria, Sal Ilha is worth much more than the raw material.
Golden Rock of Kyaikhtiyo, Buddhism, Myanmar, Burma
Mount Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar

The Golden and Balancing Rock of Buddha

We are discovering Rangoon when we find out about the Golden Rock phenomenon. Dazzled by its golden and sacred balance, we join the now centuries-old Burmese pilgrimage to Mount Kyaiktyo.
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Zapatismo, Mexico, San Nicolau Cathedral
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Newborn turtle, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

A Night at the Nursery of Tortuguero

The name of the Tortuguero region has an obvious and ancient reason. Turtles from the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea have long flocked to the black sand beaches of its narrow coastline to spawn. On one of the nights we spent in Tortuguero we watched their frenzied births.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.