Preservation Inlet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Preservation Inlet is the southernmost fjord in Fiordland National Park and lies on the southwest corner of the South Island of New Zealand.


A long narrow fjord extending north-eastwards between Gulches Head to the north and Puysegur Point to the south. Coal Island lies at the entrance. Its innermost arm is known as Long Sound which is the outlet of Long Burn.[1]

A large part of the interior of Preservation Inlet is protected by the Te Tapuwae o Hua (Long Sound) Marine Reserve.


Known to early sealers and whalers, it was named by Captain Eber Bunker in 1809. The first shore-based whaling station in New Zealand was established here in 1828[2] or 1829, exploiting Southern Right Whales in the area.[1] In 1900 a settlement known as Cromarty was established in Kisbee Bay. Intended to take advantage of gold, found in the 1890s, and fishing, it did not last long and few traces of the settlement remain.[1][3]



After a massive exploitation for over years, Southern Right Whales finally started returning into the inlet.[4][5][6] There are anecdotal sightings of Hector's Dolphins.[7] while Bottlenose Dolphins are more regularly observed. Southern Elephant Seals are occasionally observed resting on shore around the inlet.[8]


No roads reach the coast at this point. However, a tramping track is available from Tuatapere. There is also access to the sound by sea or air.

Coordinates: 46°08′S 166°34′E / 46.133°S 166.567°E / -46.133; 166.567


  1. ^ a b c Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. pp. 355-56
  2. ^ New Zealand Encyclopaedia 1966: Shore-based whaling
  3. ^ Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 77
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ [1] Fiordland Coastal Newsletter April 2011, Department of Conservation