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Remote and rugged, the inner reaches of the 14 fiords (also spelt fjords) of south-west New Zealand are unique. Fiordland’s climate, vegetation and topography have combined with oceanic influences to create habitats and biological communities that have no counterpart anywhere in the world.Fiordland is one of the wettest places in New Zealand: over 7.5 metres of rain falls on this precipitous landscape every year. Huge volumes of water, discoloured after passing through native forest and layers of rotting leaf litter, flow down into the fiords. This yellowy brown fresh water forms a layer above the sea water that fills the fiords, and reduces light levels, allowing only greenish light to penetrate.