The township of Te Anau provides an excellent base and scenic location to explore lake and forest short walks.
From the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre: to Ivon Wilson Park
Duration: 15 minutes
Ivon Wilson Park is 35 hectares, planted with native and exotic trees. There are several attractive paths leading to picturesque Lake Henry which is stocked with rainbow and brown trout as a children’s fishery.
to Wildlife Park
Duration: 10 minutes
The aviaries and pens that house the birds are set in beautiful grounds with views of the lake. Free flying birds enjoy the trees that have been planted there, and the ducks like the waters edge below the boardwalk by the lake.
to Control Gates
Duration: 50 minutes
The Control Gates regulate water flows between lakes Te Anau and Manapouri for the West Arm hydroelectric power station and mark the beginning of the Kepler Track. Excellent lake and mountain views are enjoyed as the track crosses open land below the golf course.
to the Rodeo Grounds
Duration: 30 minutes
Follow the Te Anau lakeshore toward the main shopping centre; continue along the footpath to the boat harbour at Bluegum Point.
to Upukerora River
Duration: 3 hours return
Walk to the Rodeo Grounds (as above), then continue round the lake front to the mouth of the Upukerora River. Return either the same way, or follow the gravel road along side the river to the Milford Sound Highway and back into town. Although not in Fiordland National Park both these walks provide pleasant views of the Murchison Mountains and Lake Te Anau.
From the Control Gates to:
Dock Bay: 1 hour return (Kepler Track)
Brod Bay: 3 hours return (Kepler Track)
Luxmore Hut: 8-10 hours return (Kepler Track)
From the Control Gates the track follows the lake edge through mountain and red beech forest. Dock Bay is suitable for swimming and has toilet facilities. The track continues around the lake for another hour to Brod Bay. From here the track ascends steeply through mountain and silver beech forest, passes under towering limestone bluffs, and climbs above the bush line to Luxmore Hut. This strenuous, full-day walk provides impressive views of Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri, and the Te Anau basin.
Brod Bay to Te Anau (Kepler Track)
Duration: 3 - 4 hours
Catch a lift with a local water taxi across the Lake Te Anau to Brod Bay (or walk - see above) and enjoy a pleasant walk on the Kepler Track beside the lake which will lead you back to Te Anau via the Wildlife Park. The visitor centre has departure times and rates of the water taxi.
Luxmore Hut to Te Anau (Kepler Track)
Duration: 4 - 5 hours
A helicopter can drop you off at Luxmore Hut so you can walk back down the mountain into Te Anau. There are beautiful views over the Te Anau basin on a nice day. Contact an information centre for details on helicopter availability and rates. This trip is weather dependant.
Control Gates to Rainbow Reach (Kepler Track)
Duration: - 2 hours 30 minutes
The track follows the terraces of the Waiau River through red and mountain beech forest. There is a swingbridge to cross over the Waiau River to get to Rainbow Reach. A
A shuttle bus service back to Te Anau during the summer months.
Rainbow Reach to Shallow Bay or Moturau Hut (Kepler Track)
Duration: 3 hours - 3 hour 30 minute return
Rainbow Reach is 12 km from Te Anau on the Manapouri/Te Anau Highway. The track is gently undulating and wanders through mountain beech forest with some great river views. Some scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed near this part of the river. Further along cross a kettle bog then continue to the shores of Lake Manapouri - the Moturau and Shallow Bay Huts are near the lake shore and offer shelter and toilet facilities.
The Wilderness Lookout
Duration: 5 minutes
The Wilderness is situated on SH 94, 15-20 minutes drive from Te Anau towards Mossburn. The track is wheelchair accessible, and leads to a viewing platform over ancient,
low and slow growing Halocarpus bidwilli bog pine forest. Although not in Fiordland National Park, the 360 degree views of the Takitimu Mountains and foothills, Fiordland
National Park and farmland are spectacular.
Manapouri township is set on the shores of dramatic Lake Manapouri at the mouth of the Waiau River, 20 minutes drive from Te Anau and offers a range of short walks to explore lakeshore and forest scenery with spectacular vistas.
Duration: 30 minutes
The views from the beach of the national park are awe-inspiring, especially at sunset. Walk along the beach, or the track parallel to the beach. The track starts and finishes from Pearl Harbour or at the road entrance just north of Manapouri township.
Access to the following walking tracks require a crossing of the Waiau River at Pearl Harbour to the jetty on the opposite shore. There are water taxis available, or row boats can be hired.
Duration: 3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes
Follows the river, then heads up a hill to a view point overlooking the lake before descending the ridgeline to the Hope Arm Track.
Pearl Harbour to Hope Arm
Duration: 4 to 6 hours return
This track offers views of the Manapouri boat harbour from the terraces above the river, Lake Manapouri, diverse understorey of plants until reaching the Back Valley/Hope Arm Hut junction. Turn right for Hope Arm and proceed through a narrow neck of forest on boardwalk over swampland.
Cross the bridge over the Garnock Burn and shortly you
will descend on to Hope Arm Beach. The hut is sited at
the far end of the beach.
Pearl Harbour to Back Valley Hut
Duration: 4 to 5 hours return
This track passes through beech and podocarp forest and a stand of ribbonwood before emerging in some small clearings, where the hut is situated. From the hut it is possible to do a side trip up to Lake Rakatu. The trip takes an extra 2 hours return and the track is very muddy as it follows the creek to the lake.
Pearl Harbour return via Hope Arm and Back Valley Huts
Duration: 6 to 7 hours
This is a loop walk visiting both huts and passing through the Garnock Burn which is spanned by a three wire bridge.
The Monument Track
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours return
A water taxi or private boat is required to the start of the track, two kilometres north of the Hope Arm Hut. From here it is a short, but challenging, 290 metre climb to the Monument summit. From the top there are spectacular views of Lake Manapouri and the surrounding mountains.
Stockyard Cove Track
Also known as the Waterfall track
Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour return
Travel by boat to Stockyard Cove at the western entrance to Hope Arm. Two tracks led from this point. The first heads west to West Beach where there are nice view of Lake Manapouri. The second passes through ancient podocarp forest, climbing briefly until reaching the high bluff waterfalls and then descending through mountain beech forest to the lake edge.