Lake Manapouri Gemma Heaney
Summer in Fiordland

Summer in Fiordland is a beautiful thing, and a holiday in this place of overwhelming natural beauty presses the re-set button in ways you could never imagine. Let’s face it, we all need a re-set after this year.

Date 29 Jan 2021

Te Anau’s a small town with a big heart, the perfect base camp for summer adventures.

The famed Southland hospitality is real, and visitors are welcomed with open arms. The snow’s largely disappeared from mountain tops and lush green rainforest abounds, with bright red flowers of the Southern rata (native Christmas tree) dotted throughout.  Temperatures creep into the late 20’s so a dip in the lakes, a paddle, fishing expedition or picnic on the beach are all great family fun.

Summer’s the best time to explore New Zealand’s Great Walks.

The Kepler, Milford and Routeburn tracks, but there’s also dozens of free day walks, along the road to Milford, at Lake Manapouri or around Lake Te Anau. They’re the best places to spot forest birds like tomtits, fantails, tūī, bellbird and native wood pigeons, the Eglinton Valley’s a stronghold for kākāriki, robin and kākā and cheeky mountain parrot the kea hangs out around the Homer Tunnel. Visit the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, home to the pre-historic looking Takahe. Thought to be extinct, it was rediscovered in Fiordland and is the town’s pride and joy.

Summer must-dos?

Lake life, like a local- pack a book, a kite, a ball some snacks and a thermos, if you are brave enough take a dip you won’t regret it. Chill on the lake and soak up the mountain views, Frasers Beach in Manapouri is a must, and all along the shores of Lake Te Anau you will find picnic tables, BBQ areas, or beach huts in relative privacy. Plus, plenty of children’s parks with an old school impressive flying fox, an awesome skate park and pump track

Take a boat cruise in Milford / Piopiotahi or Doubtful / Tamatea sounds.

Spot rare Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and fur seals. Charter cruises venture deep into Fiordland for outstanding fishing, diving, ocean-to-plate crayfish, kayaking and paddleboarding.

Take to the air by plane or helicopter to appreciate the sheer grandeur of towering mountains, glacial-carved valleys, thundering waterfalls and this magnificent coastline.

Dine on local game and fresh seafood in outstanding restaurants, or delicious Asian dishes at Te Anau’s first food truck. Sleep well in accommodation ranging from BnB’s, motels, boutique properties and luxury lodges.

Jump on an e-bike to explore or make like a local and find yourself a swimming hole in the largest body of fresh water in Australasia.

Summertime in Te Anau. Pure heaven.

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