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Te Anau – The South Islands best-kept secret

The magnificent mountains of Fiordland beckon across the water when standing on the shoreline of the South Island's largest lake. The picturesque township of Te Anau is the main visitor base for the glacier-carved wilderness that is Fiordland National Park however, don’t rush off into the mountains. Te Anau gives you full access to world-class hiking trails nature-watching, family-friendly activities, accommodation, and a whole crew of locals who are ready to welcome you into their humble town

Date 21 Apr 2021

From highly active to highly relaxing, Te Anau does have it all. 

Te Anau is the perfect place to stay and experience the friendliness of small-town New Zealand. Stock up on all you need for outdoor adventures, and then stay for restaurants, lake cruises, glow worm caves, jet boating, or even a glimpse of the rare, flightless Takahē at Punanga Manu o Te Anau, Te Anau’s Bird Sanctuary.

The locals love to show off their town and below are some of Te Anau’s best-loved experiences, ready and waiting for you to explore.

Sample a half-day or full-day ride on the Lake 2 Lake Cycle trail.

This scenic bike trail runs along the Waiau River between Te Anau and Manapouri. Suitable for families and riders of all skill levels. This leisurely 30km bike ride takes you through some of the most beautiful landscapes, a stop off to see the Takahe or combining a short walk on the Kepler Track is a great add-on. Hire bikes from town or bring your own, whatever your adventure it is sure to be spectacular.

 

Taking a moment on the Lake 2 Lake Cycle Trail - credit Onesimus Photography

Mount Luxmore

sits high above the town below and Luxmore hut is one of the most popular huts around due to its proximity to Lake Te Anau township. Mount Luxmore is the mountain directly behind the hut, it is visible from the shores of Lake Te Anau. The mountain is 1,472 metres high. It is part of the Kepler Track with the highest point on the track being the slightly lower Luxmore Saddle at a height of 1,400 metres. The walk from Brod Bay is a steady climb but the views from the top are magnificent. Looking to skip the climb? You can jump in a helicopter transfer to Luxmore Hut and enjoy a leisurely day hike to the summit and back down to Brod Bay for a water taxi transfer into town, just in time for dinner.

 

Mt Luxmore in Winter - credit Gemma Heaney

Takahē

were considered to be extinct until famously rediscovered in the Murchison Mountains, west of Lake Te Anau, in 1948. Today you can enjoy an easy walk along the lakeside which takes you to the Te Anau bird sanctuary where you can see some of New Zealand’s special birds that are difficult to see in the wild. The rare flightless Takahē are the stars of the Bird Sanctuary and meeting these prehistoric-looking characters is a must-do for Fiordland visitors.

Takahe - credit Douglas Thorne 

Watching Ata Whenua is somewhat of a rite of passage here in Te Anau.

  Relax inside the Fiordland cinema and let Ata Whenua – Shadowland bring the Fiordland wilderness to you. Mysterious, exhilarating, and spectacular, this unique film offers insight into the World Heritage Status wilderness of Fiordland. Filmed predominantly by helicopters and across the extremes of all seasons, climates, and terrains, this short film will take you on an unforgettable journey, one every New Zealander should experience.

 

Enjoy the big screen in luxury - credit Fiordland Cinema

Just a 20-minute drive from Te Anau,

you will find the idyllic township of Manapouri sitting quietly on the shores of mighty Lake Manapouri. Known as New Zealand’s loveliest lake, Manapouri’s quiet and unhurried atmosphere belies the extraordinary environment it sits within and the extraordinary tale of its survival. Nestled in amongst Fiordland mountains, Lake Manapouri and its surrounds offer stunning scenery and numerous activities to enjoy. It is a great spot for families, and those who love boating, day walks, and tramping a bit off the beaten track.

Lake Manapouri from above - credit Douglas Thorne

Restaurants are plentiful in Te Anau and allow visitors to sample delicious local fares like venison, lobster, and seafood. Stay a little longer and book yourself into a motel, bed, and breakfast or campground. whatever your budget, this town can accommodate.  The time is now, it’s time to pack your bags and discover the New Zealand town where adventure and relaxation are found in equal measure.

Date

21 Apr 2021

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