When you think of Fiordland, the image of beaches probably doesn’t spring to your mind, but with the South Island’s largest body of water, and NZ’s second largest lake, the options for finding a secluded beach to chill with friends and whanau, camp out for the night, or bring the boat and hit the ski’s are aplenty.
Date 03 Mar 2021
Blue Gum Point and the Pontoon
A 10min walk from Te Anau town centre, this is a favourite spot for locals and visitors. The pontoon side of the beach is a swim safe zone for the kiddos which means no boats or skiers spraying the shore, it has an electric BBQ, public toilets and a playground. Locals love to head down after school for a quick dip, early dinner or to swim out to the floating pontoon. With water temperatures at around 12 degree’s wetsuits are optional.
Steamers Beach and the Marakura Wharf
A 10min walk in the other direction along the lakeside will lead you to Steamers Beach. This beach is dog friendly, once again it is a swim safe zone for the littles ones and has plenty of space for yachts, kayakers, and paddle boarders. You have great options for finding a shady tree to set up your picnic blanket and for the more adventurous why not join the locals and jump off the Marakura Wharf.
Frasers Beach, Manapouri
The views from this beach looking over Lake Manapouri’s island’s and mountains are not to be missed. Fraser’s beach is a multipurpose beach so expect to see boats dropping in or racing by pulling wake boarders or skiers, along with children paddling, or kayakers launching off on an adventure.
If the sun gets too much for you then we highly recommend taking a short nature walk down to Pearl Harbour, stop off for an ice cream and try the flying fox along the way. Sunset here is a magical moment not to be missed.
Henry Creek, Te Anau Downs
Located a 20min drive north of Te Anau, this is truly one of Fiordland’s hidden gems. A DOC campsite with toilets and 50 non powered sites nestled in native beach forest right on the shores of Lake Te Anau. There is a lovely short walk down to Henry Creek from the campsite, with teepee styled driftwood huts dotted along the beach, classic kiwi rope swings and plenty of space to cast a fishing rod and try your luck.
Doc Bay or Brod Bay
Drive 5mins from Te Anau to the Kepler Track Carpark, from here it is a 2km or 30min walk with kids through gorgeous Beech trees, ferns, punga, lichen and mosses until you arrive at Doc Bay. Alternatively, you could paddle board from the carpark or grab the Kepler Water taxi from town centre. A favourite spot for Kiwi boaties, this sandy beach is the perfect playground for all water activites, has a DOC toilet, picnic tables and old school BBQ area.
If you’re feeling energetic and want a larger beach scene plus some extra time in the forest, keep walking the next 4km along the Kepler Track to Brod Bay. Here you will find a stunning long beach with shallow, warm and inviting waters. Camping is allowed here and bookings are required during the Great Walks season.
03 Mar 2021
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