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Te Anau

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Te Anau is a small town on the shore of Lake Te Anau, in the Southland region of the South Island of New Zealand. Te Anau is the gateway to Fiordland National Park, or simply Fiordland.

Get in[edit]

  • Turn off the Queenstown - Invercargill highway just north of Lumsden onto SH94
  • Te Anau has an airstrip for light sightseeing aircraft.

Get around[edit]

Most travellers use Te Anau as a jumping-off point to Milford Sound. Allow 2 hours to reach Milford Sound from Te Anau. There are lots of scenic stops along the way, but not much else, so stop at Fresh Choice for snacks and be sure to fill up your gas tank, as there is usually no petrol available in Milford Sound.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Cruise Te Anau - Relax on a boutique cruise to the South Fiord of Lake Te Anau. Join Peter, your personal Skipper/Guide, on a gentle bush/nature walk to discover the Hidden Lakes.
  • Te Anau-Au Glowworm Caves - A boat trip and guided tour into the Aurora Caves system by walking path and small boats within the cave itself where you will see thousands of glow worms. The caves are only accessible by boat, and Real Journeys operates a quality catamaran for a 30 minute cruise each way. You spend approximately 35 minutes underground, where you will see some spectacular underground waterfalls, some high ceilings, and many other interesting things with a professional guide. Suitable for everyone except infants. Be aware you will need to bend over considerably at the entrance, only 1m high for 3-4m. $75/adult, $22/child, although promotions often apply. Approximately 2 and 1/4 hours total.
  • Lake Marian - Off the Hollyford road on the way to Milford lies one of the most beautiful places on earth.
  • Gordon Kane's art gallery on the lakefront, paintings of the deer hunting glory days.
  • Astronomy Fiordland, [1]. Night Sky Safaris. Fiordland may have one of the lowest levels of light pollution in the world for an unbelievable view of the night sky. Each guest gets their own binoculars during the safari, a maximum group size of 8 share a high powered telescope, and Richard uses a really cool star pointer. Highly informative and interesting, but dress warmly! $45/adult, $30/child. c. 1.5h, bookings essential.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Any of the many tracks located in the area. Te Anau isn't called the walking capital of the world for no reason! The major tracks that can be started from the surrounding area include: Kepler Track, Routeburn Track and Milford Track.

Only a short walk from Te Anau's town centre, the Te Anau Wildlife Centre provides the unique opportunity to view some of New Zealand's rarest endangered birds. Be sure to see the Takahe, a large flightless bird with beautiful blue plumage and an enormous red beak. With only 225 Takahe left in New Zealand (and, consequently, the entire world), this is perhaps your only opportunity to see this majestic bird.

Don't miss out on going to Milford Sound, taking a cruise, and enjoying the scenic wonderland. For once its probably better to take a bus, they don't rush it and you get good quality commentary.

Take a day walk somewhere - Lake Marrion for example. If you don't have gear you can hire it from Bev's Tramping Gear Hire.

Adventure sports! Kayaking, climbing, skydiving, jetboating + lots more is all in Te Anau.

  • Te Anau Library. Free internet. You can use their 5 computers for up to 30 minutes for free or you can use their wireless room for unlimited wireless access for free. Follow the rules and use the designated internet room; the librarians are grumpy! Open 09:00-18:00 most days, 11:00-14:00 Saturdays, 13:00-18:00 Mondays, closed Sunday.  edit
  • Westray Horse Treks, 55 Ramparts Road, Te Anau, Southland, New Zealand, +64 3 249-9079, [2]. 09:00, 13:00 & 16:30. $75. (-45.436697,167.770742) edit
  • Milford Track Guided Day Walk - Real Journeys, Real Journeys Visitor Centre, Lakefront Drive, Te Anau, +64 3 249-7416, [3]. Combine a 1hr cruise of Lake Te Anau plus 4-5hrs easy walking of the first part of the famous track - view alpine scenery and ancient beech forests. Includes lunch and experienced nature guide.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • The Gateway. Buy and rent DVDs, video games, and CDs, but a terrible selection of used books. Friendly staff.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

La Toscana for pizza, pasta and both Italian & NZ wines.

  • Fresh Choice. Te Anau's main supermarket, also the best place to buy beer and wine.  edit
  • Miles Better Pies and more, Main St, +64 3 249-9044, [4]. 07:00-15:00. Specialist pie shop that has a range of fresh pies as well as sandwiches, cake slices and other treats, and great coffee, all to take away. (-45.416854,167.712546) edit
  • The Sandfly Cafe, 9 The Lane, +64 3 249–9529. 07:00-15:00. Order at the bar in this great choice for breakfast. Have it on the low stools, on the couches or simply at a table inside or outside: the choice is yours. The buttermilk cakes with bacon and banana are a surprisingly good mix. Home baking and local photographer, Barry Harcourt's photos lining the walls. Licensed & free Wi-Fi. Breakfast & lunch $7-17.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

The three main venues in Te Anau are "The Ranch", "The Moose" and Redcliff. In order of age groups most likely to be found at each location. Also there is a working man's club for the older generations.

  • The Redcliff, 12 Mokonui St. Serves food and drink. Warm atmosphere, cosy pub-feel and the rustic small-town kindly atmosphere you would expect in NZ.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

During December and January, bookings are essential! While bed and breakfasts, hotels, and backpackers abound in Te Anau, they will fill up and the nearest accommodation could be as far away as Gore.

Rosie's backpackers. At the end of Tom Plato Drive

  • Barnyard Backpackers. Just outside the township overlooking deer farm and a mighty fine view of the sunset when nature treats you right.
  • Davaar Country Holiday Home, 2615 SH94, The Key, Mossburn Highway, +64 3 249-5838, [5]. Davaar Country Holiday Home is a 4 bedroom holiday home set in a private garden with an expansive lawn on the main Queenstown - Milford Sound Highway just 20 minute’s drive east of Te Anau at "The Key". (-45.545455,167.926787) edit
  • Lakeview (Kiwi Holiday Parks), 77 Manapouri - Te Anau Highway, +64 3 249-7457. Tent, caravan and campervan sites as well as cabins on the shore of lake Te Anau. Clean and modern facilities.  edit

Get out[edit]

State Highway 94, or the Milford Road leads to Milford Sound, 120km away to the north. While Milford Sound is a major tourist attraction, the trip itself is just as spectacular and should not be rushed. There are several scenic stops along the route that provide unique views. With about 2,500 visitors a day travelling to Milford Sound at peak times it pays to get an early start, especially as parking space sometimes runs out in the (free) Milford carparks in the late morning.

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