This picturesque little Fiordland town takes its name from the massive lake on whose shores it nestles. Lake Te Anau is eclipsed only by Lake Taupo in size and it certainly matches its bigger North Island sibling in beauty. Not only are Te Anau’s surrounds staggeringly beautiful and crammed with activities and adventure the town is also the nearest base for visitors to the famous Milford Sound.
Boat trips abound on the lake for fisherman and adrenalin junkies alike, or those just out for a relaxing cruise and daily guided tours depart to the fiords and other natural wonders of the National Park. One of best-loved of these wonders is the network of glow worm caves accessible by a 35 minute lake-crossing from the town, which are not to be missed while you’re visiting the area.
The lake itself is a window to one of the best mountain vistas in the country and the grandeur of the steep climbs and snow-capped peaks is enough to take your breath away, especially on a trademark clear, crisp morning.
Most of the activities in the area are aimed at the more daring visitors; the Great Walks and hikes around the Milford and Doubtful Sounds, kayaking or skydiving but these are not the only thing on offer and Te Anau has a thriving café and restaurant scene that caters for the most voracious appetites. There are few better places in the world to enjoy some classic kiwi dishes and a glass or two of local wine.
Visiting Te Anau? Book your accommodation online with Yellow Maps now!
Editorial by Jooles Clements