Te Anau Things to Do

  • Glow worm cavern
    Glow worm cavern
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  • Glow worm threads
    Glow worm threads
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  • The waterfal - Te Anau Glow worm caves
    The waterfal - Te Anau Glow worm caves
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Best Rated Things to Do in Te Anau

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    Milford Sound

    by bijo69 Written May 9, 2004

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    Milford Sound

    The drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound is probably one of the most beautiful routes on the globe. Definitively a must! And Milford Sound itself is great aswell. Went on the cruise and saw douzens of dolphins and some seals. The cheapest tour from Te Anau is with Atomic Shuttles for 100NZ$ including a 2 hr boat trip.

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    • Budget Travel

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    CRUISE MILFORD SOUND

    by balhannah Updated Jan 26, 2010

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    Milford sound on a wet & foggy day

    THE cruise we did was at 10am, with Red Boat cruises.

    Milford Sound Red Boat Cruises depart daily from the Milford Wharf Visitor Centre.

    Firstly, we travelled down the south side of the Fjord, passing our 1st point of interest, which was Sinbad Gully which is an excellent example of a hanging valley. Sinbad Gully is enclosed by the steep slopes of Mt Phillips rising 1,445 metres on its left, Mitre Peak on its right and the Llawrenny Peaks in the background.

    Mitre Peak [1,682metres]was a little further down, and is one of the highest mountains in the world to rise directly from the ocean floor. It was too foggy for us to see this famous Peak! Then came Fairy falls, which is a temporary waterfall that dries up quickly, it was running at its best in the rain!

    At Anita bay, close to the Tasman sea, this is where we headed across to the other side and to Dale point which is the entrance to Milford Sound.
    Stirling Falls drop 155 metres, and is one of the two permanent waterfalls in the fjord, these were really spectacular after the very heavy rain we had received overnight.

    Unfortunately, we didn't see any Southern Fur seals at Seal Point, wasn't the kind of day for sunbaking on the rocks, the Sun was not to be found! We stopped at the Underwater Observatory, and then headed back
    We did see about 100 waterfalls, but we could not see a lot of the Peaks because of the Fog.

    All the way a full commentary on the natural history and of what you are looking at is given. There's also a wide selection of food available on board.

    This is a MUST DO when in the South Island of New Zealand.

    The cruise lasts for 1 hour 45 mins

    PRICE FOR WHAT WE DID ...2010...Cruise.....$65 Adults $15 child
    Underwater Observatory......2010 an extra...$29 Adults $15 child

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    • Cruise

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    Horse drawn carriage

    by grets Written Sep 16, 2004

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    From the roads in Te Anau, it is easy just to hail one of these carriages, they just drive around touting for business.

    Our carriage was 80 years old and driven by a young girl! David really hates horse carriages, so it was quite a struggle to get him in one.

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    Wildlife Park

    by imstress Written Mar 25, 2006

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    The Wildlife Park in situated on the lakefront which is about 25 mins walk from the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre (DOC).

    You could see differnt population of birds such as kea, takahe, kaka, tui, parakeet and waterfowl in the cages.

    There are signboards which explain the different birds. All these birds are native to South Island.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park

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    Kepler Track

    by imstress Updated Mar 29, 2006

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    We chance upon one of the entrance to the famous Kepler Track at the access to the control gate.

    Many cars were seen parking here. We seen a couple who is going to began trekking the Kepler Track and bringing their backpacks out from their car. A family were seen having picnic near the control gate.

    This accees point is not too far from the dock bay and Luxmore Hut from here.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

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    THE CRUISE AT MILFORD SOUND

    by balhannah Written Jan 25, 2010

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    Waterfalls galore!
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    We booked our Milford sound cruise at Te Anau, whether this is a good idea or not, I am not sure. Weather is very unpredictable in this area, and a fine sunny day, very quickly became a very, very wet night and following day!

    Our cruise was with the "RED BOAT'
    This company was professional and good, no complaints and would use them again!

    We arrived the night before the cruise and stayed at Milford sound.

    Overnight.................

    Yes, it rained and rained, and we already had the cruise booked. Looking out of our Campervan window, to our amazement, we saw big Waterfalls that weren't there yesterday. It was cold and wet, so we rugged up and went to do the cruise.

    The Cruise..............

    The day was dull, drizzly rain, and fog misting over the mountains, but Waterfalls!, our Captain said there is over 100 of them when it rains, and wow! what a sight it was, absolutely fantastic. Normally, there are only 3 permanent waterfalls. The photos didn't come out the best, but the memories remain.
    We were told we were lucky to see it like this, and I think so too.

    YES, we were disappointed the day had turned ugly, but the Cruise was still worth doing, just to see all the amazing waterfalls, it was fantastic!

    Now we will have to go back to see it on a sunny day!

    Related to:
    • Cruise

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    MIRROR LAKE

    by balhannah Updated Feb 16, 2010

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    Mirror lake

    Located close to the Milford Sound road, is Mirror lake. It is only a short, 5 min walk.

    It was very disappointing when we were there, as they had allowed too many high Trees and shrubbery to grow, so the good reflections that I had seen from other people's visits were not there!

    I do hope they clear it a little, as you should get outstanding reflective views of the Earl Mountains.
    Waterfowl and wetland plants can be seen against a backdrop of beech forest.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park

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    MILFORD SOUND DEEP UNDERWATER OBSERVATORY

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2010

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    What we saw!

    The Cruise we did of Milford Sound, was by "Red Boat" and it included the Observatory. We decided to have a look, as it would be different to what we had seen else where in the World.

    It is located in Harrison's Cove, beneath Pembroke Glacier, amongst towering mountains of Fiordland National Park.

    First of all, you head to the visitor reception hall for a welcome and interpretation of the geology and ecology of the region.
    Next, we descended into the large, fully air conditioned, undersea viewing area, which features large, clear windows for plenty of viewing. We descended the equivalent of a four storied building, leading down beneath the fjord.

    It was different.....You can see black coral feeding in front of the windows – all being inspected by a variety of fish. We didn't see an octopus, but we did see a seal chasing after a fish.
    The black and red coral that are usually at depths of than forty metres are a rare species. Other sights were anemones, sponges, sea stars, horse mussels and fish.

    The Fjord contains a unique and beautiful underwater environment, there is nowhere else like it in the world and it was one that we both quite enjoyed seeing!

    Related to:
    • Cruise

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    Ivon Wilson Park

    by imstress Written Mar 25, 2006

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    The Ivon Wilson Park is a free entry attraaction located just opposite the Wildlife Park.

    It is a short 10 mins walk from the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre (DOC).

    This is a 13 hectare park with both introduced and native trees alongside Lake Henry and has awesome views of the mountains.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Wildlife Centre

    by grets Updated Sep 16, 2004

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    Takahe

    Located just outside the town, on the road to Manapouri, the centre is home to a pair of Takahe. This flightless bird was considered extinct until somebody discovered a breeding pair in 1948. It is a large colourful bird.

    Lots of other birds too, all within netting enclosures - not vefry good for photography.

    Related to:
    • Zoo

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    LAKE MANAPOURI

    by balhannah Written Jan 25, 2010

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    Lake Manapouri

    We arrived at Lake Manapouri on our way to Te Anau. The drive here was through some fantastic scenery with snow capped Mountains in the distance.

    We really liked this lake and town, it was quite quiet and the lake with the surrounding Cathedral Mountains was very pretty.

    This is where the cruises to Doubtful Sound leave from. A day excursion takes you across Lake Manapouri to West Arm, and then you travel by coach over Wilmot Pass to Doubtful Sound to board the catamaran for a three-hour cruise through the fjord.

    Lake Manapouri is located only twenty minutes from Te Anau, and is worth the drive to here.

    Located on the SOUTHERN SCENIC ROUTE

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Cruise

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    HOMER TUNNEL

    by balhannah Updated Jan 26, 2010

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    Homer Tunnel

    To get to MILFORD SOUND, you have to pass through the fairly famous Homer Tunnel.
    Before this tunnel opened in 1954, there was no road to fiordland.

    The HOMER TUNNEL has been improved greatly over the years.
    The tunnel is straight, and was originally single-lane and gravel-surfaced. The tunnel walls remain unlined granite.
    Until it was sealed and enlarged it was the longest gravel-surfaced tunnel in the world.

    An advancement was when roof lighting was fitted and traffic lights reintroduced in 2004 to reduce capacity constraints and safety issues.
    Although the tunnel is large enough for a bus and a smaller vehicle to pass, meetings involving two coaches or campervans are not the best. We went through in our Campervan, and were quite happy that on both occasions, we did not meet another vehicle.

    The traffic lights operate only during the peak summer season, since the avalanche risk makes it unsafe to stop and queue at the portals in winter and spring. A widening of the tunnel, to allow for true two-laning may be happening in the future.

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    • Road Trip

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    Te Anau Museum

    by imstress Updated Mar 25, 2006

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    Te Anau Museum & DOC Visitor Centre

    Te Anau Museum is located insdie the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre (DOC).

    You will be brought back to the history of Te Anau whith pictures and exhibits. This museum offers visitors a history lesson on what happened back in time.

    There is also a section where there are many books with awesome pictures of the Fiordland and some posters are on sale too.

    There is a 20 mins audio visual slide show presentation on the Fiordlands.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Fraser Beach

    by imstress Written Mar 25, 2006

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    Fraser Beach is located in Manapouri.

    You may park your car along the road and walk down to the beach.
    There are lots of insects so spray some repellent before you get out of the car.

    We have the whole beach to ourselves and we were busy posing photos with the beach and the sun is almost going to set.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Beaches

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    Control Gates at Upper Waiau River

    by imstress Written Mar 25, 2006

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    The Control Gates at Upper Waiau River supplies water for the Lake Manapouri hydro power station. The Waiau River links Lake Te Anau with Lake Manapouri.

    It is a easy lakeside walk with mountain view and magnificant view of the lake.
    You could walk right up to the control gates and have some nice pictures taken.

    There is a path where it could link you back to the Wildlife Centre.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Architecture

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Te Anau Things to Do

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