Te Anau Things to Do

  • Glow worm cavern
    Glow worm cavern
    by al2401
  • Glow worm threads
    Glow worm threads
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  • The waterfal - Te Anau Glow worm caves
    The waterfal - Te Anau Glow worm caves
    by al2401

Best Rated Things to Do in Te Anau

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    no doubt about it!

    by margaretvn Written Feb 25, 2003

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    pure nature at its best.

    Take a day trip from Manapouri (a short drive from Te Anau) through the Doubtful Sound. It is a wonderful trip. Getting to Doubtful Sound is an "adventure" in itself. You take a boat from Manapouri across the lake to catch a coach. This takes you along the Wilmot Pass Road. This road is 22 kilometres long and was completed in 1965. It joins the Manapouri Power Station to Deep Cove. The summit is 670 metres and it is reached by a winding drive through cool temperate rainforest. There is a 1 in 5 drop down to Deep Cove where you get the boat for the trip through Doubtful Sound to Bauza Island and the Tasman Sea. If you are lucky (we were!) you can see Crested Penguins on the island and Dolphins playing in the waters. On the return journey you get a chance to visit the underground power station. The fjord is 40 kilometres long and is the second largest and the deepest of Fiordland. It is remote and unspoilt, a wilderness of mountain peaks (often in cloud and rain) with side arms of water from the main fjord and rainforest. This area has a wide range of wildlife including Crested Penguins, Fur seals, Bottlenosed Dolphins and many types of bird.
    The Doubtful Sound was named by Captain James Cook in 1770 during his voyage to New Zealand. He doubted if the narrow entrance to the Sound would allow his vessel to get safely in and out.

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    The rare 'TAKAHE'

    by balhannah Written Jan 25, 2010

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    Takahe statue

    Walking around the shops at Te Anau, we came across a large turquoise Bird statue!

    This statue was of the Takahe which was thought to be extinct for over 40 years until it was rediscovered in a remote valley across Lake Te Anau. Now with the wild population entirely endemic to the Fiordland area, you can see the "real thing" at the Te Anau wildlife park, along with other species such as keas, kaka, bellbirds and tui’s.

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    • Zoo

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    THE CHASM

    by balhannah Written Jan 25, 2010

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    The Chasm

    This place was amazing!

    Just a short walk from the road, the water is rushing down the Cleddau River with such force, that over thousands of years, it has sculpted the boulders and has even put holes through them! It was rather mesmerizing, you definately wouldn't want to fall in, it would be the end of you! Waterfalls, lovely forest, but hard to get a decent photo to show what it IS REALLY LIKE, you really have to stop and have a look yourself!

    Only about a 20min walk.

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    • National/State Park

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    Fiordland Movie - "ATA WHENUA Shadowland"

    by goflynn Updated Apr 3, 2005

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    After a rainy day cruise on Milford Sound, a thiry minute movie at the Fiordland Cinema made it all worthwhile. The award winning experience was an unforgettable journey through one of the most awe inspiring landscapes on earth.
    movie times DAILY: 10.00am, 1.00pm, 5.30pm, 6.30pm.
    Fiordland Cinema and wine bar was specially constructed to house regular screenings of the locally filmed movie “Ata Whenua” – Shadowland. Ata Whenua – Shadowland brings you the Fiordland World Heritage Status Wilderness you would otherwise never see, and compliments a trip into the Fiords. Mysterious, evocative, exhilarating and utterly spectacular, filmed across extremes of season, climate and terrain. The cinema has plush seating for 52, outfitted with comfortable recliners; enabling a boutique cinema experience for individuals or small groups.

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    • Theater Travel
    • Adventure Travel
    • Family Travel

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    Glow worm caves

    by Josilver Updated Dec 10, 2006

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    picture from brochure

    The Glow worm caves are across Lake Te Anau and are accessed by booking with Real Journeys at the warfe. The journey across the lake takes about 30 minutes. Once there you watch a video on the caves and glow worms before being divided into groups of 12 and given a guided tour of the caves. You have to bend down to about waste height to get into the caves. There is lots of rushing water and the glow worms are really cool. The best bit is the boat ride where you ride in a small boat on completely still water in pitch black darkness - the only thing you can see is the thw glow worms sparkling like the milky way on the ceiling. The boat goes quite close to the walls and you can get inches away from the glow worms - Do not touch them as they squash easily.

    NOTE - YOU CAN NOT TAKE PHOTOES IN THE CAVES, NOT EVEN WITH DIGITAL CAMERAS

    Duration: 2 hours
    Price: $54 adult $15 Child
    Times: All year 2.00pm
    7.00pm
    Oct-April 5.45pm
    8.15pm

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    Department of Conservation Visitor Centre (DOC)

    by imstress Written Mar 25, 2006

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    Department of Conservation Visitor Centre (DOC) is the information bank where visitors to Te Anau should first visit when they arrive in the town.

    It is located on the lakefront. There are many displays on the route to take and the short walks around the Visitor Centre.

    If you need information and bookings and maps, do seek help from the friendly staff.

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

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    Morepork

    by grets Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Ninox novaeseelandiae.

    The Morepork is a nocturnal native New Zealand owl about 30cm in size and 175g in weight

    The morepork usually eats moths and beetles caught on the wing as well as small animals such as mice, baby rats, lizards and smaller birds.

    The name come from its distinctive call"more-pork".

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    • Zoo

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    Crazy Golf

    by grets Updated Sep 16, 2004

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    Next door to the hotel is a park with crazy golf, so we decide to take a round after dinner, which is a lot of fun. Obsticles line the course of a short putting green, and the idea is that you get your ball past the obatcles and into the hole.

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    • Theme Park Trips

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    Te Anau Glow worm caves

    by al2401 Written Jul 12, 2012

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    Glow worm cavern
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    Maori legend told of caves filled with rushing water and early European explorers had similar tales of undergroud caves. The location of the entrance became lost in history until it was rediscovered in 1948 by local Te Anau operator Lawson Burrows. He found a stream pouring out of the hills and upon squeezing through the opening in the rock discovered a dark cave with hundreds of points of light.

    The caves, located on the western shores of Lake Te anau, are part of the Aurora Caves system. The caves are only 12,000 years old - quite young in geological time.

    The glow worm uses its light to attract prey and and traps it in dangling threads covered with a sticky mucus containing a paralysing chemical.

    Photography is of course not allowed but non-copyright photos are included in the personal photo and information pack.

    Tours leave a various time during the day including one in the evening. I did the night time one as it fitted with my schedule but I would think the day time ones with views of the lake would be even better.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • al2401's Profile Photo

    Te Anau Wildlife Centre

    by al2401 Written Jul 12, 2012

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    Takahe - Te Anau Wildlife Centre
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    This centre is run by New Zealand's Department of Conservation, and houses native birds which are rare, endangered, injured or needing special care. It is located in parklands on the edge of Lake Te Anau, about a kilometre from the town along the Manapouri road. It is a 15 minute walk along the lake from the visitor centre.

    Some of the birds you may see in this scenic sanctuary include the kereru (native pigeon), pukeko (blue flamingo), tui, kea, kakariki, kaka, takahe, and weka. They are housed in good sized aviaries and information stands tell you about them.

    I went especially to see the Takahe. This flightless bird with bright blue/green feathers, red bill and legs was thought to be extinct. It can still be found in the wild but only in the Murchison Mountains across Lake Te Anau.

    Entry is free but a gold coin donation is appreciated.

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    • Eco-Tourism

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    Mirror Lakes

    by al2401 Written Jul 12, 2012

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    Mirror Lakes
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    Mirror Lakes is a set of small lakes on the road from Te Anau to Milford Sound. They are in the Eglinton Valley in Fiordland National Park.

    The lakes are set back from the road but there is a well maintained track. If you are not aware of them it is easy to overlook the stop.

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    • Photography
    • National/State Park

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    The Homer Tunnel

    by al2401 Written Jul 12, 2012

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    Homer Tunnel - east portal
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    The Homer Tunnel, opened in 1954, allows New Zealand State Highway 94 to pass under the Homer Saddle, linking Milford Sound to Te Anau and Queenstown. It the Eglinton and Cleddau valleys.

    The tunnel is straight and the road now sealed although the walls remain unlined granite. It is about 1300metres long and has a 1 in 10 gradient down to the west.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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    The Chasm

    by al2401 Written Jul 12, 2012

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    The Chasm
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    The Chasm is found on the road to Milford Sound.

    It is a natural rock feature caused by the waters of the Cleddau river rushing over the rocks. The force is such as to cut holes in the rock to create a waterfall into a huge chasm.

    The Chasm is reached by a 20 minute easy walk from the car park through temperate rainforest. Footbridges over the river let you see the force of the water close up. Photos fail to capture the power and the noise or even the scale of The Chasm - you need to go and look for yourself.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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    Te Anau town centre

    by al2401 Written Jul 13, 2012

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    Te Anau
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    Te Anau is on the eastern shore of Lake Te Anau. Lake Te Anau is the second largest lake in New Zealand the largest being Lake Taupo. The town has a population of about 2,000 residents but can increase by up to 3,000 in the summer tourist season.

    The town has a large supermarket, many restaurants and cafes, tourism outlets and has several petrol stations. There are a number of parks and a botanic garden.

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    Lake Manapouri

    by al2401 Written Jul 13, 2012

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    Lake Manapouri
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    Lake Manapouri is a glacier lake located in Fiordland National Park. It is New Zealand's second deepest lake measuring 444 metres at it deepest point. It has four arms - North, South, West and Hope. The Manapouri Hydroelectric Power Station is situated at the end of West Arm.

    Any visitors to Doubtful Sound must cross Lake Manapouri to join the road from the power station over the Wilmot Pass.

    This is a beautiful lake even when covered in clouds.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • National/State Park
    • Sailing and Boating

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