Fiordland Info and Activities

Te Anau and Fiordland have a lot to offer:

We RECOMMEND

Here are a few of our favourite places to eat and things to do around our area:

The Fat Duck The Fat Duck is Te Anau's only Gastropub, serving delicious meals with locally inspired ingredients along with local beers and wines.

La Toscana La Toscana offers a taste of Tuscany in Te Anau. The pizzas, pastas and cheesecakes are a popular choice among locals and available as dine-in, takeaway or home delivery.

The Sandfly Cafe Sandly Cafe has a delicious dine-in menu and also cabinet food available to takeaway. A popular choice for coffee, breakfast, brunch or lunch.

Fiordland Cinema's Ata Whenua Fiordland Cinema's Ata Whenua is a must see for visitors to Te Anau. This 32 minute film showcases Fiordland and is shown at regular times daily. The Black Dog bar is located next door and has snacks and drinks available.

The Te Anau Club Te Anau Club welcomes both members and non-members to the premises. Along with the Bar and Bistro the Te Anau Club also has a TAB, gaming room, pool/snooker/darts and a children's play area.

The Moose Tavern The Moose is located on the Lakefront and offers a large bar and restaurant. The outdoor seating area with views of the lake is a great spot to enjoy a casual meal and a drink.

The Fat Duck Gastropub beer taps at bar
124 Town Centre, Te Anau 9600
Delicious pizza with barbeque sauce from La Toscana
84 Lakefront Drive, Te Anau 9600
Coffee with chocolate pattern made at Sandfly Cafe
111 Town Centre, Te Anau 9600
View of garden area at the Te Anau Club
Corner Pop Andrew Drive & Jackson Street
The Moose bar frontage with pink sky sunset in the background
84 Lakefront Dr, Te Anau 9600
Red seats in Fiordland Cinema
7 The Lane, Te Anau 9600

Te Anau

The Gateway to Fiordland National Park.
Yacht Club wharf at Lake Te Anau with sunset in the background

Te Anau is a small town of approximately 2000 permanent residents and is known as the 'Gateway to Fiordland' - being the closest town to Milford Sound and other accessways into Fiordland National Park. Following is some useful information about the area:

Bike Hire: Te Anau have some fantastic cycle trails, including scenic rides suitable for the whole family and more challenging rides for the experienced cyclist. Mountain bikes and electric bikes can be hired from several venues in Te Anau.

Church Services:
Anglican Church. Mokonui Street, Te Anau. St Michael and All Angels Sunday service is at 9.30am each Sunday morning
Fiordland New Life Church. Corner of Milford & Blatch Roads, Te Anau. Services held on Sundays at 10.00am and 6.00pm.
Lakeside Presbyterian Church. 112 Te Anau Terrace, Te Anau. Service every Sunday at 10.00am.
St Bernard's Catholic Church. 16 Mokonui Street. Vigil Mass held on Saturdays at 7.00pm.

Disc Golf Te Anau: Set in beautiful Ivon Wilson park, the 18 holes (or Potts) set through the park offer a great fun activity for family and friends. Discs can be hired from Outside Sports and Te Anau Mini Golf. See their Facebook page for more information: Te Anau Disc Golf Facebook page

Glowworm Caves: Your trip to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves begins with a cruise to the western shores of Lake Te Anau on one of the purpose-built scenic cruise vessels. Deep inside the caves, beyond the roar of the water, you will be taken by small boat into a silent hidden grotto inhabited by thousands of glowworms, which are unique to New Zealand. In the subterranean darkness they produce a glittering display that is nothing short of extraordinary. There are several departures daily and we are able to make bookings for you at reception.

Golf Course: Te Anau has a wonderful 18 hole golf course situated at the Southern end of Lake Te Anau with stunning views overlooking the lakes and the mountains. Enquire at reception if you need to know about club hire and green fees etc.

Kepler track: You can't beat a walking track that's been built with the purpose of showing off the very best features of Fiordland! The full Kepler Track is 60 kilometres long and usually completed over 3-4 days (hut bookings are essential Oct-April). Parts of the Kepler Track can also be enjoyed as day walks. There are entry points at the Control Gates or Rainbow Reach which allow you to walk alongside the Waiau River, or Lake Te Anau. The Kepler Water taxi also departs Te Anau daily for Brod Bay, which gives you the option of ascending Mount Luxmore, or taking a leisurely stroll back to Te Anau. See us at reception for information about Kepler Day Walks and to book the water taxi.

Punanga Manu O Te Anau - Te Anau Bird Sanctuary: At the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary you are able to view a variety of NZ birds including Kaka, Morepork, Kea and the once thought extinct, Takahe. Based in a park setting, it is open from dawn to dusk and entry is by donation. Visit at feeding times and listen to informative information about the birds from the DOC rangers. Feeding times: 9:30 am (1 October - 31 March) or 10:30 am (1 April - 30 September). More information available here: Te Anau Bird Sanctuary

Scenic Flights: If you are wanting to visit Milford or Doubtful Sound and are short on time or just want to see Fiordland in style - there are floatplane, fixed wing and helicopter scenic flights available. Flights depart on demand daily and are weather dependent. There are many options to suit every budget, so talk to us at reception to discover the best option for you.

Milford Sound

A must do experience whilst staying in Te Anau.
View of Mitre Peak in Milford Sound with sunset in background and driftwood in foreground

The road journey from Te Anau to Milford Sound has been described as one of the most spectacular on earth. Initially you make your way through farmland alongside the scenic Lake Te Anau, which then gives way to beech forest and the expansive Eglinton Valley. As you get closer to Milford Sound, the road becomes narrower as you enter alpine areas and you will be dwarfed by the towering peaks all around. It is recommended that you don't rush your trip to Milford Sound and that you spend at least a day to be able to experience all that it has to offer.

Once at Milford Sound, there are a variety of cruises departing throughout the day. You are able to either take an all inclusive tour from Te Anau, or drive yourself to Milford to meet a cruise. If driving yourself, we advise that you choose to leave early in the morning to be able to meet an early cruise, or alternatively a little later making all your scenic stops on the way in for a later afternoon cruise. There are options to add lunches, kayaking and/or an underwater observatory visit - we are happy to make recommendations and bookings at reception so you can find the very best option for you.

We recommend the following local tour companies for Milford Day tours. They are great value and allow you to really enjoy the day without worrying about driving as the road can be very busy and carparking can be difficult to find in Milford during the summer.

GO Milford 8.20am departure from Explorer Motel, with a return around 5.30pm. This tour includes a Nature cruise at Milford on an exclusive boat, a visit to the underwater observatory and a picnic lunch.

Fiordland Extraordinaire with Fiordland Tours. 7.45am departure from Explorer Motel with a return around 5.30pm. This tour boasts the most scenic stops including a visit down the Hollyford Road, with morning tea at Gunn’s camp. The tour includes a cruise at Milford Sound and a picnic lunch is optional for an additional cost.

VIP Milford 7.45am pick up from Explorer Motel with a return around 3.45pm. This tour includes a scenic cruise at Milford Sound and a buffet lunch on board. A great option if you are travelling on to another destination upon your return as it gets back to Te Anau a little earlier than other companies.

Trips & Tramps Pick up around 7.45am from Explorer Motel with return at 5.30pm. This tour specialises in short walks on the way home including the nature walk at Lake Gunn and the Marion Gantry or a longer walk up to Key Summit. A cruise at Milford is included along with a picnic lunch

Doubtful Sound

Untouched Wilderness
View of Doubtful Sound from Wilmot Pass

Doubtful Sound is another famous day excursion from Te Anau and these tours take you into the wilderness of Fiordland. Your journey to Doubtful Sound begins at Lake Manapouri, where you travel by boat across the Lake's brooding waters, surrounded by dramatic mountainous scenery. At West Arm, you will see the entrance to New Zealand's largest hydro electric power station and take a stopover at the West Arm visitors centre to see how the underground power station was built and operates. Then a short bus trip over the Wilmot pass takes you over to the Western side and into Deep Cove, where you can then experience the beauty of Doubtful Sound - "The Sound of Silence".

As there are no roads to Doubtful Sound, there are a lot less people travelling here and the experience is quite unique because of this. You are able to visit Doubtful Sound by Day Tour, Overnight Cruise or Sea Kayaking Tour. Please contact us at Explorer Motel reception to enquire about the best option for you and we can advise on pricing, departure times and availability.

All Doubtful Sound Tours are able to pick you up from Explorer Motel & Apartments, alternatively you can meet the boat departing from Manapouri at the Manapouri Visitor Centre at Pearl Harbour (only a 20 minute drive from Te Anau).

Doubtful Sound Day Tours: Real Journeys & Go Orange offer Doubtful Sound Day Tours. These are full days tours and include a 3 hour cruise on Doubtful Sound itself. Various departures daily and lunch options available also.

Overnight Cruises: Treat yourself to the experience of a lifetime while visiting Fiordland and take an overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound. Overnight tours include meals, accommodation, kayaking, fishing and more. These popular tours book out fast! So contact us at Explorer Motel today to find out which tour would suit you best and to prebook your tour.

Kayaking Tours: For the more adventurous, join a kayaking tour to Doubtful Sound. These tours allow you to immerse yourself in the beauty of Doubtful Sound and get up close and personal to scenery and wildlife. All kayaking gear is supplied. Departing daily during the summer season (October-April). Day tours and multi day tours available.

Come and explore Fiordland with us Book Now

Fiordland Events

Te Anau is host to a range of events throughout the year. Book your accommodation with us early to avoid disappointment. See the Fiordland Events calendar below to check out what is happening while you are here.