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How to Spend 1 Day in Te Anau

How to Spend 1 Day in Te Anau

Most visitors in Te Anau use the scenic township as a base for exploring Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage area. But the town itself, situated on Lake Te Anau in front of scenic mountains, also offers plenty of recreational activities to enjoy if you have just one day in the area. Here’s how to spend a day in Te Anau.

Morning: Majestic Milford

The most popular destination in Fiordland is arguably Milford Sound, and if you’re going to do just one thing while in Te Anau, this is it. Opt for a nature cruise with a guide who can tell you about the otherworldly seascape of sheer limestone cliffs and the area’s crown jewel, Mitre Peak. Alternatively, book a cruise in Milford’s quieter, larger, and more remote neighbor, Doubtful Sound; tours include a boat ride across Lake Manapouri. If you’re short on time and want to pack in a few activities, spend the morning on a scenic helicopter flight and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the area.

Afternoon: Lake Te Anau

The serene waters of Lake Te Anau offer myriad possibilities: Cruise across and enjoy a tour of the Te Anau Glowworm Caves’ illuminated grottoes, or take a spin on a jet boat for close-up views of the terrain. If you’d prefer to stay on land, head to one of the bike trails that link Manapouri and Te Anau via paths alongside the Upper Waiau River. Hikers can enjoy a short section of the Kepler Track and then take a water taxi ride to Brod Bay to explore the virgin beech forest that borders the lakeshore. 

Night: Sunset Stroll or Sail

Evenings tend to be tranquil at this lakeside spot, so it’s a good place to rest up after your daytime adventures—or before you continue on to Queenstown or Christchurch the following day. You’ll find a variety of bars and restaurants in town, some featuring seafood and South Island wild game. If you’ve got energy to spare, you can also stroll along the lakefront as far as your legs will carry you or hop aboard a luxury yacht and enjoy an evening sail, toast the day with Champagne, and watch the alpenglow of sunset reflected in the water.

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9 Tours and Activities | All Te Anau Tours

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Full-Day Routeburn Track Key Summit Guided Walk from Te Anau

Full-Day Routeburn Track Key Summit Guided Walk from Te Anau

star-5
Go on one of New Zealand's "Great Walks," the Routeburn Track from Te Anau to Key Summit, during this full-day guided walking tour. Get views of alpine herb fields, lush forests, and enjoy panoramic views of South Island. Travel with a small group of 12 hikers or fewer, ensuring personalized attention from your guide.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$114,99
From
US$114,99
Taking safety measures

Te Anau Glow Worm Caves Tour

Te Anau Glow Worm Caves Tour

star-4.5
See the glowworm caves of Te Anau on an underground adventure sure to charm visitors of all ages. An informative guide joins you on the 2hour and 15 minute Te Anau glowworm caves tour, starting with a cruise across Lake Te Anau. Then marvel at the shimmering illumination of thousands of glowworms as you glide through the quiet darkness of this magical underground world.
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$66,97
From
US$66,97
Taking safety measures

Milford Sound Full-Day Tour from Te Anau

Milford Sound Full-Day Tour from Te Anau

star-4.5
Cruise Milford Sound from Te Anau during this full-day tour to the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. See the crown jewel of New Zealand’s South Island by luxury coach, stopping en route at the Mirror Lakes before boarding a cruise on luxurious catamaran journey past waterfalls and steep-walled pinnacles such as famous Mitre Peak.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$87,26
From
US$87,26
Taking safety measures

Champagne Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Te Anau

Champagne Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Te Anau

star-5
Enjoy majestic views of the Fiordland wilderness without hiking up mountains or even breaking a sweat on this luxury sunset cruise. Enjoy champagne and canapés on the deck of this impeccably-preserved 1930s sailing yacht and marvel at the rolling hills and dense forest stretching from the shores of Lake Te Anau through to the horizon. Relax and watch the sun set over the Southern Alps.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$85,45
From
US$85,45

Kepler Track Water Taxi

Kepler Track Water Taxi

star-4.5
The Kepler Track is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, running from the shores of Lake Te Anau to Lake Manapouri and back via majestic alpine vistas. Start your trek off with this private water taxi across Lake Te Anau to Brod Bay. From there, stroll back to Te Anau along the lake’s limestone bluffs or, for more of a challenge, hike up Mount Luxmore, a summit with impressive views of Te Anau basin.
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  • 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$17,80
From
US$17,80


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