Te Anau

Te Anau is a small town on the shore of Lake Te Anau, in the Southland region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is the gateway to Fiordland and Fiordland National Park.

Get in

Turn off the Queenstown - Invercargill highway just north of Lumsden onto SH94. Te Anau also has an airstrip for light sightseeing aircraft.

Most travellers use Te Anau as a jumping-off point to Milford Sound. Allow 2 hours to reach Milford Sound from Te Anau. There are lots of scenic stops along the way, but not much else, so stop at Fresh Choice for snacks and be sure to fill up your gas tank, as there is limited petrol available in Milford Sound.

By bus

InterCity Coachlines run buses to Te Anau from Christchurch via Dunedin, Queenstown and Milford Sound. From Invercargill a change at Gore is required.

Tracknet run buses from Queenstown and Invercargill. This is also available as a combined ferry and bus ticket from Stewart Island by Stewart Island Experience. Tracknet have services to and from some walking routes.


The rare flightless takahe, found in Te Anau Wildlife Centre and in the Murchison Mountains (across the lake from Te Anau)
Lake Te Anau


Tramp any of the many tracks located in the area. Te Anau isn't called the walking capital of the world for no reason! The major tracks that can be started from the surrounding area include: the Kepler Track, Routeburn Track and Milford Track - all of them "Great Walks".

Don't miss out on going to Milford Sound, taking a cruise, and enjoying the scenic wonderland. For once it's probably better to take a bus, they don't rush it and you get good quality commentary.

Take a day walk somewhere - Lake Marian for example. If you don't have gear, you can hire it from Bev's Tramping Gear Hire.



There are several decent places to eat, considering the size of Te Anau.

The local supermarkets are a cheap alternative if you're self-catering.


The three main venues in Te Anau are The Ranch, The Moose and Redcliff, in order of the age groups most likely to be found at each location. There is also a working men's club for the older generations.


During December and January, bookings are essential! While bed and breakfasts, hotels, and backpackers abound in Te Anau, they will fill up and the nearest accommodation could be as far away as Gore.





Go next

State Highway 94, the Milford Road, leads to Milford Sound, 120 km to the north. Milford Sound is a major tourist attraction, but the trip itself is just as spectacular and should not be rushed. There are several scenic stops along the route that provide unique views. With about 2,500 visitors a day travelling to Milford Sound at peak times, it pays to get an early start, especially as parking space sometimes runs out in the (free) Milford car parks in the late morning.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, April 25, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.