The best three-night Te Anau itinerary for those who love the great outdoors

31 Oct 2018

Enjoy a mix of guided and self-drive tours to discover the hidden gems and best of Milford Sound and Fiordland. If you are an outdoor lover visiting Te Anau New Zealand for the first time this itinerary is the perfect way to experience the area.

Day 1 – Milford Sound

Kick off your visit to Te Anau with a must-do Milford Sound Coach, Cruise and Walk. Travelling in a small group gives you a complete and personal experience without the crowds. Your experienced guide will share their passion, knowledge and local insight of this UNESCO World Heritage area so you can sit back, enjoy the drive, the cruise and the views, with plenty of opportunities for walks and photography at the top spots. Then when you return at the end of the day, you can enjoy one of the many delicious local restaurants in Te Anau to refuel and relax after your first day here.

Guide Geoff guiding at Kaka Creek, Marian lookout

Guide Geoff setting the scene at Kaka Creek, Marian lookout

Day 2 – Te Anau Bird Sanctuary + Te Anau Glowworm Caves or Lake2Lake Cycle Trail

Te Anau Bird Sanctuary is set on the shores of Lake Te Anau, and is an easy 15 minute walk from Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre. You can get up close and personal with some of Fiordland’s special birds including native takahes and kakas that are difficult to see in the wild. Open from dusk until dawn, this is a great place for children and families. Entry is free for self-guided walks but any donation is appreciated to help with the running of the sanctuary. You can chat with Department of Conservation (DOC) rangers during the daily feeding tours each morning where you can go inside their enclosure to look, listen and learn all about these beautiful creatures.

Next stop is the Te Anau Glowworm Caves across the lake where you are transported to a magical underground wonderland full of limestone caverns to the luminous glowworms grottos.

Or if you are keen to explore on two wheels, you can take on the Lake2Lake Cycle Trail and pedal your way along this easy-ride, wide and scenic trail for an active afternoon in the great outdoors.

Top of the evening at the movies watching the iconic film Ata Whenua - Shadowland at Fiordland Cinema in the heart of Te Anau. Then relax with the locals in the bar alongside with a local beer or wine and food platter.


Day 3  - Kepler Track Guided Heli Hike or Half Day Walk

Make the most of your final day by taking on the Kepler Track. As one of nine official New Zealand Great Walks, the Kepler Track is a must-do while you are here. You can enjoy the best of both worlds, land and sky, with a Guided Heli Hike. Start your morning with a spectacular helicopter flight over Lake Te Anau and the beech forest of Mount Luxmore where you will land amidst alpine tussock fields full of unique plant life. You’ll also learn a lot about the fauna and flora from your local nature guide. Take in the summit with grand mountain views, then as you descend you will enjoy plenty of majestic landscapes to photograph and lots of opportunity for bird watching.

If you prefer to skip the helicopter tour, or want a flatter walk, then you can enjoy a walk around the river and lake edge with either the Jetboat and Hike or a private Kepler Track Guided Walk. Both options are suitable for all ages and fitness levels and allow you to explore at a leisurely pace with experienced and highly knowledgeable local guides who know the ins and outs of Fiordland’s World Heritage Area.

Enjoying the views in alpine area on Kepler Heli Hike

Taking in the views along the Kepler Track, Fiordland

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