How to Spend 2 Days in Te Anau
Considered the gateway to Fiordland National Park, Te Anau and the surrounding UNESCO-listed landscape beg to be explored. From the South Island’s largest lake and the Waiau River to Milford and Doubtful Sounds, there’s no shortage of options for the active traveler. Here’s how to get the best from Te Anau in two days.
Day 1: Cruising Speed
**Morning:**Stay local with a morning cruise on Lake Te Anau—it’s an easy way to get your bearings while motoring around. Alternatively, if you absolutely must see glacier-carved Milford Sound, head out on a day tour tour that includes a nature cruise down to the Tasman Sea.
**Afternoon:**Up the pace with a scenic jet-boat ride on the lake, or zip around the Waiau River and combine your tour with a guided fishing trip. The waterways are stocked with brown trout and rainbow trout, so both novices and experienced anglers will enjoy spin fishing or fly fishing.
**Night:**Set off across the lake before sunset, and head to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves for a subterranean adventure. The family-friendly journey includes a tour in dark caverns illuminated by thousands of pinprick lights. Tours end early in the evening, so there’s plenty of time afterwards for dinner and an early turn in.
Day 2: Hikes, Flights, and Bikes
**Morning:**The Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, begins right here on the lakeshore. Rise early and start your day trek from the township, with a guide or on your own, or book a water taxi that will drop you off closer to the trailhead to expedite the lengthy hike to Mount Luxmore.
**Afternoon:**Milford Sound may get the most attention, but Fiordland’s second-largest fiord, Doubtful Sound, also makes a great trip from Te Anau. Due to its vast length and remote location, the sound can take some time to explore; opt for a helicopter trip to reach the area faster and enjoy a panoramic tour from above.
**Night:**If you have any energy left after your daytime adventures, spend the evening explore the local terrain on a bicycle. River taxis and rental companies take passengers to and from nearby cycle and pedestrian paths. After you return a short ride, relax at one of Te Anau’s restaurants with beer and a plate of local seafood.