5 things to do in Te Anau in under 3 hours
Te Anau, stretched along the eastern shoreline of Lake Te Anau, is a beautiful New Zealand gem packed with activities and attractions.
Three hours is plenty of time to get a taste for the town and experience some of Fiordland’s must-dos, like hiking or jet boat riding.
Here are five of our favourite things to do in Te Anau in under three hours.
Go hiking and bird watching
Hike a gentle, two-hour stretch of the Kepler Track, from Brod Bay to the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.
Start your morning bright and early with a short water taxi ride from Te Anau to Brod Bay, departing at 8.30 am. From here, it’s an easy two-hour hike to the sanctuary, which is home to some of New Zealand’s rare wild birds, including the cheeky Kea, bright Takahe, and noisy Kaka.
Aim to reach the sanctuary by 10.30 am to see the daily feeding.
Take a spin by bike and boat
Hire a standard or electric bike and follow the Lake2Lake Cycle Trail for 19-kilometres to Balloon Loop.
Even at a relaxed pace, this journey will only take two to three hours, so you’ll have plenty of time to jump off the bike for photos.
Once you reach Balloon Loop, jump on an exhilarating jet boat to speed back to town (and to experience even more of the mighty Waiau River).
Swim like a local
On a warm day – of which there are many during our long summers – you’ll find locals out enjoying the sunny weather at their favourite location on the lake.
Take this opportunity to find your very own favourite local swimming hole in the largest body of fresh water in Australasia.
Some prefer the spot just north of town next to the boat marina, while others love Dock Bay and Brod Bay (which you can reach via water taxi).
Escape the rain
As much as we love Te Anau, it’s not sunny and warm all year round. Fortunately, there are plenty of great indoor options for rainy days.
To start, head to the Department of Conservation Visitor’s Centre. Open daily, this free-entry attraction includes a movie about the area, as well as history, geology, flora, and fauna displays about the region. Plus, you can pick up a souvenir or two.
Another excellent spot it the Trout Observatory, which costs just $2 for entry and introduces you to eels, rainbow trout, brown trout, and more. Or, you might like to visit the Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum to step back in time.
Find the best food in Fiordland
Who says you need to be in a big city to find great food?
Make a beeline for Habit Foods, a local hotspot famous for its breakfast bao as the best way to start any day in Fiordland. Go back for sushi for lunch, or pick up your meal to go and enjoy your lunch and nature together on the wharf.