Discover Te Anau

View over Te Anau golf course towards Fiordland National Park

While many come to Te Anau for an overnight stop on the way to Milford Sound, what they end up discovering is a friendly and relaxed township well worth exploring for longer.

Known as the Gateway to Fiordland, Te Anau is where the drive to Milford Sound begins and is the stepping-off point for three of New Zealand’s Great Walks; Milford, Kepler and Routeburn. Lake Te Anau is also New Zealand’s second-largest lake, making the area a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

On the other side of the lake is the spectacular Fiordland National Park, which appears to beckon from across the water. Three large inland fiords create arms revealing remote beaches, green mountains of beech forests, glow worm caves and a strictly protected takāhe rehabilitation reserve.

All you need to know about Te Anau

Here’s everything you need to know about one of our favourite small towns in New Zealand.

Te Anau Township

Aerial view of Te Anau township

With a population of around 2,500, Te Anau is a small town situated between two of New Zealand’s biggest tourist hot spots – Queenstown and Milford Sound. Te Anau holds its own with an impressive list of things to do that focus on getting out and exploring Fiordland. Discover everything you need to know about getting to Te Anau and making the most of one of New Zealand’s best little towns.

Te Anau Weather

The weather in Te Anau is generally milder and drier than Milford Sound. However, the influence of the nearby coast and Southern Alps mountain range means this can change quickly. Here’s everything you need to know about the weather in Te Anau throughout the year, as well as helpful tips on how to prepare for South Island conditions.
Find out more about Te Anau weather.

Where to Eat in Te Anau

Te Anau offers a great selection of restaurants, pubs and cafés whether you’re looking for your first caffeine hit of the day or a special dinner out. For a taste of local produce, try some blue cod or crayfish (lobster) freshly caught from the nearby West Coast, and the local venison. Find out where to go for Te Anau’s best dining and discover the locals’ favourite food trucks. Discover dining in Te Anau.

Lake Te Anau

Glacially-carved lakes are scattered throughout the South Island, but Lake Te Anau is the largest of them all. 60 km long and 400 m deep, Lake Te Anau is flanked by the spectacular wilderness of Fiordland on its eastern side and rolling hills of rural settlements on its western side. Explore Lake Te Anau’s cruises, lakeside walking tracks and photo spots.
Things to do on Lake Te Anau.

Te Anau Walks

From around the globe, outdoor enthusiasts flock to Te Anau for its pristine wilderness and well-maintained huts and trails. Te Anau is the stepping-off point for three of New Zealand’s Great Walks; the Kepler, the Routeburn and the world-famous Milford Track. Discover Te Anau’s best walks and how to prepare for walking in the South Island. Learn more about where to hike and walk in Te Anau.

Te Anau Flora and Fauna

On the edge of one of New Zealand’s most significant areas of natural wilderness, Te Anau has a strong focus on conservation and protection. For anyone interested in New Zealand wildlife, a visit to the Te Anau Birdlife Sanctuary is a must. Discover native wildlife in Te Anau.