Known as the gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound, Te Anau is so much more than meets the eye. Home to around 2,000 residents, this small lakeside town is big on personality and full of hidden gems. Here’s just a few favourite places and experiences that locals know and love.
Habit Foods is Fiordland’s first food trailer. Locally owned and operated, Habit Foods dishes and dices Kiwi kai with an Asian twist. Serving up a tantalising menu of freshly made steamed baos prepared with an intriguing mix of ingredients, this is a must-stop for anyone in or around Te Anau – and is conveniently open for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Located in central Te Anau on 6 Milford Crescent just across from Fresh Choice, Habit Foods is an inviting spot to enjoy some seriously amazing, quite possibly addicting food.
Another hot spot in Te Anau is Redcliff Café (aka Cliff to locals) and is located on 12 Mokonui Street. Built in 1978, Redcliff cottage reflects early settler life and is named after a sheep station in the area. It’s delicious menu showcases Te Anau’s heritage in the hunting and farming industry with a selection of local game including wild hare and venison, Fiordland’s bounty fresh from the rivers and ocean as well as enticing vegetarian options. From live music to poetry nights, Redcliff is full of ambiance and atmosphere and is a welcoming place where you can eat, drink and be merry. You can enjoy a game of petanque or giant jenga in the back garden or just sit back and listen to the native birdsong while sipping on a glass of Central Otago wine. Child friendly and dog friendly, this is an award-winning dining experience that features Fiordland hospitality at its best.
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NEW ZEALAND DAY 16: We’ve left tiny little Te Anau, the gateway to Milford Sound, to do a ridiculous car journey to Christchurch. It’s going to take all day but we’re going to stay with two wonderful people who were some of my first flatmates in London. Last time I crashed with them they found out they were expecting a baby and on the same day I got offered my current job! Now that baby is born and I can’t wait to meet her! #DistractedTravels #DistractedinNewZealand
Radfords on the Lake
Radfords on the Lake is lakefront accommodation with local heart and world-class hospitality. Situated on 56 Lakefront Drive, less than 500 meters from the town centre amidst immaculate grounds and gardens, Radfords is an award-winning accommodation in Te Anau that you will find hard to leave. Qualmark rated 5 star with a Gold sustainable tourism business award, Radfords also makes every effort to minimise their environmental footprint and preserve its pristine surrounds in this spectacular part of the world. You can expect top notch service here along with complementary bike hires for guests, a newly built private BBQ area to enjoy (complete with fresh herbs to complement your meal), free unlimited Wi-Fi and the unexpected little touches that will make your stay here just divine.
Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park
Owned and operated by the Tauri family for over 50 years, this family owned award-winning holiday park is situated on the south shore of Lake Te Anau with beautiful lake and mountain views at 77 Manapouri-Te Anau Hwy. With a wide range of fantastic facilities and accommodation options available including motel rooms, cabins, backpacker dorms as well as caravan, motorhome and tent sites, there’s something for every traveller here.
Scenic helicopter flight + hike
So much of Fiordland is inaccessible, so what better way to experience this untouched wilderness than from the skies? Southern Lakes Helicopters offers a range of scenic flights and experiences that will make your visit to Te Anau unforgettable in every way. Packages include a mix of remote glacier landings to a spectacular heli-hike that combines air, land and lake: a stunning flight up to Luxmore Hut followed by an easy hike along the Kepler Track – one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, which descends to Brod Bay – your final pick up point before a boat cruise along Lake Te Anau. So when you’re in Te Anau – the official gateway to Fiordland, make the most of your time here and unlock the extraordinary beauty and magic of this UNESCO World Heritage Area with a scenic helicopter tour – a once in a lifetime experience you won’t want to miss.
The stunning Lake2Lake Cycle Trail runs alongside Lake Te Anau and the East side of the Waiau river towards Lake Manapouri and is a must-do for outdoor lovers while in Te Anau. Eventually the total length to Manapouri will be 28km but the first 19km to Balloon Loop is now open. The trail is mostly 2.2-2.5m wide and is rated Grade 2 Easy which is something the entire family can enjoy. This scenic cycle trail and shared walking trail takes you along Te Anau’s Bird Park and picturesque Ivon Wilson Park (include a stop at Lake Henry which boasts a children’s fishery) so remember to pack a picnic and allow plenty of time enjoy the ride. You can pick up a fishing license at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in town and hire a bike from available rental outlets in Te Anau.