Lake Te Anau

Explore a geologically active glowworm cave, relax in a lakeside town and organise a kayaking adventure when visiting this spectacular glacial lake.

Enjoy bird watching, mountaineering, hiking, fishing and boating at Lake Te Anau. The lake is surrounded by some of the most beautiful natural areas in New Zealand, including inland fiords, jagged mountains and dense forested areas. Plan a long-distance hiking trip through Fiordland National Park or explore the lake on a day cruise.

Visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves, a vast network of underground limestone passages, teeming with luminous glowworms. The caves are located on the western shore of Lake Te Anau and can be explored by boat with an expert guide. The area is also known for its abundant wildlife, including birds, dolphins, seals and penguins.

At about 340 square kilometres (130 square miles), Lake Te Anau is the second-largest lake by surface area in New Zealand. The massive glacial lake runs more than 60 kilometres (40 miles) north to south. Book a day cruise to see many of the lake’s magnificent attractions, including three imposing fiords, called North Fiord, Middle Fiord and South Fiord.

Lake Te Anau is located mainly within Fiordland National Park, the largest national park in New Zealand. The area features many walking tracks, including easy-access short works and long-distance hikes. Discover a lookout perched over an ancient bog pine forest on the Wilderness Lookout Walk. This short walk features wheelchair access and is suitable for families. Find the entrance to Wilderness Lookout Walk about 21 kilometres (13 miles) east of Te Anau.

Fiordland National Park also contains a number of walking trails for experienced hikers. Kepler Track, a 67-kilometre (42-mile) loop, is famous for its views of Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapouri. Book huts and campsites in advance, as Kepler Track takes about 3 to 4 days to complete. Good fitness levels, hiking footwear and supplies are essential when attempting the track.

Lake Te Anau is about 640 kilometres (400 miles) from Christchurch. Stay in the small towns of Te Anau or Manapouri when visiting the peaceful Lake Te Anau.