Things to do in
Te Anau

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Our most recommended things to do in Te Anau

Te Anau: Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

1. Te Anau: Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

Experience a mysterious underground world of rushing water before drifting in darkness beneath the luminous shimmer of hundreds of glowworms.  Your trip to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves begins with a cruise to the western shores of Lake Te Anau. At the entry to the caves, view the informative displays and learn about this geological wonder before you head underground. On the tour of the caves, your friendly guide will point out the highlights and share their knowledge of the caves and its history. This underground world is astonishingly beautiful. The cave are 12,000 years old which by geological standards is still very young and they are still being carved out by the force of the river that flows through them. The result is a twisting network of limestone passages filled with sculpted rock, whirlpools and a roaring underground waterfall. Deep inside the caves, beyond the roar of the water, you will be taken by small boat into a silent hidden grotto inhabited by thousands of glowworms, unique to New Zealand. In the subterranean darkness, they produce a glittering display that is nothing short of extraordinary.

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Bus & Boat

2. From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Bus & Boat

Take the hassle out of driving to Milford Sound and join a guided coach tour from Queenstown. Sit back, relax and enjoy magnificent scenery and informative commentary. Your experienced local coach driver will show you the best views along the Milford Road and connect you seamlessly with a 2-hour nature cruise. Travel in a spacious coach with USB charging ports. Marvel at the native rainforest, spectacular waterfalls and glacial lakes. Pause briefly in Te Anau before continuing along the spectacular alpine Milford Road. Admire incredible views at Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, Knobbs Flat or Monkey Creek and pose for photos. Be wowed by the glaciar-carved Milford Sound as you approach the visitor terminal. Seize your cruise and lunch passes from the driver who’ll help you find your cruise departure gate.  Climb aboard a purpose-built catamaran for a nature cruise along the fiord’s deep blue waters. Savor a freshly prepared picnic lunch. Marvel at the impressive natural landscape and keep a lookout for native wildlife like dolphins, seals and penguins. Be fascinated by live commentary from your skipper in the open wheelhouse. Get within touching distance of impressive glaciar-carved rock walls and feel the full force of the powerful 15,000-year-old Stirling Falls on your face. Awed and satisfied, rejoin your driver for the scenic return journey to Queenstown. 

From Te Anau: Milford Sound Coach and Cruise Day Trip

3. From Te Anau: Milford Sound Coach and Cruise Day Trip

Discover Milford Sound on an 8-hour adventure with round-trip transport from Te Anau and a 2-hour cruise through the fiord. If you are looking to explore both Milford and Doubtful Sounds, it is worth staying one or two nights in Te Anau. There is plenty to do plus you will save yourself the long journeys to and from Queenstown. At Milford Sound, climb aboard the leisurely nature cruise for an informative, interactive, and relaxed experience. A specialist guide will provide live informative commentary and you can admire the fiord’s wildlife, waterfalls, and mountains. Enjoy lunch on board the cruise — you may bring your own lunch or purchase snacks and drinks (cash only) on the vessel. Be prepared to enjoy some rainfall during your visit; the landscape is especially dramatic when it rains in Fiordland. Enjoy the spectacular views from a dry, comfortable vantage point on board the vessel. Following the cruise, immediately board the luxury coach for the return journey to Te Anau, arriving between 4:30 PM and 5:45 PM, depending on the season.

From Te Anau: 1-Day Milford Sound Coach & Cruise

4. From Te Anau: 1-Day Milford Sound Coach & Cruise

If Milford Sound is the 8th wonder of the world, the road to Milford is surely the 9th. The overland journey is a spectacular showcase of sheer mountains and towering cliffs, rugged valleys and the native rain forest surrounded by spectacular waterfalls and glacial lakes. Be taken to Milford Sound while you sit back, relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery and informative commentary. Your experienced, local coach driver will show you the best short walks and photo stops on the Milford Road, and will connect you seamlessly with the Milford Sound Nature Cruise. Milford Sound is approximately a 5-hour drive or 45-minute flight from Queenstown. The Milford Coach and Cruise trips depart daily from Te Anau.

Milford Sound: Coach and Cruise Day Trip From Queenstown

5. Milford Sound: Coach and Cruise Day Trip From Queenstown

Travel to Milford Sound for an extended nature cruise on a day trip from Queenstown. Experience one of the most beautiful drives in the world in the comfort of a state-of-the-art coach. After meeting at a central location in Queenstown, you'll board the luxury coach and journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu into rolling countryside through to Te Anau. Take a short break, then continue along the spectacular alpine route of the Milford Road. Enjoy photo stops and short walks along the way. Relax on an extended nature cruise of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea and admire the fiord’s wildlife, waterfalls and mountains along the way. A specialist nature guide will provide live informative commentary. You can also bring your own lunch or purchase snacks and drinks (cash only) on-board. Following the cruise, board the coach for your return journey to Queenstown that allows for bathroom breaks. Be dropped off back in Queenstown at around 7:45 PM.

Fiordland: Jet Boat & Nature Walk Experience from Te Anau

6. Fiordland: Jet Boat & Nature Walk Experience from Te Anau

Begin your adventure in the heart of Te Anau, a short walk from most accommodation. After check-in, rest at a picnic table to enjoy free WiFi and a charging station to make sure all your devices are good to go. Hop on the bus for a short ride through local farmland to the Queen's Reach boat launch on the Waiau River.  Gear up with spray jackets and life vests before an exhilarating ride down the Waiau River. Lined by ancient beech tree forest this river is featured in The Lord of the Rings as the Anduin River. Contrast high-speed spins with pauses along the river in some amazingly tranquil places. Spot some trout in the crystal-clear water and have time to take plenty of photos. Learn about the area's unique environment and fascinating history from your knowledgeable local guide. Emerge onto the breath-taking Lake Manapouri, surrounded by glacier-carved mountains. Experience a sense of wonderment as you sit in awe of their beauty and grandeur. Go ashore to explore the ancient surrounds on a short walk.

From Te Anau: Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour

7. From Te Anau: Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour

Get away from the overcrowded buses, long lines, and obstructed views, and enjoy pure premium travel as you embark on a fabulous small-group tour to discover New Zealand's renowned Milford Sound. Combining premium travel in a Mercedes with an amazing scenic nature cruise, a picnic lunch (optional), and loads of off-the-beaten-track visits to stunning locations, this really is the best way to discover Milford Sound. Travel to Milford in style in a luxury Mercedes van fully equipped with Wi-Fi, bottled water, and large viewing windows for taking in the amazing sights. Enjoy plenty of stops along the way. Upon arrival to Milford, take a scenic 2-hour nature cruise along the fjord, where you can lap up the spectacular sights and go under waterfalls. Allow your local guide to provide you with informative commentary while you absorb the lush surrounding scenery and spectacular views. Along the way, you'll see everything from cascading waterfalls, mirrored lakes, and awe-inspiring mountains to fascinating fur seals and dolphins. There is even a stop at a native beech forest where you can take a leisurely stroll. This experience is topped off with a delicious picnic lunch, which can be enjoyed on the cruise while soaking up the views, before traveling back to Te Anau.

Te Anau: 30-Minute Fiordland National Park Scenic Flight

8. Te Anau: 30-Minute Fiordland National Park Scenic Flight

Sample the grandeur of the Fiordland scenery. This scenic helicopter flight is a short adventure into the untamed Kepler Mountains. You can see what lies beyond the Te Anau horizon, with a Te Anau helicopter scenic flight a must-do experience when visiting the area. Views of both the Kepler Track Great Walk and the Hidden Lakes will be spread out before you. You can fly over the local's backyard of the lower Kepler mountains, and can also receive a bird's eye view of the rural basin of Te Anau from a helicopter. During your tour, you will also make a landing at a mountain tarn so you can enjoy the vista and ruggedness of the Main Divide and breathe the crisp pure air of Fiordland.

From Te Anau: Milford Sound Tour with Cruise and Lunch

9. From Te Anau: Milford Sound Tour with Cruise and Lunch

Take a guided tour by comfortable minibus to explore the natural beauty of Milford Sound and the surrounding area. Your tour includes a sightseeing cruise, a picnic lunch, and plenty of scenic stops along the way. Meet your guide in Te Anau and drive along the lakeside, making a stop at Te Anau Downs to soak in the scenery. Enter the Fiordland National Park and visit Eglinton Valley, to admire the landscape carved by an ancient glacier. Continue to Mirror Lakes and see the Earl Mountains reflected in these clear waters. Relax and take photos by Lake Gunn, before continuing towards Hollyford River. Pass the waterfall at Falls Creek as you head higher into the Darran Mountains, stopping at viewpoints along the way. Keep a look out for local wildlife, including kea, the world’s largest alpine parrot. Enter Homer Tunnel and learn this history of this hand-built tunnel, before arriving at Milford Sound. Board the boat for a sightseeing cruise and see impressive views of Mitre Peak. Back on dry land, take a bush walk through The Chasm and snap photos at Pop's View Lookout, on the return journey to Te Anau.

Doubtful Sound: Scenic Flight with 2 Landings

10. Doubtful Sound: Scenic Flight with 2 Landings

Experience the stunning Fiordland National Park from the sky. Soar high above the Iris Burn Valley and Lake Manapouri, also known as the "Lake of Many Islands". Spot the infamous West Arm Power Station on Lake Manapouri before flying up and over the Wilmot Pass into Doubtful Sound. This long and winding fiord is one of Fiordland’s deepest and is home to a number of stunning waterfalls. Your helicopter will detour into magical Campbell’s Kingdom, a beautiful hanging valley encompassing a lake and a waterfall. This is the stuff of fairytales. From here, take a peek at Bradshaw Sound before soaring over the Main Divide of the Southern Alps for a second remote landing at scenic Mount Kidd. Make sure you have the camera or phone well charged for this flight — you’ll want to revisit the scenes and landscapes you visit over and over again.

Frequently asked questions about Te Anau

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What people are saying about Te Anau

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,572 reviews

Our coach driver, Brian, was superb. Commentary educational and entertaining, he stopped at all the scenic photographic spots, and was kind and caring to us older passengers. He had us in stiches with his puns and made the passengers feel that they are part of a shared experience. As a bus driver, I saw him cope with the challenges of idiots pulling out in front of him and stationary vehicles on corners- whithout missing a beat in his narration- an absolute legend. He is the best employee you will ever have.

The bus driver was a great commentator, inclusive, thoughtful and friendly. The boat trip took us between the massive glaciated walls with their hanging valleys and waterfalls. The commentary again, was interesting. Beautiful weather on this day.

Absolutely worth it! Brian was such an amazing tour guide and he gave us ample time to appreciate the beauty of Fiordland. Everything ran smoothly and we thankfully made it to our booked dinner after the trip.

Amazing drive I really enjoyed every bit of it and the commentary was exceptional.

Great experience, slightly intrepid so perfect for our 6 and 9 year old