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Lake Te Anau
Lake Te Anau

Lake Te Anau

Free admission
Fiordland National Park, Te Anau, Fiordland

The Basics

Lake Te Anau sits on the edge of Fiordland National Park and Te Wāhipounamu, a 10,000-square-mile (26,000-square-kilometer) UNESCO World Heritage Area whose geography transports visitors back 80 million years to a point where New Zealand formed part of the supercontinent Gondwana. These days the lake’s glacier-fed waters are popular with sailors, kayakers, powercraft enthusiasts, and recreational fishers. For travelers looking for a slower-paced experience, scenic cruises are a popular option.

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Te Anau Glow Worm Caves Tour
Te Anau Glow Worm Caves Tour
star-4.5
$67.64 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Te Anua glow worm cave experience
Great morning out. A leisurely trip on the ferry to the island with great commentary. Then walking through the caves was an experience in itself before going on the boat & seeing even more glow worms in the pitch black. End the tour with a complimentary tea/ coffee/ hot chocolate while watching a short informative video. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Tania_A, Jan 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Fiordland & Milford Sound

star-5
An awesome day out.
Michael_A, Jan 2022
Milford Sound Cruise from Queenstown or Te Anau
A fantastic day out starting from the bus pick up in Te Anau. Breathtaking views all day, the bus driver was fun and informative. The cruise in Milford was spectacular. We loved the whole experience and would recommend it to anyone.
star-5
Very excellent trip my family really enjoyed
Priya_S, Jan 2022
Milford Sound Cruise from Queenstown or Te Anau
Trip was really enjoyed, tour guide was excellent well explained on the way.we all enjoyed the beauty of Milford. Would recommend everyone for this trip
star-5
awesome life experience
Courtney_T, Oct 2021
Milford Sound Full-Day Tour from Te Anau
Seeing a whale was definitely the highlight of the trip but the whole tour was a magnificent experience and should be on everyone's bucket list.
star-5
Review for Paulie
Hayley_M, Aug 2021
Milford Sound Full-Day Tour from Te Anau
Paulie was very knowledgeable and friendly. Made the experience 100x better. We were very impressed.
star-5
Glow worms
Dianne_S, Apr 2021
Te Anau Glow Worm Caves Tour
Great tour and commentary. Definitely recommend doing it. Well organised. Boat was nice and clean. Guides instructions were very clear and easy to understand
star-4
Unique experience
Pornpop_U, Jun 2021
Te Anau Glow Worm Caves Tour
It was very nice and worthy to see glow worms as it was a unique experience even though we could not see them as stunningly astronomical as if we were in a planetarium.
star-5
The Total Package with Two Consummate Hosts
Henriette_A, Dec 2020
Afternoon Te Anau Cruise on Historic Motor Yacht
This cruise experience is the whole package - from the charming, historic yacht itself, to the classy food and drinks on offer, the educational, scenic walk to the Hidden Lakes to, most important, the friendly, attentive service from, and interaction with, the fabulous George and Adam. The hosts really make this into a super, unforgettable afternoon. Highly recommended!
star-4
Lovely family day
Melanie_P, Apr 2021
Te Anau Glow Worm Caves Tour
We took our 5 year old unsure how she would handle the dark but she loved it. Was a cold wet day but still lovely to be there.
star-5
Great tour to Milford.
Gail_P, Feb 2021
Milford Sound Full-Day Tour from Te Anau
We were delighted with the bus driver who gave us an enjoyable tour to and from Milford Sound. It was very interesting. We also loved the catamaran ride through Milford Sound. The Captain chatted with us throughout the tour. It was a sunny day. Gorgeous!
star-5
Amazing trip!
vindelorenzo, Feb 2020
Morning Tea Cruise on Historic Motor Yacht from Te Anau
This was a great surprise! Thoroughly enjoyed the great 5 star service and knowledge of the lake George and Adam are a great duo! Don’t miss out on this wonderful expedition Vincent from Sydney
star-5
Amazing cruise
Ivan M, Jan 2020
Morning Tea Cruise on Historic Motor Yacht from Te Anau
It was amazing and really friendly cruise. We loved not only so beautiful Te Anau lake but also captain and his crew. And snacks were really delicious. We only simply reccomend it to any tourist.
star-5
Brilliant
Kerry_R, Dec 2020
Milford Sound Cruise from Queenstown or Te Anau
the whole day was brilliant. early start but well worth it. Our bus driver was really informative. The boat trip was the nest part, fantastic views,

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Lake Te Anau is ideal for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

  • The towns of Te Anau and Manapouri are good bases for most travelers thanks to grocery stores, restaurants, and accomodation options.

  • Bring sturdy shoes or hiking boots to explore the many walking and mountain-biking tracks near the lake.

  • From November to March, book travel to Te Anau well in advance; accomodation and tours are known to sell out.

  • Overnight camping is generally restricted to designated campsites, even if your vehicle is self-contained.

  • Help prevent the spread of didymo, an invasive algae present in Lake Te Anau, by washing boats, kayaks, waders, and other gear when you leave the lake.

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How to Get There

Lake Te Anau is about a 2-hour drive from either Queenstown or Invercargill; both routes make for an excellent road trip, snaking through rewarding scenery. Buses between Te Anau and Queenstown, Invercargill, Dunedin, and Milford Sound depart daily.

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When to Get There

Lake Te Anau and Fiordland are year-round destinations, although many visitors prefer visiting in summer to enjoy warm temperatures and long, sunny evenings. The lake is a popular summer getaway for Southland locals, many of whom own “cribs” (holiday houses) in the area, so it’s typically easier to find a slice of the lake for yourself during the cooler months.

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Great Walks at Lake Te Anau

Two of New Zealand’s 10 Great Walks begin on the shores of Lake Te Anau. The Milford Track begins at Glade Wharf, at the head of Lake Te Anau, and crosses through glacial valleys and ancient forest to reach remote Milford Sound. The equally popular Kepler Track starts and finishes at Te Anau township, looping through tussocky ridgelines and beech forest.

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