Travelling the length and breath of New Zealand, we’ve visited our fair share of towns. From the bright lights of Auckland to the tiny township of Oban on Stewart Island and into super-busy Queenstown, everywhere has had something unique to offer. But our favourite little town so far has to be Te Anau. Why, we hear you ask? Well, there are a number of reasons why this little town grabbed us and we think it will impress you too.
Set on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the natural beauty of the area is something else. If you’re lucky enough to arrive on a blue-sky day like we were, you’ll be treated to stunning views across the impossibly blue waters of the lake to the mountains beyond. Words can’t describe how impressive the views in the area are, it’s incredible.
Using Te Anua as your base, there are so many incredible hiking trails to set out on. You could spend a lifetime walking here and never get bored of it. Three of New Zealand’s Nine Great Walks are accessible from here – Milford Track, Routeburn and the Kepler Track. The Hollyford track, Key Summit track and a variety of others are easily accessible too. The possibilities are endless.
Te Anau is where the road to Milford Sounds begins. While everyone has heard of the beauty of Milford Sound, the drive to get there itself is something to behold too. Crystal clear lakes, massive mountains, waterfalls, rushing rivers, you name it, you’ll encounter it on this drive. You could never tire of driving this road. In fact, we guarantee if you drive to Milford to Te Anau, you’ll make as many stops on the way back as you did on the way out.
For a small town, there are some great cafes and restaurants to choose from. There’s even a 24hour shop – the first we have seen in a small town. Staying at the Te Anau Kiwi Holiday Park is the smart option. It’s the most centrally located campsite in the area, has excellent facilities and probably the nicest lounge area we have seen anywhere in the country. Set inside an old log cabin that was relocated to the area on the back of the truck, it’s a great place to kick back after exploring the area. We can’t recommend the place enough; the staff are super friendly and can’t do enough to help you out.
Our favourite little town
For all these reasons, Te Anau is our favourite little town in New Zealand. It’s a great place to base yourself while visiting the area, and to use as a jumping off point for the Milford Sound and the trails in the area. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Fiordland and all it has to offer at Te Anau, you’ll be blown away.