things to do near te Anau New Zealand

5 Things to do near Te Anau | New Zealand

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We took an amazing trip to the South Island in New Zealand and visited a lot of amazing cities. One of our favorite spots was Te Anau (te-AH-now). We want to share with you some amazing things to do near Te Anua New Zealand. You can use our search box to find out about other adventures on the South Island.

Glow Worm Cave

Clearly the number one adventure near Te Anau is the famous Glow Worm Cave. A short cruise across the lake takes you to a beautiful cave system. Using a catwalk that keeps you above the river rushing out of the cave, venture deeper into the darkness where tiny worms glow flourescent green like stars in the night sky. This unique experience is must-do if you find yourself near Te Anau! Make sure to schedule tickets beforehand as most tours sell out.

Image from RealJourneys. You are not allowed to take your own photos. But it is like seeing stars above your head when you see the glow worms.
The cave is called the cave of rushing waters. There is lots of rushing water. It’s amazing!

Milford Sound

The drive out to Milford Sound was one of the most picturesque places we visited. There is a long tunnel and little green parrots called keas right near the road. There are many trails in the Fjordlands along the way to Milford Sound. Once you arrive at Milford Sound, there is a cruise ship that takes you out to open water. Along the way we saw dolphins and penguins, and due to the rainy weather, countless waterfalls. Our boat even nosed into one massive waterfall to the delight of almost everyone. We loved this cruise and the time we spent at Milford Sound.

The Fjordlands at Milford Sound are stunning all year long.
There are lots of waterfalls and beautiful spots to view.

The Chasm

The Chasm Walk is a short trail on the road out to Milford Sound. We stopped for a half hour to check out this natural wonder. The trail leads through a thick frondy rainforest. After a fifteen minute walk, you come to a high bridge, which allows you to look down into the rushing water of the Chasm below. It is difficult to get a picture of this deep gorge, but the bridge crosses it twice, and it is beautiful. We even saw a weka dash across the path on our return to the car.

The Chasm is hard to photograph, but definitely worth the stop.
The walk to the chasm is through the rainforest.

Te Anau Bird Sanctuary

At the edge of the lake, there is a bird sanctuary that is free admission. Many native birds of New Zealand can be seen right in the small, gorgeous garden. We saw wekas, pukekos, and even takahe, which were thought to be extinct for over a hundred years. Our favorite part was saying hello to a tui, a small bird that looks like it is wearing a bib, which actually said hello back to us. This sanctuary was a great place to spend a morning right in Te Anau.

We loved seeing all of the native New Zealand birds.
The bird sanctuary sits right along Lake Te Anau.

Lake Te Anau

Te Anau sits right on the edge of Lake Te Anau. There is a beautiful water front area that deserves a walk. We enjoyed spending time on the shore of the lake in evening when the sun is setting and the lighting is just right. Our boys skipped rocks on the calm water as we slowly took a romantic walk along the path. Make sure to enjoy a gentle walk after dinner downtown.

We spent mornings and evenings along Lake Te Anau.
Lake Te Anau is lined with mountains.

Other places to visit along the South Island

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