20 Te Anau Things to Do: Fiordland, Southland, New Zealand

Things to do in Te Anau, often known as the gateway to Fiordland in New Zealand, offer a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors seeking experiences with nature and outdoor adventures.

Te Anau town also has plenty to occupy you such as arts and crafts, shopping, restaurants and cafes, events and festivals, a cinema, and accommodation.

Lake Te Anau View to Mountains in Fiordland National Park, Southland, New Zealand
Lake Te Anau View to Fiordland National Park

The settlement is next to Lake Te Anau where you can embark on tours, cruises, and scenic flights. Te Anau, set in an environment with stunning views to mountains, is ideal for enjoying sunrise and sunset.

List of Te Anau Things to Do

Explore Lake Te Anau:

Experience the serene beauty of Lake Te Anau, New Zealand's second-largest lake. Lake Te Anau provides the perfect backdrop for leisurely lakeside walks, water activities, and a peaceful escape surrounded by the stunning Southland landscapes on the South Island.

Scenic Flight Taking off on Lake Te Anau. Fiordland, South Island, New Zealand
Scenic Flight Taking off on Lake Te Anau

Fiordland National Park:

Immerse yourself in the unique wilderness of Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Fiordland includes iconic hikes like the Kepler Track that lead you through lush forests, alongside picturesque lakes, and reveals breathtaking mountain views. Fiordland is a paradise for outdoor activities, wildlife viewing, nature lovers, and photographers.

Milford Sound Cruise:

Enjoy a must-do cruise through Milford Sound, sometimes called the 'Eighth Wonder of the World.' Milford Sound cruises pass towering cliffs, dramatic waterfalls, and encounters with marine wildlife can top off the whole experience. An unforgettable experience that captures the essence of New Zealand's natural landscape.

Doubtful Sound:

Doubtful Sound, New Zealand's hidden fiord, is accessible by boat. It offers untouched wilderness, tranquil waters, and the opportunity to connect with nature. This is an ideal destination for those looking to escape the worlds hustle and bustle.

Te Anau Glowworm Caves:

Discover the enchanting Te Anau Glowworm Caves, where guided tours take you on a subterranean adventure beneath New Zealand's surface. You will witness a display of glow-worms lighting up the darkness of caves, a unique and spellbinding experience in an underground world.

Lake Manapouri:

Experience the untouched beauty of Lake Manapouri, a nearby lake ideal for fishing, boating, and immersing yourself in the breathtaking natural surroundings. This lake is a haven where you can connect with nature at its finest.

Fiordland Jet Boat Tours:

Get your adrenaline pumping with a high-speed jet boat ride through Te Anau's scenic waters, offering an exciting way to explore the region's stunning landscapes while enjoying an adventure-filled day out on water.


Te Anau is an excellent place for birdwatchers, providing opportunities to spot native birds in their natural habitat. Whether you're an experienced birder or a novice enthusiast, Southland Region, Fiordland, and Te Anau's diverse, and often unique, birdlife is well worth observing.

New Zealand Birds - New Zealand Animals

Te Anau Wildlife Centre:

Visit the Te Anau Wildlife Centre to learn about some of the conservation efforts in New Zealand, and get close encounters with native birds and tuatara. It's an educational experience for all ages interested in New Zealand wildlife.

Fiordland Cinema:

Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Fiordland at the Fiordland Cinema.You can watch documentaries amid stunning landscapes at the cinema, and gain deeper insights into the region's rich heritage and natural beauty.

Lake Henry Track:

Go on a leisurely hike along the Lake Henry Track, providing picturesque views of Lake Henry and the surrounding mountains. It's an accessible track that’s suitable for nature lovers and families to enjoy.

Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum:

Step back in time and explore a unique collection of vintage machinery and farming equipment. You will get insights into the region's agricultural history, making it an engaging and educational visit for history buffs and anyone who wants to experience the history and heritage of the region.

Lake Te Anau Docks and Cruise Boat, Fiordland, Southland, South Island, New Zealand
Lake Te Anau Dock

Te Anau Golf Course:

Enjoy a round of golf amidst mountain views at the Te Anau Golf Course. A perfect thing to do for golf enthusiasts looking to combine their love for golf with the breathtaking scenery.

Horse Riding:

Experience the natural beauty of this region on horseback. Guided horse riding tours suitable for riders of all levels are available. It's a memorable unique way to explore the regions landscapes and connect with the environment in a natural way.

Te Anau Arts and Crafts:

Explore Te Anau's galleries and craft shops, where you can find unique souvenirs, locally-made artworks, and a variety of crafts. Support the local arts and crafts creative community while finding unique keepsakes of your holiday.

Te Anau Dining:

Savour the flavours of New Zealand with fresh seafood, lamb dishes, and local cuisine at Te Anau's restaurants and cafes, all while enjoying scenic lake views and a relaxed dining experience with friends and/or family.

Te Anau Shopping:

Discover unique souvenirs, gifts, and locally crafted items at Te Anau's boutique shops. A perfect opportunity to find mementos of your New Zealand journey while supporting local artisans.

Lake Te Anau Town Sign to Centre, Milford Sound, and Facilities. Fiordland National Park, South Island, New Zealand
Te Anau Sign to: Town Centre, Milford Sound, Facilities, Accommodation, and Campsite


Te Anau's remote location and minimal light pollution make it an ideal spot for stargazing and astrophotography. Enjoy breathtaking views of the night sky and celestial wonders, offering a truly magical experience. On occasion, under the right conditions, you may even be lucky enough for the Southern Lights to make an appearance.

Te Anau Community Events:

Immerse yourself in local culture by going to community events and festivals in Te Anau. These events provide the ideal opportunity to connect with local residents and experience New Zealand's vibrant traditions, fostering a sense of community and cultural appreciation.

Te Anau Town Gardens and Park Picnic Area. Fiordland National Park, Southland, New Zealand
Te Anau Town Gardens and Park Picnic Area

Abundance of Things to do in Te Anau

Te Anau's natural beauty, proximity to Fiordland National Park, and abundance of outdoor activities make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Whether you're hiking in the wilderness, strolling through the bush, looking for native birds and wildlife, cruising through stunning sounds (fiords/fjords), enjoying the tranquil lakeside atmosphere, or just passing through, Te Anau has something to offer every visitor or traveller.

Fiordland i-SITE Visitor Information Centre:

Fiordland National Park

When you arrive at Te Anau, make your first stop a visit to the Fiordland i-SITE centre. This information centre is your go-to source for finding out about local things to do in Te Anau and Fiordland, range of activities, types of accommodation, and availability of tours, ensuring you make the most of your visit. You can make bookings at I-SITE centres. Link provided below.

Te Anau Town Map

This map shows Te Anau town, the SH94 State Highway, Lake Te Anau, and if you zoom out you will be able to see the region to find activities and things to do in Te Anau and the wider environment of Fiordland in the Southland Region.

Useful Resources

External sites, links open in new windows.

Fiordland i SITE Visitor Centre

Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre (DOC)