Where to stay when visiting Milford Sound

Tucked away near the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island, are the small but mighty townships of Te Anau and Manapouri.

While much is known about the inspiring and picturesque waterfalls, wildlife, lakes and mountains of Fiordland, not enough is known about the two townships at the heart of this beautiful area.

Located 20 minutes apart on the shores of two of New Zealand’s most beautiful lakes (Lake Manapouri and Lake Te Anau), Manapouri and Te Anau are the gateways to the vast and awe-inspiring Fiordland National Park, including the jewels in the crown, Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound.

The two townships have a combined population of under 3000 people. Centered among towering mountains and seemingly endless native forest, Manapouri and Te Anau provide the ideal location to explore the plethora of activities Fiordland has to offer.

With three of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’ located here - the Milford Track, Kepler Track and Routeburn Track, the two townships see no shortage of hikers setting off to enjoy the great outdoors.

Keen fishermen and ‘boaties’ are also regular visitors, with the area renowned for its trout fishing, as well as a very impressive 'beach to person' ratio. While out on the water you are bound to come across an untouched white sandy beach to soak up the sun and a cold drink.

Within minutes of the two townships, visitors can enjoy jet boating, kayaking, golfing, horse riding, fly fishing, glow worm caves, breathtaking scenic flights, cruising serene waterways, or discovering the backbone of New Zealand’s economy on an informative farm tour.

Not only are Te Anau and Manapouri great for the outdoor adventurer, there is also boutique shopping to enjoy, as well as great spots to relax and unwind with a manicure and a massage. But most importantly there are lots of delicious eateries to explore, from award winning steak houses, to authentic Italian, and boutique food trucks. With the area renowned for tender Southland lamb, fresh Fiordland lobster and creamy cheese rolls, it’s no wonder visitors keep coming back for more. 

There is something for everyone, and at every time of year in Fiordland. Whether enjoying the lambs in Springtime, relaxing on the lake during a hot Summer day, hiking through native bush during a still Autumn afternoon, or flying over roaring waterfalls and snow capped mountains during Winter, Fiordland can never be explored just once. Away from the crowds, in a landscape seemingly untouched by time or man, Manapouri and Te Anau should be at the top of your travel bucket list.

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