If you're looking for a getaway that really is far away from it all, there are quite a few places that fit the bill in New Zealand. Finding a special spot that takes you back to less complicated times (think 1980's New Zealand) can be as easy as looking for one of the New Zealand Holiday Parks dotted around the country. Idyllic scenery, beaches, little camping spots with perfect views, combined with a book and a pack of cards and you can easily forget all your troubles.
However, even in a country overly blessed with picturesque little getaways, there aren't many places as breathtaking as Te Anau. Nestled on the shore of Lake Te Anau and near Mount Luxmore and the Murchison mountains, it's like seeing a snapshot of heaven. With the lush, virgin forest of the sky scraping mountains reflected on the deep blue of the lake, it really is something that photos can't fully capture.
Stunning beauty and few inhabitants
Despite the breath taking natural beauty, Te Anau only has a few thousand inhabitants. Even in its peak time - when you do need to book accommodation - you really are 'getting away from it all' as numbers will still only peak at around 5,000. If you're looking for a sleepy getaway in a quiet town, camping at a New Zealand Holiday Park in Te Anau is the perfect backdrop for any number of peaceful activities: reading, relaxing, photography, dining out or even a touch of shopping. There are also the Te Anau Glowworm caves, which are just a beautiful cruise away or the Wildlife Park with native and rare birds including the kaka, kea, takahe, tui and parakeet.
The gateway to the fiords
Sitting on the border of Fiordland National Park and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area, Te Anau is also known as the gateway to the fiords - a perfect little doorway to other great natural wonders. Because of its location, it's a great place to base yourself if you want to explore Fiordland and the scenic areas around the town.
Charter a boat
With boat charters leaving from Lake Te Anau, you can take your pick of the 14 fiords in the area. Charters through Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound will allow you to experience the beauty of the glaciers looming over a dramatic landscape. Then there are the breathtakingly high waterfalls; Browne Falls and Sutherland Falls which rank among the tallest, and surely the most pristine, waterfalls in the world. Boat charters can explore some of New Zealand's deepest lakes: the stunning Te Anau, Lake Hauroko and Lake Manapouri. The whole area is really something that has to be seen to be believed - a true slice of heaven.
For those who are looking for a driving adventure, you could wind your way through the hills on a 2 ½ hour drive to Milford Sound, which is one of the most scenic drives in the world. If you are driving through this area allow a full tank of petrol and a full day to take in the sights.
Of course, Te Anau is also a good base before you leave for one of the popular walking tracks in the area - the Milford Track or the Kepler Track. With beauty everywhere you look, you couldn't ask for a better gateway to Fiordland.
For a great little getaway on Fiordland's doorstep, try booking at the Te Anau Great Lakes Holiday Park or the Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park at www.kiwiholidayparks.com.