Many visitors choose to stay in Te Anau as a gateway to exploring Fiordland National Park. Te Anau has New Zealand's second largest lake and several walking trails to explore the area. A unique attraction found in Te Anau is taking a cruise to the western part of Lake Te Anau to explore the caves which are lit up by thousands of tiny glowworms. After a day exploring the beauty of the area, you can head into town to eat at one of the many restaurants or buy a gift at one of the shops. Te Anau is the closet town to Milford Sound only 2.25 hours' drive away, while Queenstown is 5 hours from Milford.
Fiordland National Park
Fiordland National Park is over 1.2 million hectares filled with mountain peaks, lakes, rainforest, wildlife, flora, fauna, and waterfalls. The two famous fiords that feature stunning contrast of the mountains and sea are Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Milford Sound features the famous Mitre Peak and is easier to access by boat or flightseeing tours. Doubtful Sound is deeper in Fiordland National Park and is much larger than Milford Sound with several wildlife sightings.
The best ways to explore Fiordland are with one of the many tour operators that provide cruises and flightseeing options.
Te Anau is close to several popular locations in the South Island and is only 2.5 hours' drive from Queenstown and 4 hours' drive from Dunedin. Topline Tours and Tracknet offer shuttle services between other popular South Island destinations to and from Te Anau.
From Te Anau, visitors can drive along the Te Anau-Milford Highway, which is only a 2.25 hour drive. With the scenery being so beautiful along the way, you may like to take a small coach tour which meets up with the cruises for exploring Milford Sound so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery.
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