Local Information

Te Anau is known as the Gateway to Fiordland National Park

Located on the shores of Lake Te Anau and on the doorstep of Fiordland National Park, Te Anau is the perfect place to base yourself while exploring the wild (and not so wild areas) of Southern New Zealand. Fiordland National Park is spread over 12,000 km² and is a land of majestic mountains, sparkling lakes and pristine rivers. You are able to access these areas from Te Anau to experience the dramatic scenery that Fiordland has on offer.

There's so much to see and do! The friendly hosts at Red Tussock Motel offer helpful advice and we can arrange all your sightseeing for the Fiordland area. We offer assistance to book tours such as scenic flights, glow worm caves, jet-boating, lake cruises, Milford Sound cruises, Doubtful Sound cruises, farm tours, kayaking and more!

Te Anau

Lake Te Anau is New Zealand's second largest lake and is located in Fiordland National Park. Our township has a laid-back atmosphere and has some amazing restaurants from Italian, Indian, & Thai, to Te Anau specialties of lamb, lobster and venison. Watch Ata Whenua & Deer Wars at our local Fiordland Cinema, both documentaries on Fiordland made by a local Helicopter Pilot. Ivon Wilson Park is just a 10 minute walk from the Red Tussock Motel and has a small lake for kid's fishing and a disc golf course, but also an ideal place for gatherings such as weddings. The recently opened Lake 2 Lake cycle track has a well-formed trail from Te Anau to Manapouri, bikes can be hired from several outlets in Te Anau.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is best known for its dramatic scenery and is a top New Zealand tourist destination. There are Milford Sound cruises, overnight cruises and kayaking options to get you out on the water and also tours that incorporate day hikes - so why not make the most of it and talk to us about what option will suit you best?

The Māori name for Milford Sound is Piopiotahi, meaning one single piopio, which unfortunately is now an extinct New Zealand bird.

Doubtful Sound

Doubtful Sound is another popular destination that allows you to venture into Fiordland National Park and to experience the south-western part of New Zealand. The Māori name for Doubtful Sound is Patea, meaning 'The place of Silence'. Its deep, dark waters surrounded by mountains covered in lush green forests, invokes feelings of solitude and reflection.

You are unable to drive to Doubtful Sound yourself, but you can take a tour from Te Anau or Manapouri to incorporate either a Doubtful Sound day cruise, overnight cruise or kayaking tour.

Day Walks

There are a variety of walks available in the vicinity of Te Anau to suit all fitness levels. Here are a few of our favourites that can be accessed within 1 hour drive from Te Anau:

  • Red Tussock Motel to the Kepler Track/Control Gates (1.5 hours return),
  • Control Gates to: Dock Bay (1 hour return), Brod Bay (3 hours return) or Mount Mount Luxmore (8-10 hours return). Water Taxi also available from Te Anau to Brod Bay.
  • Rainbow Reach to Moturau Hut or Shallow Bay Hut (3.5 hours return)
  • Lake Mistletoe (45 minutes return)
  • Lake Gunn Nature Walk (45 minutes return)
  • Key Summit (3 hours return)
  • Manapouri Tracks: Take rowboat across Pearl Harbour to Jetty. Circle Track (3.5 hours return), Jetty to Back Valley Hut (4-5 hours return), Jetty to Hope Arm (4-6 hours return).

NOTE: Drive time to start of track not included, times stated are walking times only. Your safety is your responsibility, be prepared for the conditions. Check out this Department of Conservation (DOC) brochure for more information and visit the Te Anau DOC office before departure to get latest track conditions.