Well known tourist attractions are often hubs of bustling activity: restaurants jostle for attention alongside flash nightclubs and everyone always seems to be offering another deal, better, faster, cheaper, now, now, now!
Whilst the hustle and bustle of these tourist destinations holds its own appeal, sometimes we just need to get away and reconnect with ourselves. What could be a more beautiful place to do this in than Te Anau, situated on the border of Fiordland National Park and Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. This town, with nearly 2,000 permanent inhabitants, is the ideal place to ‘get away from it all’ without losing our home comforts. We at the Copthorne know that the best holidays are often the most organised ones and we are happy to help you arrange any activities you wish to take part in while you are here.
Take an informative walk through some of the most beautiful bush surroundings in the world accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. This walk is ideal for those who wish to experience the natural beauty of Te Anau in a short space of time. Along the walk your guide will provide commentary on both human and natural history, providing a fascinating way to spend a day amongst spectacular scenery.
If you like your adventure at a leisurely pace, with snacks and drinks on hand, then perhaps a Wilderness Cruise is more your style. Set off by boat across Lake Manapouri and then travel by coach over the Wilmot Pass. We will drive through the dense Fiordland bush and descend towards Doubtful Sound, where we will board a purpose built catamaran. For the next three hours our cruise will take us around the enchanting waterway, with friendly guides on hand who love to share their extensive knowledge. With the opportunity to catch a sight of dolphins, fur seals and even the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin, this is a trip that is sure to both enchant and educate.
The South Island of New Zealand is home to many rare and unique birds. Due to their shy nature, these birds can often be hard to spot in the wild; luckily for us there is the Te Anau Wildlife Centre. Run by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation and sprawling over several acres, the centre is home to many native birds and animals including: bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, penguins, ruru (wood pigeon), pukeko (blue lagoon), tui, kea, kakariki, and takahe. To get there you can either drive or take a picturesque walk along the edge of the lake from Te Anau town. The walk itself is only 15 minutes and the views are definitely worth the effort!
Kayaking through a world heritage area should definitely be on your bucket list. Here in Fiordland you can take in the stunning surrounds of both the Milford and Doubtful Sounds from the water. Get a whole new perspective on this amazing area of the country and gain access to sights you never dreamed you’d see!
Whether you want to just fill an afternoon or take an overnight adventure, there is a range of kayaking options to fit your needs. Doubtful Sound is a beautifully quiet and remote area of New Zealand. As there is no road access – you have to take the cruise across the Manapouri lake and then catch a coach to Deep Cove – crowds are hard to come by. In a kayak you can get up close and personal with the wildlife in the area, all while exploring the coastline in detail and at your leisure.
For a unique perspective on the Milford Sound, why not opt to visit the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory. A role reversal on the usual underwater experience, this one effectively puts you in the ‘aquarium’. Descend 10 metres down into a large tank with incredibly clear windows and witness the fascinating world that exists under the shimmering surface of the Sound. With unusual black coral, a wide variety of aquatic life and knowledgeable guides to answer any questions you may have, this floating observatory is a unique and exciting experience for both young and old alike.
On the shores of Lake Te Anau lies a system of caves, offering visitors an intriguing underground adventure with a difference. As well as underground water systems, incredible rock formations and eerie silence, there are those light generating natives – the glow worms. Board the Catamaran Luminosa to travel across Lake Te Anau and descend into the cave network, cruise past whirlpools, an underground waterfall and striking limestone passages to witness the fascinating glowing critters. With both day and night trips available this is a wonderful experience for the whole family, one that will definitely be remembered!