Te Anau Outdoor activities

Our most recommended Te Anau Outdoor activities

Te Anau: Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

1. Te Anau: Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

Experience a mysterious underground world of rushing water before drifting in darkness beneath the luminous shimmer of hundreds of glowworms.  Your trip to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves begins with a cruise to the western shores of Lake Te Anau. At the entry to the caves, view the informative displays and learn about this geological wonder before you head underground. On the tour of the caves, your friendly guide will point out the highlights and share their knowledge of the caves and its history. This underground world is astonishingly beautiful. The cave are 12,000 years old which by geological standards is still very young and they are still being carved out by the force of the river that flows through them. The result is a twisting network of limestone passages filled with sculpted rock, whirlpools and a roaring underground waterfall. Deep inside the caves, beyond the roar of the water, you will be taken by small boat into a silent hidden grotto inhabited by thousands of glowworms, unique to New Zealand. In the subterranean darkness, they produce a glittering display that is nothing short of extraordinary.

Queenstown: Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Full-Day Trip

2. Queenstown: Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Full-Day Trip

Enjoy a fun and leisurely day trip to admire the glacial features, wild flora and fauna, and picturesque backdrops of the world-famous fiord at Milford Sound. Start with pickup for the bus journey to Te Anau. Your driver will share their local knowledge as you stop along the way to see spectacular scenery. Marvel at views of waterfalls, wildlife, and the rainforest. Soak up the sights from any of the three indoor and outdoor viewing decks during your cruise and join your jovial crew at the bow as you nose under Stirling Falls for a free shower in some of the world's freshest water.  Benefit from complimentary tea service is available for the entire cruise and espresso coffee, snacks cakes. Additional drinks can be purchased from "Off The Rocks" onboard bar.

From Te Anau: Milford Sound Coach Tour and Cruise

3. From Te Anau: Milford Sound Coach Tour and Cruise

Start your day in central Te Anau as you board a modern tour bus and begin to explore Fiordland's stunning natural beauty. Knowledgeable local guides will share everything their homeland has to offer through informative commentary, scenic photo stops, and short nature walks. Cruise the full length of Milford Sound, and take in the spectacular scenery as mountains plunge into the deep waters of the Fiord. Ancient rainforests give way to towering waterfalls dropping from hanging valleys sparkling into the ocean below.  Milford Sound is abundant with unique birds and wildlife. See seals lounging on the rocks and playing in the shallows. On occasion dolphins, whales, and the very rare Fiordland Crested Penguin visit the sounds providing privileged photo opportunities.  Enjoy the fantastic scenery and nature walks in order to fully admire the true wilderness and grand vistas of Fiordland National Park. Hop on board Milford Sound's only premium glass roof catamaran for a 2-hour scenic cruise. Enjoy a picnic on board while you take in the scenery from a different perspective.

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Bus & Boat

4. From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Bus & Boat

Take the hassle out of driving to Milford Sound and join a guided coach tour from Queenstown. Sit back, relax and enjoy magnificent scenery and informative commentary. Your experienced local coach driver will show you the best views along the Milford Road and connect you seamlessly with a 2-hour nature cruise. Travel in a spacious coach with USB charging ports. Marvel at the native rainforest, spectacular waterfalls and glacial lakes. Pause briefly in Te Anau before continuing along the spectacular alpine Milford Road. Admire incredible views at Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, Knobbs Flat or Monkey Creek and pose for photos. Be wowed by the glaciar-carved Milford Sound as you approach the visitor terminal. Seize your cruise and lunch passes from the driver who’ll help you find your cruise departure gate.  Climb aboard a purpose-built catamaran for a nature cruise along the fiord’s deep blue waters. Savor a freshly prepared picnic lunch. Marvel at the impressive natural landscape and keep a lookout for native wildlife like dolphins, seals and penguins. Be fascinated by live commentary from your skipper in the open wheelhouse. Get within touching distance of impressive glaciar-carved rock walls and feel the full force of the powerful 15,000-year-old Stirling Falls on your face. Awed and satisfied, rejoin your driver for the scenic return journey to Queenstown. 

Milford Sound: Coach and Cruise Day Trip From Queenstown

5. Milford Sound: Coach and Cruise Day Trip From Queenstown

Travel to Milford Sound for an extended nature cruise on a day trip from Queenstown. Experience one of the most beautiful drives in the world in the comfort of a state-of-the-art coach. After meeting at a central location in Queenstown, you'll board the luxury coach and journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu into rolling countryside through to Te Anau. Take a short break, then continue along the spectacular alpine route of the Milford Road. Enjoy photo stops and short walks along the way. Relax on an extended nature cruise of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea and admire the fiord’s wildlife, waterfalls and mountains along the way. A specialist nature guide will provide live informative commentary. You can also bring your own lunch or purchase snacks and drinks (cash only) on-board. Following the cruise, board the coach for your return journey to Queenstown that allows for bathroom breaks. Be dropped off back in Queenstown at around 7:45 PM.

From Te Anau: Milford Sound Coach, Cruise and Walk

6. From Te Anau: Milford Sound Coach, Cruise and Walk

Discover the incredible scenery, wildlife, and nature of New Zealand's Fiordland National Park on a day trip with an experienced nature guide. Take a boat cruise on the Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea, tuck into a packed picnic lunch, and enjoy short walks through the untamed wilderness of the park. From Te Anau, travel along the spectacular Milford Road with experienced nature guides who share their stories, knowledge, and passion for the area. Upon reaching Milford Sound, join a nature cruise to the Tasman Sea. Enjoy plenty of time to view waterfalls, rainforests, mountains, and wildlife. After the cruise, set off on a series of enjoyable walks with scenic stops in a range of different environments within the National Park. Enjoy access to Hollyford Valley, Lake Gunn, and the Marian Gantry. Step into the ancient native forest and witness this World Heritage area at its best.

From Te Anau: Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour

7. From Te Anau: Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour

Get away from the overcrowded buses, long lines, and obstructed views, and enjoy a small-group tour to discover New Zealand's renowned Milford Sound.  Combining premium travel in a Mercedes with a fantastic scenic nature cruise, a picnic lunch (optional), and loads of off-the-beaten-track visits to stunning locations is a great way to discover Milford Sound.  Travel to Milford in style in a luxury Mercedes van fully equipped with Wi-Fi, bottled water, and large viewing windows for taking in the amazing sights. Enjoy plenty of stops along the way.  Upon arrival to Milford, take a scenic 2-hour nature cruise along the fjord, where you can lap up the spectacular sights and go under waterfalls.  Allow your local guide to provide informative commentary while you absorb the lush surrounding scenery and spectacular views. You'll see everything from cascading waterfalls, mirrored lakes, and awe-inspiring mountains to fascinating fur seals and dolphins. There is even a stop at a native beech forest where you can take a stroll. This experience is topped off with a delicious picnic lunch, which can be enjoyed on the cruise while soaking up the views before traveling back to Te Anau.

Te Anau: 30-Minute Fiordland National Park Scenic Flight

8. Te Anau: 30-Minute Fiordland National Park Scenic Flight

Sample the grandeur of the Fiordland scenery. This scenic helicopter flight is a short adventure into the untamed Kepler Mountains. You can see what lies beyond the Te Anau horizon, with a Te Anau helicopter scenic flight a must-do experience when visiting the area. Views of both the Kepler Track Great Walk and the Hidden Lakes will be spread out before you. You can fly over the local's backyard of the lower Kepler mountains, and can also receive a bird's eye view of the rural basin of Te Anau from a helicopter. During your tour, you will also make a landing at a mountain tarn so you can enjoy the vista and ruggedness of the Main Divide and breathe the crisp pure air of Fiordland.

From Te Anau: Milford Sound Coach and Cruise Day Trip

9. From Te Anau: Milford Sound Coach and Cruise Day Trip

Discover Milford Sound on an 8-hour adventure with round-trip transport from Te Anau and a 2-hour cruise through the fiord. If you are looking to explore both Milford and Doubtful Sounds, it is worth staying one or two nights in Te Anau. There is plenty to do plus you will save yourself the long journeys to and from Queenstown. At Milford Sound, climb aboard the leisurely nature cruise for an informative, interactive, and relaxed experience. A specialist guide will provide live informative commentary and you can admire the fiord’s wildlife, waterfalls, and mountains. Enjoy lunch on board the cruise — you may bring your own lunch or purchase snacks and drinks (cash only) on the vessel. Be prepared to enjoy some rainfall during your visit; the landscape is especially dramatic when it rains in Fiordland. Enjoy the spectacular views from a dry, comfortable vantage point on board the vessel. Following the cruise, immediately board the luxury coach for the return journey to Te Anau, arriving between 4:30 PM and 5:45 PM, depending on the season.

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Premium Day Tour and Cruise

10. From Queenstown: Milford Sound Premium Day Tour and Cruise

This coach trip includes a Milford Sound cruise aboard a comfortable, purpose-built cruise boat with optional lunch and refreshments. Enjoy multiple stops on your way to Milford Sound which makes the day even more amazing! When you arrive in Te anau - your first stop of the day - enjoy a toilet break and time to grab something from the cafe. They have great coffee, muffins, and snacks. Enjoy a stop at the mirror lakes, a beautiful 5-minute boardwalk through a rainforest, and other photo opportunities that make your journey to Milford Sound even more special.  On arrival at Milford Sound, you immediately proceed to the boat terminal, where your driver will give you your boat pass and direct you to your cruise boat. On boarding, make yourself comfortable in one of the saloons or catch the scenery from the decks. Milford Sound is famous for its waterfalls, and if it's raining it's even more spectacular. The boats nudge right up to the base of the waterfalls, often challenging visitors to fill a glass of water from the cascading plumes. This luxury tour already has reserved window seating for you - so no need to worry about getting a seat. On board feel free to buy yourself snacks and sandwiches from the cafe or treat yourself to a buffet lunch. The boats are often escorted by pods of dolphins, while seals bask on the rocks. Take in the stunning scenery while your skipper gets you as close as possible to the wildlife for some fantastic photos.  The cruise will take you out to the point where the fiord meets the open sea, and it is here at Anita Bay that the Maori collected their sacred Pounamu or Greenstone – prized for making tools, jewelry, and ornaments, and still a highly-valued stone today. 

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Other Sightseeing Options in Te Anau

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What people are saying about Te Anau

Shallindra (excuse my spelling) was our guide and I would like to say this man deserves a promotion, a pay rise and at the very least employee of the month. Incredibly hospitable and very in touch with his passengers needs. I was a solo traveller and he ensured I still had photos taken at all of the scenic pictures spots. He was so attentive when a child on board felt unwell and even shared some cough sweets to someone with a bad throat. His humour was delightful, knowledge of the area very insightful, we all learnt lots and the actual trip itself was smooth, effortless and super easy. Such a relief for a solo traveller. Thank you Shallindrah

Milford sound itself is overhyped, comparing to other beautiful places we have been. The 45 mins drive way from Queenstown to Glenorchy is more scenic than Milford in our opinion. Nevertheless, our tour guide Mark from cheeky kiwi made our day. His knowledge in geology and environmental science plus his unique sense of humour energised our more than 4 hours drive to the Milford sound cruise point.

Boat captain very friendly and experience. Good skill in Jet driving. Did lots of jet turnings to cheer all of us. Perfect. Highly recommended.

A wonderful experience and although it was raining the scenery was breathtaking with all the many waterfalls that were formed.

Bus service and guide are excellent, so is the cruise.