DUNEDIN – TE ANAU
Travel distance is approximately 291kms (182 miles).
Allow at least 4 hours drive time (not including stops).
The road conditions between Dunedin to Te Anau are a mix of Motorway and State Highway, making for good driving conditions.
Leaving behind the historic buildings of Dunedin you will travel through lush green rural scenery, the orchards of Balclutha and across river plains, vast rivers and scenic lakes.
Some notable stops along the route to Te Anau include:
Located only 55km’s south of Dunedin, Milton is considered the the gateway to North, South and Central Otago. Lake Waihola is a peaceful stretch of water in the era which is a pretty place to stop for a picnic or to stretch your legs. Milton has a number of significant historic buildings, including the McGill’s Flour Mill, the Presbyterian Church, Old Bruce Woollen Mill Office, Coronation Hall, Old Sod Cottage and many more.
Spanning both banks of the mighty Clutha River, you know you’ve arrived in Balclutha when you see the impressive arched concrete bridge that links the town centre with State Highway 1. A popular base for fishermen, Balclutha is also on the Southern Scenic Route. There is a nice selection of cafes and restaurants if you are planning on having a lunch stop.
For a small rural township there is surprisingly quite a lot to see and do, including a visit to the Eastern Southland Gallery to view the John Money Collection and the Ralph Hotere Gallery. There is also a range of temporary solo, touring, and group exhibitions – plus a range of performances, workshops and artist projects. The Hokonui Heritage Centre is home to the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and the Gore Historical Museum or you can choose to take a relaxing walk through the wonderful and inviting Gore District Public Gardens.
CROYDON AVIATION HERITAGE TRUST
Located at Mandeville Airport (on route to Gore) offers flights in vintage and classic aircrafts, including the Tiger Moth, Fox Moth and Dragonfly. Flights from 10 – 30 minutes.
Lake Te Anau with its deep, serene waters is the second largest lake in New Zealand and holds top honours as the largest lake in the South Island. The Te Anau Township is nestled beside this fabulous lake and provides plenty of accommodation, food, shopping and service amenities for the thousands of visitors that flock to this popular tourist location.
Te Anau boasts to having over ‘4000 beds for travellers’ so it is safe to assume you will find a hotel, motel, lodge, holiday park, backpackers, farm stay, bed & breakfast or holiday home to suit your budget! However during the peak summer season we strongly advise that you book your accommodation in advance.
Finding somewhere to eat isn’t hard in Te Anau either due to the huge choice of restaurants, bars, cafes, wine bars, bakeries and takeaway shops all located in the main township area and within easy walking distance from most accommodation.
Highly recommended Te Anau tourist attractions include…
Lake Cruise – Enjoy a boutique 3 hour Discovery Cruise across the tranquil beauty of the South Fiord of Lake Te Anau. Enjoy spectacular mountains and breath taking scenery before disembarking for a gentle guided nature walk to the Hidden Lakes. Cruise includes complimentary tea/coffee and homemade muffin.
Quad Bike Adventure – Ride the farmland and back country of Te Anau as you navigate through mud, bush, ridges, gullies and grass paddocks – all worth it for the amazing views of Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri, Fiordland National Park and the surrounding countryside.
Scenic Helicopter Flight – Enjoy a scenic flight from Te Anau into Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds and throughout Fiordland in a modern helicopter with experienced and well-known “Fiordland based” pilots who provide you with an interesting commentary of the area during your flight.
Fiordland Cinema – Enjoy the comforts of this custom designed, large screen cinema as you prepare to be overwhelmed with the exclusive daily screening of Ata Whenua – Shadowland. This 32 minute Fiordland on Film claims to be “mysterious, evocative, exhilarating and utterly spectacular, filmed across extemes of season, climate and terrain, it will take you on an unforgettable journey through one of the most awe inspiring landscapes on earth.
Guided Fishing Trip – A selection of Te Anau based fishing guides can help you pit your skills and patience against Rainbow and Brown trout around local and wilderness rivers and streams. Boat charter fishing trips on selected lakes is also available.
Scenic Flights – Enjoy a scenic flight around Fiordland. Range of operators in the Te Anau area offer a variety of scenic flights to suit your time frame and budget.
Te Anau Golf Club – A wonderful opportunity to enjoy one of the most beautiful golf courses in New Zealand. This 18 hole golf course is open to visitors and boasts spectacular views of Lake Te Anau and surrounding mountains.
Te Anau Glowworm Caves – Enjoy a scenic cruise across Lake Te Anau to the western side of the lake where your friendly guide will meet you at Cavern House and take you on an underground adventure as you explore this stunning underworld and the incandescence of thousands of tiny glowworms in the glowworm grotto.
Horse Trekking – There are two trekking companies operating in Te Anau and they both offer relaxing, scenic treks for beginner to advanced riders on safe, well mannered horses.
Hunting – Experience guided hunting in the amazing wilderness of Fiordland National Park or Mt Cook. Hunt South customise hunts to suit your personal requirements and fitness level. Species hunted include Red Deer, Wapiti, Tahr and Chamois.
New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
- 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
- 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch