STEWART ISLAND – TE ANAU (Via Invercargill)

Driver Information
New Zealand ItinerariesTravel distance is approximately 229kms (143 miles).
Allow at least 3 hours drive time (not including stops).
Part of the Southern Scenic Route

After an invigorating trip back across the infamous Foveaux Strait, follow your original route back to Invercargill where you can fuel up the car or campervan and get yourself sorted before you commence on the scenic journey to Te Anau.

Today you will travel the Southern Scenic Route which offers a fabulous opportunity to showcase the best of the ‘deep south’ as you travel from Invercargill past one of the oldest settlements in New Zealand, Riverton, and then onto quaint townships such as Tuatapere and Clifden before a visit to stunning Lake Manapouri before arriving in Te Anau.

Some notable stops along the route to Te Anau include:

New Zealand ItinerariesLocated in Western Southland, Riverton is known for its spectacular natural beauty and is a popular seaside resort for local holidaymakers during the summer. Visit the Te Hikoi Heritage Museum for an innovative tourist attraction that tells the story of local history through personal stories. It all begins in a sailing ship where you view a terrific film of the stories before wandering through the journey at your leisure.

This small Southland rural town is a popular location for trampers from around the world keen to experience hiking the famous Humpridge Track. The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is a 3 day / 2 night circuit tramp. It climbs high on to the Hump Ridge and Okaka Lodge at 890 metres (2920 feet).

This long stretch of undeveloped coastline marks the southern border of Fiordland National Park and provides a view of the Humpridge in a peaceful environment. Keep an eye out for dolphins frolicking in the bay!

Spanning an impressive 111.5 metres over the Waiau River, this is definitely the longest suspension bridge in New Zealand! Built in 1899 from Totara and Australian hardwood the bridge is classified as Industrial Heritage and part of the NZ Historic Places Trust. The bridge is no longer open to traffic but visitors can enjoy an interesting stroll over the river.

Cruise across the crystal clear waters of Lake Manapouri to West Arm before travelling by coach 2km down a spiral tunnel to the immense machine hall of Manapouri Underground Power Station. Located deep in the heart of the mountain, this is an informative tour where you can learn how they harness the energy of rushing water to generate electricity.

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…

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.

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.

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.

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.

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