Walks in & around town
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There are some lovely short walks in and around Te Anau and Manapouri that are great for everyone, but particularly families and older people. There is also a Te Anau Walking Group that goes on leisurely group walks every Wednesday morning.
Lakefront and Park walks from the centre of Te Anau
From the lake front end of the main street you can turn south and walk along our beautiful lake front walk way. This soon brings you to the Fiordland National Park visitor centre run by the Department of Conservation, which is a great place to stop off and browse the displays and shop for maps and gifts, and also the start of some lovely local walks. From the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre you can do the following easy walks:
Ivon Wilson Park (walk south for five minutes along the lake front, then cross over the road opposite the yacht club)
Ivon Wilson Park (see our park page for more information) is a 35 hectares' wonderful park, planted with native and exotic trees. There are several attractive paths leading to picturesque Lake Henry which is stocked with rainbow and brown trout as a children's fishery.
The Bird Park (named the Wildlife Park) (a 15 minute walk along the lake front)
Keep walking along the lake front going south past the yacht club and a pleasant track takes you through manuka groves to the bird park which gives you a chance to see the rare takahe birds. The aviaries and pens that house the birds are set in beautiful grounds with views of the lake. Entry is free although donations in the boxes are encouraged.
Control Gates at the start of the Kepler Track
Duration (about 45-50 minutes along the lake front)
Continue walking south from the bird park around to the southern end of Lake Te Anau. This eventually takes you infront of our magnificent golf course and then to a bridge over the River Waiau, known as the control gates. The control gates regulate water flows between lakes Te Anau and Manapouri for the West Arm hydroelectric power station in Lake Manapouri. Once you are over the control gates you enter Fiordland National Park and find yourself walking on the Kepler Great Walk track (see below).
Day walks on the Kepler Great Walk track
You can either walk to the start of the Kepler Great Walk track (see above), or you can drive there. If you are taking your own vehicle, there is a large car park just by the control gates (see above for an explanation of the control gates). Alternatively, Tracknet runs services to the start of the track. Once at the start of the walk, you can go in two directions, south or north. This is because the Kepler is a circular walk starting and ending at the control gates.
Walking north on the Kepler
If you turn north, you can walk for 5.5km on a gently undulating track that runs through pristine forest next to the western shore of Lake Te Anau. Half way along you get to Dock Bay, a pleasant lake beach, and at the end of the 5.5km you get to Brod Bay, another nice beach.
If you don't want to walk there and back there is a brilliant water taxi option. The Kepler Water Taxi leaves from the lake front at the end of the main street (just to the right of the Real Journeys building as you are looking at the lake.) Steve can whisk you across the lake on a beautiful ride that drops you at either Brod Bay or Dock Bay. From there you can either arrange to be picked up again by Steve from the same or a different beach, or walk back into town around the lake.
Walking south on the Kepler
If you turn south from the control gates, you are walking down the western bank of the River Waiau. It's a beautiful walk and fewer people do it, so a good option. It's about 10km from here to a place called Rainbow Reach which has a wonderful swing bridge back across the River Waiau to a car park and road access back to Te Anau. This swing bridge is near a Lord of the Rings filming spot. The River Waiau is the Anduin river in the Fellowship of the Rings, and in the opening shot of that movie. Tracknet runs a shuttle service to and from Rainbow Reach, meaning you can arrange to be picked up from here and taken back to Te Anau, or arrange to be dropped off here and walk back to Te Anau by walking north along the Kepler track.
Walking to Moturau Hut
From Rainbow Reach (see above) you can walk further south for about 6km to get to a Department of Conservation hut called Moturau Hut which is right on the shores of Lake Manapouri and a beautiful spot. This lovely walk includes two short board walks that take you over some amazing wetlands with interpretation boards.
Walking to the Upukerora River
From the lake front end of the main street in Te Anau you can walk north to the boat harbour and then keep walking on a gravel track along the lake front all the way to the Upukerora river (about two kilometres).
Lake front walk in Manapouri
There is a lovely walk along Lake Manapouri shores that takes you to the banks of the southern River Waiau.
Town park walks
There are some great parks in Te Anau for walking. Visit our parks page for more information.
You cannot take your dog into Fiordland National Park. However, there are some lovely places you can walk your dog if you are in Te Anau or Manapouri. The Department of Conservation has some useful advice on dog walking in the area, including a link to a dog walks map. Go to the DOC page on Fiordland dog walking.