Here at Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers, we love exploring the outdoors just as much as you do, so have lots of tips and tales to share with guests from near and far.
We’re also a full-service travel desk, which means you can plan and book your entire adventure with us. How convenient.
Take a squiz below for our top picks and come have a yarn with our friendly staff. We'll have you outdoors in no time.
TE ANAU BY LAND
Whether you’re hiking, riding, horse trekking or quad biking, there’s loads of wonderful ways to explore Te Anau by land.
Our backpackers are smack bang in the middle of some of New Zealand’s most famous walks, including the Kepler, Routeburn. Milford, Greenstone Cables, Hollyford and Dusky tracks.
If you’re looking for a slightly shorter jaunt, we recommend Key Summit for the views, Lake Marian for the waterfalls and the Manapouri Circle Track which requires a short water taxi.
For those who prefer to adventure by bike, the Lake 2 Lake Trail is quite the stunner at around 3.5 hours return. For those who like a bit more grunt behind their wheels, there’s also quad biking around the raw terrain of Te Anau.
Being the only lakefront backpackers in town, we’re experts in exploring our stunning sights by boat.
The Milford and Doubtful Sound are home to many cruise providers who offer both day and overnight adventures through the sounds for all budgets. Have a chat to our friendly staff about organising your transport too.
Alternatively, you can earn your scenery with a kayak trip. Operators offer day trips or overnight expeditions where you can camp on your own little beach under the stars and tell tales by firelight.
For those who enjoy sight-seeing at speed, Fiordland Jet heads off from Lake Te Anau, before whipping down the famous Waiau River, featured in New Zealand's pride and joy - The Lord of the Rings.
TE ANAU BY lake
TE ANAU BY air
Te Anau is your gateway to the majestic Fiordland National Park, a World UNESCO Heritage Site and one of the most remote places you’ll ever have the pleasure of exploring.
For those without a fear of heights and a slightly larger travel budget, flying is the best way to take it all in.
Whether you’re soaring by helicopter or scenic flight, all local pilots have amazing knowledge of the area and will take you to otherwise inaccessible locations.
After a big day out in the elements, you’ve definitely earned a hearty southern meal at one of Te Anau’s tasty pubs, restaurants and takeaway joints. We’ve done our fair share of taste testing over the years, so here are our favourites:
Pies - Miles Better Pies
Food truck – Habit
Chinese takeaways – Te Anau Dairy
Fish & chips (the blue cod is a Kiwi favourite) – Mainly Seafood
Restaurant - The Redcliff
Gastro-pub - The Fat Duck
Pizza - Paradiso
Taster menu - Black Dog (in the Fiordland Cinemas)
the best belly fillers
THE BEST DRINKING HOLES
Here at Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers, we believe that life is about balance and there’s nothing like finishing off a healthy day outdoors with a refreshing pint. Or two.
We are also located down stream from some of the best vineyards in New Zealand and have the pick of the bunch when it comes to local wines.
We’ve got our fair share of drinking holes, so park up at your favourite for the night or pub crawl your way around the town. All bars are within walking distance and just a short stumble home.
The Redcliff – cosy, charming bar and restaurant set in an early settlers cottage with live music twice a week.
The Ranch – as the name implies, she’s our southern themed pub.
The Moose – a sports bar located on the lakefront, she’s your go-to for a beer in the sun or for watching the game.
The Fat Duck - as well as great food, they serve a tasty brew too.
We might be the home of the outdoor explorer, but we haven’t quite worked out how to control the weather. Instead, we've compiled a list of things to do on those stormy days.
Grab some treats and tuck into a movie at Fiordland Cinemas, an independent theatre playing the best flicks from around the world and art house releases. If you’re having outdoor withdrawals, head to one of their daily screenings of ‘Fiordland on Film’ for an unforgettable journey through one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on earth. If we say so ourselves.
For those who are still seeking adventure, the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves are a must-do. Hidden beneath the mountains is an underground network of caves lit by thousands of glow worms. It has been described as ‘one of the most unusual limestone cave experiences on the planet’.
If you’re in the market for a day of relaxation and revival, there’s saunas, outdoor spas and massages to be enjoyed.
And if all else fails, our movie room has a range of flicks to help you wait out the bad weather.
STORMY DAYS IN