We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

1 day in Te Anau- recommendations on what to do

Level Contributor
85 posts
37 reviews
Save Topic
1 day in Te Anau- recommendations on what to do


I am travelling in the south island for one week in Feb.

I will be arriving in Te Anau(Bella Vista Motel) from Queenstown at approx 1pm.

We will depart Te Anau to drive to Wanaka the next day (which I think is a 4hr drive?)

Can someone recommend what would be good to do in this short space of time


Te Anau
Destination Expert
for South Island, Te Anau
Level Contributor
3,148 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 1 day in Te Anau- recommendations on what to do

Hi Twinklesplodge,

TeAnau is the service centre for Fiordland National Park, and most of the activities involve leaving Te Anau, and going into the park. either to travel to Milford or Doubtful Sounds, or do one or more of the many walks which start from Te Anau, (Milford Track, Kepler track, Routeburn etc).

Consequently there is not a lot to do in Te Anau itself, as another post so unkindly said.

If, as you imply, you will only have the afternoon of the day you arrive, the Te Anau Caves would be your best choice for a tour. This departs 2pm, 5pm and 6.45pm, with other sailings as demand dictates. Price $49 pp.

You should also try to fit in a screening of Ata Whenua at the local cinema. There are other posts regarding this on this forum. $10, and absolutely mind blowing.

You really should try to fit in a trip to Milford Sound. If you got away early in the morning you could catch the 11am cruise which returns about 1pm. From Milford it is about 6 hours to Wanaka. (If you got up realy early (dep 6.30am) you could get the 9am cruise)

On second thoughts, You should try to leave Qtn earlier, about 8am, and drive to Milford, returning to Te Anau for the night.

Seeing the South Island in just a week is a big ask, and you will have to budget your time fairly carefully.

Aoraki Mount Cook...
Level Contributor
786 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 1 day in Te Anau- recommendations on what to do

Sounds like you will get enough time to do the glow worms (Real Journeys), but I'd also recommend just going for a drive out toward Milford, even if you down't get there. Plenty of great scenery on the way.

Wanaka isn't 4hrs from Te Anau - probably more like 3hrs. (4hrs gets me from Te Anau to Omarama incl a brief food/fuel stop in Frankton (Qtn)) I you wanted you could go to Milford for the day and then drive back to Wanaka - it would a long day though. In Feb the days are still long so yur've got daylight probably until around 9pm~ish.