Cheap Tours and Activities in Te Anau and the Milford Sound
Te Anau is a town on the South Island of New Zealand. This peaceful, lakeside township is the main gateway to Fiordland National Park tramps and the ever-popular Milford Sound, as well as a pleasant place to spend a few days. To the southwest, the Kepler Track winds through beech forests, glacial valleys and mountains. To the east are the pastoral areas of central Southland, while west across Lake Te Anau lie the rugged mountains of Fiordland. The region is home to endangered, flightless takahe birds and abundant trout in Lake Te Anau. Te Anau Caves feature a limestone grotto of glowworms and an underground waterfall. The lake, NZ's second-largest, was gouged out by a huge glacier and has several arms that extend into the mountainous, forested western shore. Its deepest point is 417m, about twice the depth of Loch Ness. It's large enough to have good eateries and places to stay, but it's much easier on the wallet and quieter than popular Queenstown, so it offers a much different, but equally pleasant experience in New Zealand. With so much to see, do, and taste, Te Anau is a great place to experience, and there are several options for exciting activities and tours in or near the area to help you make the most of your time here.
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Meet your informative guide at the tour office to begin your 2.5-hour tour of the Te Anau glowworm caves. Start with a scenic cruise across Lake Te Anau before continuing underground to the cave system, located on the lake's western shore. Upon arrival at the Cavern House, listen to an interesting talk about the life cycle of the glowworm as well as the history of the caves. Your guide leads you on an exploration of the caves by footpath and small punt (a flat-bottomed boat propelled with a pole) along the rushing underground river. Observe water-sculpted rock formations and drift into the glowworm grotto to marvel at the mysterious sight of thousands of tiny glowworms. Learn what feats of nature create the incandescence in the silent darkness. Afterward, you're returned by boat across the lake to Te Anau.
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This one-day Milford Track guided walk is a great option if you don't have time to hike the entire route - a New Zealand Great Walk that usually requires four days to complete. Your 4.5-hour walk covers a 5- to 6-mile (9- to 11-km) section at the beginning of the tramping route in UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. Meet your nature guide in central Te Anau for a brief coach drive to Te Anau Downs, located on the edge of Lake Te Anau, where you'll board a catamaran to the trailhead of the Milford Track. From here, walk at a leisurely, unhurried pace through grassy flats; there is a gentle gradient, but no big hills to climb. You'll cross a swing bridge over the Clinton River, then continue on through ancient beech forest to the Clinton Hikers Hut. Enjoy a provided picnic lunch and hot drinks served at the hut beside a mountain stream. Throughout the 4.5-hour walk, your guide illuminates the area's birdlife and other natural features, and ensures plenty of time for you to relax and take photos of the magnificent alpine landscape. Upon completion of your Milford Track walk, you'll return by catamaran and coach to Te Anau.
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Board your luxury coach upon hotel pickup in Te Anau to Milford Sound. Your driver-guide provides interesting commentary on the sights during the scenic drive along Milford Road in the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. Enjoy rest breaks and brief walks with plenty of photo ops during the journey. Your Milford Sound overnight cruise begins aboard the Milford Mariner cruise vessel, which travels the full length of the fiord to the Tasman Sea. Meet your nature guide on board and check out key natural landmarks such as postcard-perfect Mitre Peak, a snow-capped pinnacle that reaches up 5,551 feet from the glass-like water. Throughout the Milford Sound cruise, you'll pass by waterfalls, rainforest-clad mountains and marine life such as bottlenose dolphins, New Zealand fur seals and the rare Fiordland penguin. Upon reaching the open sea, your captain hoists the sails, subject to favorable weather conditions. The vessel returns to and anchors overnight in sheltered Harrison Cove. Here, enjoy a level of activity or leisure that suits your interests. With a guide on hand, take the tender craft or a kayak to explore the shoreline, or just relax in the observation lounge or the large, open deck. After the day's events, indulge in a 3-course buffet in the spacious dining saloon before retiring to your private ensuite cabin. Beverages are sold at the licensed bar on board. Following a hearty cooked breakfast the next morning, enjoy more cruising before the Milford Mariner returns to the Milford Sound Wharf, and return to your Te Anau hotel by coach.
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Your day will begin with a free hotel pickup. You will then be taken away on the experience of a lifetime. Begin with a morning on the mighty Waiau River. Try your hand at fishing for Rainbow or Brown trout and soak up the thrill of jet boating alongside Fiordland National Park. Next up, soar high above breathtaking lakes and mountains on a scenic helicopter flight, enjoying a special landing in a remote alpine location. After being dropped at Luxmore Hut, perched high on Mount Luxmore, a delicious picnic lunch ensues. Lace up your walking shoes for an afternoon of hiking. This three-hour guided nature walk follows a portion of the famous Kepler Track. Limestone bluffs, incredible views, and lush forest sections make this walk truly unforgettable. Once you have made your way down to Brod Bay, journey back to Te Anau via water taxi. Once you've had your fill of the adventure you will be taken back to your hotel.
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