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3 Night Trip to Te Anau and Milford Sound

Te Anau, a picturesque town nestled on the shores of Lake Te Anau in New Zealand. It is the nearest town to the remote and dramatic Milford Sound which I believe is a must see place for visitors to NZ. We live about 3 hours from Te Anau so for us its a great place to go for a long weekend break and as a landscape artist its the perfect place to immerse myself in the scenery that offers so much inspiration! My 20 year old daughter and I had a fun and memorable 3 day trip there recently. Our adventure took us to some of the most breathtaking natural attractions in the area, including the iconic Milford Sound, the Lake Marion Walk, the Kepler Track, and the Glowworm Caves. 

Day 1: Majestic Milford Sound and Lake Marion Walk: Our first day began with an early morning departure to Milford Sound. It's a 2 hour trip so we wanted to enjoy the scenic drive and stop a few times to enjoy the mountain vistas. We arrived at Milford Sound in time for the 10am boat cruise with Real NZ. As we cruised through the majestic fiord all the way out to the Tasman Sea, towering peaks rose on either side, showcasing waterfalls cascading down sheer cliffs. We were lucky to be there on a fine day so could see the full view of the mountains. The breathtaking scenery left us in awe, a testament to the sheer beauty of New Zealand's landscapes.

Ava enjoying the Milford Sound Cruise

On the way back to Te Anau we stopped to do the hike to serene Lake Marion. Nestled within the Fiordland National Park, this quite challenging walk is reasonably steep and rocky but is in lush native forest alive with birdlife and viewing the stunning Lake Marion is well worth the hour and a half walk to get there. This really is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been!

When we got back to Te Anau we ordered Thai delivered to our accommodation which was so convenient after a long day of exploring.

Day 2: Kepler Track: We embarked on a day hike on the first part of the Kepler Track which starts about 5km from Te Anau. You can walk around the shore of Lake Te Anau to get to the track or you can take a water taxi across the Lake and start the walk at Brod Bay where the track begins to climb towards Luxmore Hut. We opted to drive to the carpark and follow the leisurely walk through the lush bush to Brod Bay. We had a rest on a the lake shore and then continued up the zig zagging track, soaking in the awe-inspiring vistas and immersing ourselves in the untamed beauty of the region. We thoroughly enjoyed this taste of the Kepler and definitely want to return to complete the 3-4 day track on our next trip to Fiordland.

We dined at Ditto restaurant which we would highly recommend for healthy, delicious fusion meals.

Kepler Track Te Anau

Day 3: Mystical Glowworm Caves: On our final day in Te Anau, we ventured into the mystical world of the Glowworm Caves. After a great breakfast at the Lakefront Cafe we embarked on a guided tour that took us a long way across Lake Te Anau in a cruise boat and then we walked deep underground, where thousands of tiny glowworms illuminated the darkness like a starry night sky. Its actually a really fun experience as we got to go in a tiny boat deep into the cave. We floated along the stream gently bumping into rocks in the creek where the only light came from these strange glowing creatures hanging from the roof of the cave. The sight was truly mesmerizing, as if we had entered a magical realm. 

Once we arrived back in Te Anau it was time to drive back home to Wanaka. We went home feeling so happy and grateful to be able to visit such an awe-inspiring place and to spend this special time together. Fiordland is one of the world's hidden gems and definitely worth adding to your New Zealand itinerary!


By Bridget Hall, artist from Wanaka, New Zealand. Many of my artworks depict beautiful places that you may see as you travel through NZ. They are available in a range of sizes and can be shipped free worldwide to your home address. 


Milford Sound Art Print by Bridget Hall

Milford Sound New Zealand Art Print

Te Anau New Zealand art print