Ringed by snowcapped peaks, the gateway town to Fiordland, TE ANAU (pronounced Teh AHN-ow), stretches along the shores of its eponymous lake, one of New Zealand’s grandest and deepest. To the west, the lake’s watery fingers claw deep into bush-cloaked mountains so remote that their most celebrated inhabitant, the takahe, was thought extinct for half a century. Civilization of sorts can be found on the lake’s eastern side, home to a population of under 2000.

The main way-station on the route to Milford Sound, Te Anau is an ideal base and recuperation spot for the numerous tramps, including several of the most famous and worthwhile in the country. Top of most people’s list is the Milford Track, which starts at the head of the lake, while the Kepler Track starts closer to town.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

New Zealand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Quiz: where should you go for an adventure in New Zealand?

Quiz: where should you go for an adventure in New Zealand?

With spectacular mountains, incredible lakes and sprawling national parks, New Zealand makes for the adventure of a lifetime. The locals call it “Godzone” (…

15 Dec 2017 • Aimee White help Quiz
Everything you need to know about backpacking New Zealand

Everything you need to know about backpacking New Zealand

New Zealand’s craggy coastline and beautiful national parks beg to be explored. The scenery gets more spectacular around every corner, with beaches, vineyards…

21 Nov 2017 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right