Let's face it, holidaying is expensive. Its great to be able to have a few cheap or free activities on the to-do list!
Now that I have a small family, those free and slightly cheaper activities have taken on a whole new meaning! Doing a paid tour every day gets expensive- fast! Why not take a bit of time in beautiful Te Anau, and do some fun, free activities?
Whether you are travelling with a tribe or on your own, there is something to fit everyone’s needs. Our stunning surroundings make a great spot for anyone wanting to explore or if you here to relax there is no more tranquil place than lake side as the sun sets over the lake.
Keen to get out and about?
There are so many nooks and crannies that are waiting to be explored. Follow the start of the Kepler track from Te Anau or the control gates and take in the majestic Fiordland National Park. You’ll only be walking a short time before you stumble into what feels like very prehistoric surroundings. If you’re more interested in seeing what’s on our side of the lake, follow the path past the boat harbor. It’s open and will treat you to some amazing views up Lake Te Anau the whole way. If you’ve bought your bikes along this can be a nice easy ride as well.
There is also the Department of Conservation (DOC) visitor center.
They are responsible for making sure NZ’s beautiful wilderness remains well looked after for generations to come. They look after our wildlife and native plant species, maintain public walking tracks and huts and have some fascinating displays in the visitor center located on the lake front. During school holidays they often have interactive displays so the kids can get involved. The friendly staff can also help if you have any burning questions regarding Fiordland National park. What they don’t know about Fiordland isn’t worth knowing.
The Bird Sanctuary and the Trout Observatory both require a gold coin donation that goes towards helping to look after native and non-native NZ species and maintaining an environment we can all go and see for ourselves. The bird sanctuary is home of one of Te Anau’s most famous birds, which is very close to extinction, the Takahe. You may notice the giant Takahe statue in the middle of town. You can go along to the Takahe feedings most mornings. The Trout observatory isn’t quite as grand but is interesting to watch the fish as they hang out in their natural habitat.
One thing I didn’t know for quite a while is that Te Anau has a frisbee golf course. I was introduced to frisbee golf when I was over seas and it was so much fun! Te Anau’s course is located in Ivon Wilson Park. The course is mostly flat with a few trees and makes for a lovely walk. For those of you who haven’t heard of frisbee golf, it involves throwing a special disk golf frisbee toward the “hole” which is a basket the disc needs to land in. There are different weighted frisbees for driving through to putting. Worth a try if you haven’t already! Frisbees can be hired for a small fee from Outdoor Sports in town.
If you don’t have the full day to head out to Milford Sound, why not take a leisurely drive up part of the Milford Road. The drive in itself is considered to be a big part of any tour into Milford. As you drive further up the road you will get an excellent view up Lake Te Anau. Stop at the look out near Te Anau Downs and take a look. Head to Mirror Lake, only 45minutes from Te Anau, and take in the beauty of the mountain’s reflection in the still water. If you have some extra time, definitely do either the Key Summit or Lake Marian walks, you wont regret it! Although you may need to spend a little on fuel, it’s a stunning drive that can’t be missed.
You will be surprised as you explore Te Anau and the surrounding areas. Your holiday can be enjoyed by appreciating a few free activities along the way.
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