When planning a weekend getaway in New Zealand, I look for three essentials: an outdoor bath, an unbeatable view, and a location suited for adventure. The aptly named Getaway Te Anau checked all three boxes, and more.
A true hidden gem nestled just a couple of hours away from the great Milford Sound, Getaway Te Anau appeared on my Campermate app as a holiday park with fresh-water hot tubs, a sauna, and unlimited Wi-Fi. After a morning of scenic cruises and unforgettable walks around Milford, it sounded like just the place to catch up on my notifications (and my sleep) before heading to the next destination on my South Island bucket list.
However, instead of the typical holiday park I was expecting, Getaway Te Anau proved to be a destination in itself: a charming and romantic oasis just across from the lake’s edge. I couldn’t believe it; after hours searching Google and Airbnb for a cute (and affordable) stay worthy of a weekend getaway—to no avail—I had stumbled upon the perfect destination for the price of a powered campsite. We booked our night, and our private hot tub, immediately.
Now, if you’re a glamping aficionado such as myself, you know that an outdoor tub is the pinnacle of the getaway experience. There’s nothing quite like soaking under the sun or the stars, surrounded by nature. The fresh-water hot tubs at Getaway Te Anau were the answer to my glamping prayers (and only $30 for two of us for an hour).
When it was time for our booking, the park’s receptionist led us through a small gate and down a short, rocky pathway scattered with blossoming flowers. Behind a bamboo wall was our tub, surrounded by native plants and filled to the brim with hot water. Across from the tub were two doors, which could be opened to show unobstructed views to the lake across the street (or closed for added privacy). The receptionist gave us our towels, wine glasses, and water glasses and showed us where the drinking water tap was. We pulled out our bottle of Hawke’s Bay rosé, turned on the tunes, and settled in for an hour of R&R.
So, we had an outdoor tub. Check. We had a view. Check. We also had a location suited for adventure, being so close to Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, and nearby glow worm caves. Check. But Getaway Te Anau was not done yet. Enter, my personal favorite part of this weekend getaway: the sauna.
Shaped like a big wine barrel and surrounded by NZ bush, the Getaway sauna was, in one word, dreamy. It was down the same pathway as the hot tubs, but also sectioned off with bamboo walls. It featured an outdoor shower and chairs for cooling off, as well as two small booth seats inside for optimal relaxation. From these seats, you could look out the door at flowers and vines as you sweated all the negativity out of your body. To make it even more of a dream come true, this hour-long sauna session was included in our powered site booking.
While Getaway Te Anau offers deals for activities around the area, such as a trip to the beautiful Doubtful Sound, we decided to spend our time at the park relaxing and eating. With all of Te Anau’s restaurants and shops just a 5-minute walk away, we had no trouble in this department. My recommendations: a fried chicken bao from Bao Now, a spicy woodfired pizza from Ristorante Pizzeria Paradiso, and a steak pie from Miles Better Pies.
Since we ended up extending our time at Getaway to two nights, I also took advantage of the facilities. After taking a shower (with unlimited hot water) in the sparkling clean bathroom, making a french press coffee in the large kitchen, and sitting outside at one of the many benches scattered around the park, I hunkered down in the TV lounge to get some work done. Again, my expectations were exceeded with the stylish space, comfortable couches, and accessible outlets. I also added my name to the map on the wall, which features tags from guests who have visited from around the world.
Whether you’re on your way to or from Milford Sound, or just looking for a romantic, tourist-free weekend getaway in New Zealand, I would definitely recommend a stay at Getaway Te Anau. And while you’re there, look for Hannah (Digital Nomad Diaries) on the map!
-Hannah McKennett (Digital Nomad Diaries)Back to Itineraries Page