Wednesday, 26 October 2011

NZ: Te Anau

Te Anau sits on Lake Te Anau, the largest lake on the South Island.  Surrounded by mountains, it is the gateway to Fiordland National Park.  We had planned an extra day here in case the weather didn't work out for a hike and also to allow us the option of taking an extra cruise - the one to Doubtful Sound, even more isolated than Milford Sound and possibly another "once in a lifetime" experience.  However, it involved an early start on a long bus ride and a long day on the boat.  After the very full experience the day before on the Key Summit hike and the Milford Sound cruise, we decided to take a break and spend the day relaxing in Te Anau instead.  We visited the local wildlife centre and took a side trip to nearby Manapouri.   You'll see below how beautiful Lake Manapouri is.  

Te Anau itself is a touristy little town with a population of less than 2,000.  We were surprised to walk into two shops both with Chinese owners.   Both ladies asked us the same question - did you like Canada?  Apparently both were offered the choice of emigrating to Canada or New Zealand from Hong Kong years ago.  There had always been a nagging question in their minds as to whether they had made the right decision. We assured them they had made the right choice - I'd emigrate to New Zealand if I were 10 years younger!  Clean air, fresh food - wonderful climate.  We were also pleasantly surprised to find two Chinese restaurants, both looking quite authentic.  We enjoyed an amazing ocean trout steamed the Chinese way - what a treat!  

Lake Te Anau

Mother goose sitting on her eggs

Some kind of waterfowl sitting on her nest

The incredibly tranquil Lake Manapouri

Our next stop was Queenstown from where we would embark on the last legs of our journey via bus and train.   Before we surrendered our car, we took a last drive out to Glenorchy, a 45 minute windy but scenic drive from Queenstown.  The view was spectacular!

Road to Glenorchy


A closer look

The lagoon 

Enjoying the view at Lake Wakatipu

Latte break in Glenorchy

Next post:  Queenstown, Lord of the Rings country

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