Local Attractions

Local Attractions

Things to see and do in Te Anau

Shakespeare House B&B is conveniently located just two minutes to Lake Te Anau and a short walk to Te Anau’s town centre. There’s so much to see and do in Fiordland National Park and Shakespeare House B&B is a great base to get out and explore all that the area has to offer. Whether you're staying here for work, an action packed holiday or a relaxing weekend getaway, your hosts, Nathan and Liz, are happy to chat about what you might like to do in Te Anau, Queenstown, Arrowtown, and surrounds, and can help book any tours or activities for you. See our accommodation options.

Te Anau

Shakespeare House B&B Te Anau
Shakespeare House B&B Te Anau

There’s so much to see and do in Te Anau, and Shakespeare House B&B is a great location to base your stay. Here are some ideas for things that you might want to consider doing while you’re here in our beautiful backyard, Te Anau. Welcome to Te Anau - the gateway to Fiordland National Park. Shakespeare House B&B is just a two-minute walk to the lakefront and an easy 10-minute walk to the centre of town. Enjoy fantastic restaurants, bars, cafes, and lots of great tourist activities in this unique part of New Zealand.

Mountain bike Te Anau

Mountain Bike Te Anau Lake 2 Lake Track
Mountain Bike Te Anau Lake 2 Lake Track

Mountain biking in Te Anau is a great way to explore the beautiful area at your pace and at a low price. There’s lots of tracks to choose from and the Lake 2 Lake Track is a 41km loop that is ideal for all levels of rider.

Lake to Lake Cycle Trail

Lake to Lake Cycle Trail
Lake to Lake Cycle Trail

One of the top biking day tours in New Zealand. Check out Fiordland National Park by bike. Take a relaxing ride from the edge of Lake Te Anau, along the banks of the Waiau River to stunning Lake Manapouri. You can then get transport back to Te Anau or ride both ways. It’s 32kms each way, with the option of E-bikes. The Church in Manapouri is a great spot for lunch.

Visit the Glow-worm Caves in Te Anau

Glow-worms NZ
Glow-worms NZ

The glow-worm caves in Te Anau offer a magical experience that you will never forget. Travel deep inside the caves via boat, while you stare up in amazement at all the glow-worms above you on the cave ceiling. The trip takes 2hrs 15 mins and leaves from Te Anau all year round.

The Redcliff Café Te Anau

The Redcliff Café Te Anau
The Redcliff Café Te Anau

The Redcliff Café, Bar and Restaurant is just a short 10-minute walk from Shakespeare House B&B. They have some great musicians in the evenings. They’ve got some interesting dishes that you might like to try like venison, wild rabbit, hare and more (depending on the time of year). For seafood fans there’s things like octopus, Stewart Island salmon, and scallops on the menu.

Trips & Tramps, 3 great walks experience

This is our ultimate hiking package, where you walk through some of New Zealand’s most awe-inspiring and diverse landscapes. With Te Anau as base each evening, the package offers three days of fully guided Great Walk experiences on the best parts of the Milford, Routeburn and Kepler Tracks

Jet boating with Fiordland Jet

Fiordland Jet Te Anau
Fiordland Jet Te Anau

Fiordland Jet offer a great range of jet boat rides in and around Te Anau. They offer the only ride of its kind along Waiau River to Lake Manapouri. The Waiau River is actually world famous in New Zealand from Lord of the Rings (it’s the Anduin River). They’ve also got something for the thrill seeker in all of us too with the Beach to Bay jet boat ride. Fjet have got lots of options, chat to your hosts Nathan and Liz about recommendations and special deals. 

Fiordland Historic Cruises

Fiordland Historic Cruises on Faith
Fiordland Historic Cruises on Faith

Book a sailing cruise across Lake Te Anau and into the South Fiord on Faith, a wooden motor-sailer, built in 1935 in Scotland. This historic vessel served in WW2, has hosted Sir Winston Churchill, sailed all over the world, and now calls Lake Te Anau and Fiordland National Park her home. There’s no better way to experience the tranquillity of this famous World Heritage Area while treated to drinks and canapes.

Doubtful Sound

Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound

Doubtful Sound is great for spotting fur seals, penguins (including the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin), beautiful bottlenose dolphins and sometimes whales. It’s a great spot for kayaking and has some great day walks. Doubtful Sound is the deepest Fiord in Fiordland National Park. It’s a bit more remote than some other Fiords so it’s a bit quieter.

Helicopter over Dusky and Doubtful Sound

Helicopter over Dusky and Doubtful Sound
Helicopter over Dusky and Doubtful Sound

Southern Lakes Helicopters with Sir Richard ‘Hannibal’ and Lady Carol Hayes offers a great flying experience to Dusky and Doubtful Sound. You get to land on Mt Pender in Dusky Sound, fly over Campbell’s Kingdom (a unique hanging valley in Doubtful Sound) and land on Mt Kidd. This is a jaw dropping, once in a lifetime experience into New Zealand’s untouched wilderness, where humans have barely stepped foot. If you’re pausing at the price, just read the reviews on Tripadvisor and check out the photos. Wow.

Fly over Dusky or Doubtful Sound

Fly over Dusky or Doubtful Sound
Fly over Dusky or Doubtful Sound

Have you considered flying to Dusky or Doubtful Sounds by Sea plane? Wings & Water offer a great Fiord combo. They also do a flight over just Doubtful Sounds. For some breath-taking views and an experience, you’ll remember for a lifetime, take a flight over Dusky or Doubtful Sound.

Queenstown

Queenstown
Queenstown

Queenstown would have to be the thrill-seeking capital of the world. It’s where AJ Hackett first brought bungy jumping to the world. There’s everything for a thrill seeker or nature lover to do. There’s also great eateries and a happening night life. The sheer scenery in Queenstown is enough to make it an international destination.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Cadrona Ski Area
Cadrona Ski Area

Probably what Queenstown is best known for – an amazing skiing and snowboarding scene. The season runs from June to October with something for everyone. Choose from four ski areas, with the closest just a 20-minute drive from Queenstown’s town centre. Flights in and out of Queenstown are reasonably priced, and it’s just a few hours’ drive from Te Anau. Our advice is book a few days extra and head over to Te Anau to check out Fiordland National Park, we promise you won’t be disappointed. It makes a great escape from a few days on the slopes.

Around the Mountains Cycle Trail

Around the Mountains Cycle Trail
Around the Mountains Cycle Trail

The Around the Mountains Cycle Trail is set in the remote wilderness of southern New Zealand. Starting at Kingston or Walter Peak, it takes three to five days at a relaxed pace to complete. It’s one of NZ’s 22 Great Rides. 

The Around the Mountains Cycle Trail is classed as a Grade 2-3 ride, with conditions suitable for novices and families. You can take a break at Centre Hill and come check out all that Te Anau has to offer. 

Walter Peak Farm and the TSS Earnslaw

Queenstown TSS Earnslaw
Queenstown TSS Earnslaw

Walter Peak farm tour and the TSS Earnslaw lake cruise. This is a farm tour like no other. Travel there by steamship on the vintage TSS Earnslaw, an iconic boat on Queenstown lake. See farming demonstrations and have freshly baked morning and afternoon tea. A classic kiwi farm experience. Trip takes 3 hours 30 mins.

Fergburger

Fergburger
Fergburger

No tourist guide to Queenstown would be complete without mentioning Fergburger. For delicious burgers made from fresh and local quality ingredients, go to Fergburger. Try to skip the lines by going at off-peak times (otherwise it can be a long wait) but hey, it’s been labelled ‘the best burger in the world’ so well worth the wait. There’s also Fergbaker next door that does good coffee and baked goods, often without the wait.

Skyline Gondola Queenstown

Queenstown Gondola
Queenstown Gondola

A classic tourist activity, the Skyline Gondola gives amazing views across Queenstown. For big-kids-at-heart there’s also the luge where you can race your friends and family to the bottom. You can also take your mountain bike up and take one of the many trails down. There are a few restaurants at the top and a stargazing nighttime option. For thrill-seekers, you can book other options like bungy, paragliding, and helicopter rides.

Arrowtown

Arrowtown historic town
Arrowtown historic town

Arrowtown is a small historic town, just 22 minutes from Queenstown. A picturesque town at any time of year, Autumn is particularly spectacular, with an amazing array of colour. It's a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River and well worth a visit.

Walks Around Arrowtown

Lake Hayes
Lake Hayes

For the walking enthusiast there’s lots of trails around Arrowtown that we highly recommend. In just 30 minutes you can find yourself looking down on Arrowtown and the Wakatipu Basin on Tobins Track. The Millennium walk is an easy track that is also shared with cyclists.  It’s another area you might recognise from The Lord of the Rings. The Lake Hayes walkway is another track shared with cyclists that is stunning. Take an easy walk or ride surrounded by spectacular mountains and lakefront.

Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier

Franz Josef
Franz Josef

Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier are close by each other on New Zealand’s West Coast, to the West of Aoraki or Mount Cook. The scenery and landscape in the area is so breath-taking that you won’t need any filters on your camera. The area is full of amazing geology, rare flora and fauna, astonishing history and more. There’s a wide range of walks in the surrounding national park; Westland Tai Poutini and you can book things like helicopter rides up the glaciers and guided walks on the ice itself.

Hump Ridge Track

The Hump Ridge Track
The Hump Ridge Track

The Hump Ridge Track is a lesser known track, South of Te Anau, that is truly spectacular. It offers multi-share accommodation and is incredibly well maintained with boardwalks and good facilities. There’s a few options with the walk and it’s just over an hour’s drive from Te Anau. If you’re doing one of the Great Walks or looking for something a little shorter, this might be the one for you.  A moderate to high level of fitness is needed for this track, and it pays to plan ahead.

The Catlins

Cathedral Caves Catlins
Cathedral Caves Catlins

If you are travelling from Te Anau to Dunedin, we highly recommend taking a little bit longer and travelling to the Catlins. The Catlins is an area situated just a little off the beaten track between Invercargill and Dunedin. A highlight of the Southern Scenic Route, you can visit the Cathedral Caves (tide dependent), the petrified forest at Curio Bay/ Porpoise bay, waterfalls and stunning coastlines. Visit the lighthouse at Nugget Point and spot unique New Zealand wildlife including Hector’s dolphins, the yellow-eyed penguins/ hoiho (with recent population decline is probably the rarest penguin in the world), fur seals and sea lions. Slope Point, at the edge of the Catlins, is the Southernmost point of New Zealand.

Dunedin

Dunedin University Clocktower
Dunedin University Clocktower

You might be stopping by Dunedin on your way to or from Te Anau. Dunedin is a UNESCO world heritage city of literature with a rich history, beautiful old buildings, great beer, a student atmosphere and unique wildlife.

Otago Peninsula

Otago Peninsula Yellow-eyed penguins
Otago Peninsula Yellow-eyed penguins

If you’re a nature lover or into wildlife, Otago Peninsula is a must do. Spot sea lions, fur seals, yellow eyed penguins and visit the Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head. The Royal Albatross Centre is ideal for spotting the worlds only mainland Royal Albatross breeding colony. For something really cool, take a boat trip around Taiaroa head with Dunedin Monarch Wildlife Cruises.

Larnach Castle & Gardens

Larnach Castle Dunedin
Larnach Castle Dunedin

Larnach Castle is a spot you probably won’t want to miss on Otago Peninsula. It’s a beautiful old castle, with well maintained gardens. Stop in and have a coffee or high tea (3pm most days). Larnach Castle is now a popular tourist spot, but also used for weddings, balls, conferences and more.

Dunedin Railway Station

Dunedin Railway Station
Dunedin Railway Station

Another beautiful old building, with plenty of history is Dunedin Railway Station. If you go on a Saturday morning, you’ll also get to experience the Farmers Market (runs from 9am-12pm) full of delicious local produce. Try Havoc Bacon, we promise you won’t be disappointed. The train station is probably one of the most photographed spots in Dunedin, so take your camera. It’s also a great opportunity to take a scenic train ride.

Dunedin Botanic Gardens and Butterflies at the Otago Museum

Dunedin Botanic Gardens
Dunedin Botanic Gardens

Dunedin really shows the seasons, with Autumn, Spring and rhododendron season creating magical displays at Dunedin Botanic Gardens. Whether it’s fields of daffodils, a canopy of rhododendron flowers above your head, cherry trees in bloom or orange leaves, the Botanic Gardens is always spectacular. The Gardens also have a glasshouse and café when the weather isn’t the best, and if it’s really bad, consider visiting the Butterflies at Otago Museum instead. An indoor enclosure with tropical rainforest (waterfall included). Best times to go are 11am weekdays for a demonstration and first flight.

Home of World-class Beer - Speights and Emerson's

Speights Beer Dunedin
Speights Beer Dunedin

There’s two breweries in Dunedin that now operate tours. Speights is a beer with a long history in Dunedin, while Emerson’s has become an incredibly popular beer over the past few years that has become an established name. Both offer tours and tastings, and if you don’t want to do a tour, both have restaurants with classic Southern fare. We recommend Emerson’s Bird Dog IPA.