Te Anau - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Te Anau

Te Anau

Set on the fringes of the Fjordland's celebrated wilderness is the attractive holiday resort town of Te Anau. The town rests on the shores of the beautiful lake of the same name with spectacular views of mountain peaks all around. It is the hub of the region and an excellent base from which to explore the Fjordland area. Te Anau has achieved the reputation of being the 'Sightseeing and Walking Capital of the World' having easy access to some of the most splendid Great Walks and scenery.

Te Anau is also in close proximity to the fjords of Doubtful Sound, the deepest and most stunning, and Milford Sound, the most famous and more easily accessible. Lake Te Anau is the second largest in New Zealand and holiday visitors are attracted by the wide variety of water sports available. The town also has a wonderful resource centre with information on tramping and other excursions, as well as offering aerial sightseeing or organising trips to the main attractions in the area. The beautiful Lake Manapouri, dotted with 35 pretty islands, is just nine miles (14km) away.

Information & Facts

The official languages in New Zealand are English and Maori.

Local currency is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD), divided into 100 cents. Most businesses accept MasterCard and Visa, and while Diners Club and American Express are also widely accepted in the main tourist centres, they might have limited acceptance elsewhere. Travellers cheques and foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some hotels. ATMs can be found in all towns and cities.

The 14-mile (22km) long fjord of Milford Sound is the most famous attraction in the Fjordland National Park. Hemmed in by towering granite cliffs and dominated by Mitre Peak, the calm deep waters reflect ice-covered mountain tops, waterfalls plummet from the cliff tops to the water below and Bottlenose dolphins play in the foaming wakes of the boats. Its grandeur was carved out during the ice ages and a close up or aerial view of the awesome scenery is a must. A variety of boat cruises or popular kayaking trips are offered and these provide opportunities to see the fur seals, crested penguins and dolphins that inhabit the sound, while scenic flights give a unique perspective on the area.

The road to Milford Sound is one of the finest alpine drives in the world with many points of interest along the way and view points to admire the sheer scale of the dramatic landscape. Travelling towards the Sound, the road approaches a seemingly impenetrable wall of rock, and the tiny entrance of Homer Tunnel, unlit and roughly hewn out of the cliff face, suddenly appears as the way through, emerging again at the top of the stunning Cleddau Canyon before dropping into the valley below. Milford is synonymous with rain, and although the mountaintops might not be visible through the clouds, the streams of water and waterfalls coursing down the sheer rocky cliffs is a magnificent sight not otherwise seen in dry weather. Tiny biting sandflies are the menace of the Fjordlands, although optimists say the rain tends to keep them away. Whether raining or fine it is impossible to ignore the powerful sense of beauty and grandeur that the landscape evokes.

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