Visitor Centre to Te Anau Bird Sanctuary

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It’s a short walk to the bird sanctuary from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre, head down towards the lake and turn left.

The walk takes you along the foreshore. From this walk, you will be staring out onto the second largest lake in New Zealand, second only to Lake Taupo on the North Island. The lake stretches and weaves its way through the Southern Alps. In the distance, you will see the Murchison Mountains. 

The path is shared with cyclists. However, if you’d like a leisurely walk to yourself, you also have the option of walking along the beach, which is much nicer. This means that you don’t have to walk along the road, but also allows you to take a seat and enjoy the water views. After the yacht club, you must rejoin the path. The walk becomes surrounded by lush greenery, all while still allowing views of the mountains and the lake. 

The Bird Sanctuary grounds offer a beautiful setting to take in the birds both in aviaries and the free-flying birds overhead. The Takahe’s enclosure is near the edge of the sanctuary, closest to the lakefront. This may be your only chance to see the Takahe bird that is native to New Zealand’s Fiordland.

Quick Facts about this walk

  • Location: Te Anau, South Island, New Zealand
  • Time needed: 15 minute walk
  • Distance: 0.5 km
  • Difficulty: Very easy
  • Bikes allowed: Yes
  • Route: One way
  • Elevation: None
  • Wet Feet: No
  • Toilets: Yes, at the visitor centre and at the bird sanctuary.
  • Dogs: Yes, on a leash.
  • Mobile Coverage: Yes, very good
  • Last Updated: May, 2020

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

Summary points about this walk

What sort of walking and hiking gear will you need

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

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