Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Te Anau and the drive to Milford

January 2011

We started the long drive to Te Anau from Christchurch very early on New Years Day, it was a great time to be on the road.

We stopped at The Church of Good Shepard at Lake Tekepo, one of my favourite places to stop, about 2.5 hours out of Christchurch.

We drove along a bit further and were greatly surprised to see Mount Cook in clear view! (I would find out on our drive back that this was in fact not a common site).

We continued our drive through Omarama, Cormwell and Kingston, stopping at Garston for a late lunch (which was a great find, with yummy burgers and pies).

We arrived tin Te Anau, the gateway to the Fiorlands about 9 hours after leaving Christchurch, not bad considering.

So what's there to do, eat and see in Te Anau?

We'll most people use it as a base to do some amazing walks and see the beautiful sounds in the area, but in summary of what we did, ate and saw.

Stay: The Te Anau YHA, in a double room with en suite. Nothing to write home about, but cheep, clean and had a great kitchen.

Fat Duck - great good hear, we had the duck special and the fish of the day (monkfish) and thought it was a great meal

Naturally Fiorlands Pizza - give this place a miss. The food is average, the service poor and it took a long time to get our food.
Miles Better Pies - great coffee and pies. We had a breakfast and a lunch here. At lunch the line was long but it was quick and efficient. make sure you try the venison pie.
Moose Bar and Restaurant - we didn't eat here, but it was a good place to get a drink overlooking the lake.

Like I've said Te Anau is a common base for the many walks in the area, including the famous Milford track. It also acted as a base for us for Milford and Doubtful sounds. But we also had opportunity to check out the Te Anau Wildlife Centre, where they rehabilitate the many native New Zealand birds. It was great to see the wood pigeon, cheeky kea and the rare Takahe (which was feeding at the time).

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