When to Go
The weather in Fiordland is never that miserable that there’s no point going to Fiordland. Fiordland is an amazing place whatever the weather, in fact winter days are often clearer and finer, and the least rain falls during this period. However, Te Anau is busier during the summer months (especially around Christmas) when the population of Te Anau can swell to around 10,000. It is best to book ahead if you plan to visit Te Anau or Fiordland during this time.
You can fly to Te Anau with Air New Zealand Link, Ansett, Air Fiordland and Waterwings Airways. Aircraft range in size from Boeing 737’s, which service Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin and the new ATR 72’s which service Invercargill and Te Anau.
Alternatively, consider the option of flying to Invercargill airport on a domestic airline and then driving north to Te Anau. Invercargill airport is serviced more regularly than local airports in Fiordland.
Domestic Airlines servicing Invercargill Airport:
- Air New Zealand
- Ansett Air
Fiordland also has a number of businesses that offer scenic flights over Fiordland and the Te Anau area and offer transport for hunters and trampers.
Airport Locations in Fiordland:
Manapouri Airport (17 kilometres from Te Anau)
Te Anau Airstrip (3 kilometres from Te Anau)
Access to Te Anau - the main centre of Fiordland - can be reached by an easy drive on good roads from any of the major cities of the South Island.
Road conditions are excellent, with all major routes being sealed and well signed. Petrol stations are easy to find, usually on the outskirts of small towns and towards the centre of most towns and cities.
When coming to Fiordland, look for the Visitor Information Network ’i’s when needing information about the area you are traveling through. Failing that most dairy’s (shops selling food and snacks), convenience stores and petrol stations are happy to help a traveler find their way!
There are daily bus services from all of the major centres of the South Island connecting with Te Anau.
Christchurch - Dunedin - Te Anau: Intercity
Christchurch - Queenstown: Atomic Shuttle
Queenstown - Te Anau: Topline Tours (Door to Door)
Invercargill - Te Anau: Spitfire Shuttle (Door to Door Passenger Service) (departs Invercargill 1.00pm) via Riverton, Tuatapere, Manapouri. Connects with: Lake Hauroko Tours (Dusky Track, Hump Track)
Routes to Fiordland
There are two main routes to Te Anau (the main centre of Fiordland):
Traveling west from Queenstown and Dunedin
North from Invercargill through central Southland
Distances and traveling times from each of the main cities are given in the table below. Take your own time and drive here by car or, relax on a bus tour.
Distances and Times Km Time
Te Anau to Milford Sound 120 2 hours 30 minutes
Queenstown to Te Anau 170 2 hours 45 minutes
Dunedin to Te Anau 290 4 hours 15 minutes
Invercargill to Te Anau 159 2 hours
Dunedin to Queenstown 285 4 hours 15 minutes
Te Anau to Christchurch 650 7 hours 30 minutes
Franz Josef to Te Anau 560 7 hours
Wanaka to Te Anau 270 4 hours
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