Manapouri Township is a 20 minutes drive from Te Anau. It is the gateway to both Doubtful and Dusky Sounds and the starting point for local walking tracks.
Manapouri is a popular destination during the summer months when visitors come to soak up the sunshine and enjoy Lake Manapouri’s crystal clear waters.
Manapouri, with a population of 400, is situated on the shores of it’s namesake, Lake Manapouri. It is a beautiful lake with many bush clad islands scattered throughout, framed by the spectacular Cathedral Mountains.
It is the gateway to such scenic wonders of Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound and the starting point for many walking tracks, hunting and fishing trips.
There are few more mysterious and lovely lakes than that of Lake Manapouri, which is often referred to as the ’loveliest’ of all of New Zealand’s (and especially Fiordland’s) very many lakes. Individuals have their own favourites but there can be no doubting of Lake Manapouri’s supreme and unique beauty, a beauty that only begins to be fully revealed and appreciated by taking a trip on the lake itself.
Brooding, tranquil, tempestuous, serene, glowering - these are all true of Lake Manapouri in one or more of its compelling moods. To drift quietly along in the North Arm, on a clear Fiordland day, is to experience sights and sounds of exquisite beauty.
A feature of the lake is the number of coves, bays and islands,set in astonishingly pure water.
Thirty five wooded islands dot the lake, and the shoreline extends for 157 km, with dense bush and interspaced with lovely beaches.
The name Manapouri is a corruption of manawapora ("sorrowing heart"), a Maori name that was applied to Lake South Mavora - situated East of Fiordland National Park - and mistakenly given to Manapouri by a European cartographer.
The ancient Maori name was Roto-ua (the rainy lake), but it later became Moturau, meaning many islands or as some would have it "lake of a hundred islands". This is an exaggeration but one with appeal.
Today, launches, boats, yachts and kayaks are regularly seen on all parts of the lake carrying both tourist and private parties on their various excursions and adventures.
Those who have come to know this extraordinary lake greatly value the seclusion and pristine atmosphere to be found in it’s many arms and bays.
Services and Facilities in Manapouri
Manapouri has a range of accommodation, including motor camps, motels, homestays and farmstays.
Grocery Store (open 7 days)
Petrol Station (open 7 days)
Bar and Bistro (open 7 days)
Bottle Store (open 7 days)
Swimming pool, library and public hall
From Pearl Harbour visitors depart for West Arm and Doubtful Sound by launch over Lake Manapouri, or walk some of the local tracks.
You can hire kayak’s and rowboats (from Fiordland Adventure Charters and Fish Fiordland) and paddle over the Waiau River or around Lake Manapouri. Access to some local walks are available by crossing the Waiau River.
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