5 Green Spaces in Te Anau & Fiordland You Have to See Today!

September 28, 2021

5 Green Spaces in Te Anau & Fiordland You Have to See Today!

October is just around the corner and spring is well and truly here; there’s spring in the air, a spring in our step, and the flower heads are springing to life in the Te Anau gardens and Fiordland National Park.

After a few uncertain and rather stressful months in and out of Alert levels across New Zealand, wandering through calming green spaces and watching native birds flit through native plant life is just what the doctor ordered. We’ve rounded up the top 5 green spaces in Te Anau & Fiordland for you to take in on your next holiday, or revisit as a local!

1. The Radfords on the Lake gardens

We’re proud to be consistently ranked a top Te Anau accommodation. Guests appreciate our clean (and now Covid Clean!) studio apartments or 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom suites with views of tranquil Lake Te Anau.

But surprisingly, there are two aspects of Radfords of the Lake that guests most typically remark on as they check out: their sightings of Dexter Dude the Cat in their motel apartment, or the extensive gardens.

Kerri’s Mum, Phyllis, isn’t a green thumb – she’s green from head to toe! Our Rhododedrons, camelias, roses, daphnes, lavenders and lots of pre annuals and annuals are tenderly cared for and immaculately presented by Phyllis year round.

We also take caring for the wider environment very seriously as well. We believe in treating Aotearoa respectfully and being guardians of its land. That love and care is apparent in our green space around the motel accommodations, but it also drives the choice of tourism operators we partner with, or the outdoor activities we encourage our guests to try while here. Like biking along the lake front as opposed to driving to each destination, or visiting the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.

So even if you’re not booked to stay at Radfords on the Lake, we’re proud to say that our gardens are worth driving by for a peek!

2. The famous Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary

The expansive views from the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary. Credit: https://southlandnz.com/

Speaking of the Sanctuary, definitely pop it onto your list of rather therapeutic green spaces to explore in Te Anau. It’s a 2 minute drive away from Radfords on the Lake, but better yet, finish your morning coffee in our gardens and take the 25 minute stroll there for extra relaxation.

Nestled on the banks of Lake Te Anau, Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary is a safe haven for cheeky takahē, kakā parrot, the unusual Antipodes Island parakeet and the ruru koukou owls, amongst many others.

But aside from the protected and beloved birdlife, you’ll also soak in the scenery, thanks to a short stroll from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre. Native trees, bush and grasses fill the Sanctuary and make for a cozy home for the birds.

3. Fiordland National Park, of course!

Just a taste of the views from the Kepler Track Control Gates, start of the Great Walks Kepler Track! Credit: https://www.freewalks.nz/

If you do decide to drive to the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary for some bird watching and outdoor time instead of walking from Radfords, you might as well explore more of the Fiordland National Park while you’re at it!

Fiordland is famous for its Great Walks tracks. But it’s also a fabulous region for shorter day walks. No matter your physical abilities, there is a stunningly beautiful walk for all in our beloved Park! Our recommendation is to extend your trek from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre to the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary by heading to the Kepler Track Control Gates. Watch the Manapouri and Te Anau Lake water flow at this section of the hydroelectric power station, see postcard-worthy mountain and lake views and vast stretches of this gorgeous native land.

All up, it’s about a 50-60 minute walk from the Visitor Centre to the Gates and back to your car for stop number four: Ivon Wilson Park!

4. Ivon Wilson Park – 35 hectares of greenery!

Lake mirroring sky during a moment of calm at Ivon Wilson Park. Credit: https://www.fiordland.org.nz/

Another must-do outdoor spot for roaming gardens and green space is Ivon Wilson Park. It’s about a 1km walk from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre if you’d rather keep the leg-stretch going, or you can quickly bop over in your car or by bike from Radfords on the Lake.

Ivon Wilson is a myriad of exotic and native trees to immerse yourself in for a quiet, reflective moment. Its 35-hectares of beauty is also home to expansive playgrounds for the kiddos, off-leash fun for the doggos, and a bop round on the mountain bike for those feeling even more energetic!

5. ANZAC Reserve City Park in Te Anau

Some of the well-kept garden beds and memorial at ANZAC Park.

For a more manicured and deliberate aesthetic (Phyllis’s fave!), pop into ANZAC Reserve City Park before the end of your mini-break in Te Anau. It’s right on the lakefront and an easy 4-minute wander from us here at Radfords.

There are some fun sculptures for the kids, like a large and curious takahē, but also some beautiful memorials in honour of our soldiers of wars past. Enjoy a picnic here if you have time, surrounded by well-tended hedges and flowerbeds, and read the various plaques about our local history and landscape.

If you appreciate the gardening skills of others, or simply appreciate some quiet time for the soul in a green, natural space, then pick Te Anau and Fiordland for your next holiday!

  • "Beautiful hotel, warm and welcoming. We had a 2 bedroom spa bath unit which was lovely. Decorated luxuriously with special touches, and so clean. Kerri, the manager is so lovely, let us feed her gorgeous cat Dexter as we were missing ours. Guest laundry available, free parking and situated right across the road from the lake and a short walk to town. Can’t wait to return, thank you for a lovely stay."
    TraceJase – August 2021 – Gold Coast, Australia  Read Reviews
  • "We stayed for two nights and have no complaints, staff were very helpful and their location puts you very close to the main street and local places to eat. The room was good and on par with many places we have stayed in both in OZ and Europe and in some aspects, better. I certainly recommend them as a nice place to rest and relax during your exploration of this beautiful country."
    Jason T – August 2021 – Adelaide, Australia  Read Reviews
  • "We fully underestimated Te Anau, I wish we could have stayed longer. Absolutely wonderful place to stay, lovely helpful people, and beautiful comfortable rooms. Thank you for your wonderful hospitality!"
    Lorraine – August 2021 – New Plymouth, New Zealand  Read Reviews
  • "Really enjoyed our time at Radfords, clean comfortable room with a great view. Knowledgeable staff and well located. Well located to walk to the Real Journeys centre to catch our cruise to Doubtful Sounds. Would definitely stay again."
    Alex P – July 2021 – Gladesville, Australia  Read Reviews

Our Environmental Promise

We are committed to preserving our beautiful surroundings and reducing our footprint on the environment.



We were recently visited by travel blogger @findingalexx. A connoisseur of all-things NZ tourism, Alexx has compiled a list of top places to stay across the country, and thanks to her enjoyable stay with Radfords, we’ve made the list! 
Hear what Alexx had to say about her time with us - link in our bio
Finalist…. With the MC
We love all of our guests, and sharing their joy as they discover the pure, pristine beauty of Fiordland. So we’re more than pleased to share some rather exciting news: we have been named a Finalist in the Qualmark 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Awards! 

No matter what the end results may be, we are so honoured to be amongst such a fantastic list of finalists and to be recognised for our efforts.

Why, meow, two-legged pals. 

 I’m Dexter Dude, and this is my second attempt at a short news update on Te Anau from my particular purry perspective. Because despite my small stature, and my priority being snoozing in a patch of sun most of the time, I’m actually surprisingly up-to-speed with the goings on around here.

On Saturday July 10th it sounds like the Kepler Track is going to be bustling. There’s a family-friendly Matariki Night Time Nature Walk to discover the forest after dark, and spot some of the delicious interesting creatures that live there. Registrations are required, so get in quick https://www.doc.govt.nz/news/events/regional-events/fiordland-events/booking-form-fiordland/

That’s all from me for the month. Catch you next time! 
🐾 all my fluffy love, Dexter.

Winter is officially here! And the beautiful stillness of Lake Te Anau is second to none at this time of the year. In fact, the whole Fiordland region is stunning this season; things are a little bit quieter outside of the peak spring and summer Great Walks and general exploration period, meaning you can take a moment to catch your breath and soak in the scenery. 
We’d love to host you here at Radfords on the Lake for a midwinter break. Time it with the school holidays next month to treat the kiddos to a calm, crisp Doubtful or Milford Sound experience. Or take the time to yourself – as a couple or alone – to tick this trip off your Kiwi adventure bucket list. 

📸 Great South
Reading through Trip Advisor reviews and I thought this lovely review sums up Kerri and her team perfectly...
Kerri, Steve and their team absolutely love sharing their local knowledge and making sure you get the most from your time in Fiordland. 

💫 Warm friendly Southern Hospitality
🏔 Beautiful views of Lake Te Anau, surrounding mountains and manicured gardens
🛏 Cosy and comfortable apartments 

Pappi’s scones for morning tea - our favourite!! 
Follow @whats_for_smoko for this recipe and many more

Autumn 🍂 

Our favourite season here in Te Anau, the weather is calm and still followed with warm sunny afternoons.

This tree was saved when the section was cleared by Sandra & Merv Radford in preparation for building the complex back in 2000, we always look forward to the beautiful colours it changes to in Autumn.

📸 @thejoshshaw