Beyond the Great Walks: Discovering Fiordland

December 14, 2021

Beyond the Great Walks: Discovering Fiordland

Too often bypassed in pursuit of Milford Sound, those that choose to stop and stay a while in Te Anau end up discovering a charming holiday destination with much to offer. With plenty to see and do in the town itself, and as a base to explore the deeper Fiordland region, Te Anau is the perfect holiday getaway, whether you’re seeking your next nature, adventure, or relaxation fix! 

A paradise for nature lovers 

Te Anau has many green spaces to soak up the sun and take a well-deserved break after your Fiordland adventures! From when you first wake up at Radfords on the Lake, you’ll enjoy the beautifully-manicured garden that surrounds the property, with its colourful flowers and lush greenery. Be sure to take a stroll to the famous Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary to spot the cheeky takahē, kakā, Antipodes Island parakeet and ruru, amongst others. 

View of a blue lake with trees in the background

Lake mirroring sky during a moment of calm at Ivon Wilson Park. Credit:

A town with a fascinating past  

Take a moment to pause and explore the lakeside town nestled amongst the entrance to the World Heritage-listed Fiordland National Park. Experience how time slows down and how the natural and cultural history comes alive through its people and places. The geographical history of the area is well-worth diving into, from the natural processes that formed the South Island’s largest lake, to the 12,000-year-old subterranean caves that are home to thousands of tiny sparkling glowworms. 

View of the glowworm cave ceiling in Te Anau Glowworm Caves

The shining stars of Te Anau’s glowworm caves are a truly mesmerising wonder. Credit: Great South/RealNZ.

A home to brilliantly talented artists 

The stunning scenery and calm surroundings of Fiordland are a haven for the creative community. The lakes, mountains and forests inspire artists from near and far to create masterpieces across a variety of mediums. Discover the creativity hidden in the area at local art galleries, or participate in a workshop with an artists to truly immerse yourself into Fiordland’s art scene. 

Local artist Fiordland

Wanaka sculptor Steve Rumore’s ‘Ode to Wind’

An incredible lake to make a splash in 

Hop on a boat tour, go for a swim, or just enjoy a peaceful walk along the shores – Lake Te Anau is the perfect spot for water-based activities. Bring your own kayaks, paddleboards, and boats, or hire from the friendly local providers. If you want to dial up the action, the lake and its surrounding rivers are famous for fly-fishing, or jump into a helicopter and discover the beauty of the area from above!  

The Fiordland Historic Cruise Sailing Boat on Lake Te Anau and The Southern Secret Boat

With Radfords on the Lake situated perfectly in the heart of Te Anau, it’s the ideal base for all your Fiordland adventures. Te Anau is much more than just a stopover to fill up on snacks and drinks, instead take your time and add an extra night or two to your itinerary. We guarantee you’ll leave with unforgettable memories and special experiences that you’ll treasure long after you return home.  

  • "We had a wonderful stay at Radfords on the Lake, after we had some unexpected vehicle trouble. From the moment we arrived, we were warmly welcomed by Kerri, we had amazing service and nothing was a problem. Radfords is located directly across the road from the lake, with lovely views and a short walk to town and cafes/restaurants. We stayed in a two-bedroom unit which was immaculately clean and spacious, with modern furnishings. The beds were comfy with beautiful linen and we loved the little touches of bath salts and chocolates beside the beds. We would highly recommend staying here and can't wait to go back!"
    kathypc2016 – March 2022 – Geraldine, New Zealand  Read Reviews
  • "Top-rated stay at Radfords! This is by far the best place to stay in Te Anau from what I could see! The apartments are beautifully appointed with such attention to detail! They are all lake-facing and the out door areas are beautiful including an immaculate bbq area! The host was friendly and helpful!"
    ClareZ24 – January 2022 – Auckland, New Zealand  Read Reviews
  • "It was great to stay at Radford's Motel, it was clean, spacious, great views. Kerri was full of information and made sure we had the best time when in the Te Anau area. I would highly recommend people to visit this area and explore this awesome place."
    Cheeki Cherries – January 2022 – Cromwell, New Zealand  Read Reviews
  • "We had a wonderful stay at Radfords on the Lake. Kerri (the owner) couldn't have been more helpful (especially when we wanted to tweak arrangements). Lovely comfortable unit with everything we needed."
    Kath – February 2022 – London, United Kingdom  Read Reviews

Our Environmental Promise

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



Three generations working together ♥️ with the next generation not far away from learning the ropes! 

With Mother’s Day just around the corner it got me thinking how lucky I am to be surrounded by these amazing ladies. 

Left to right Shelley, Phyllis, Kerri. Katie was unfortunately unable to be here for the photos. 

We hope everyone has a wonderful Mother’s Day this Sunday 🌸 

📸 @mgphotonz

Relax and enjoy a much deserved getaway on us!

Wake up to majestic views and locally sourced in-room breakfast, experience some of Te Anau’s many unique activities and amazing restaurants on offer.

We are giving you the chance to win a 2 night stay @radfordsonthelake follow instructions below to go in the draw.


🌟Two nights accommodation for two people in our Premier Lakeview Studio

🌟 Locally sourced in-room continental breakfast each day

🌟 $100 restaurant voucher to dine at a Te Anau restaurant of your choice

🌟 Movie tickets to watch local film Ata Whenua 


👉 Follow @radfordsonthelake 

👉 Tag the person you would like to treat to a weekend away (each tag is an entry)

👉 Share to your story and tag us for an extra entry

Good luck 🤞 

T & C’s

Closes 4th April at 7pm and winner will be announced that week.
Prize must be redeemed before 30/09/22
Need a Valentines gift for your loved one? ♥️ 

Book a romantic getaway in Te Anau and soak up the scenery together!

Mention this post at time of booking to receive a complimentary gift on arrival.

Valid until 28/2/22

Golden hour 🌅 taken on dusk just before the sun disappeared 

📸 @graham_dainty 

We were stoked to be able to host these lovely ladies @brodiejeankane @jokane80 over the weekend while Brodie knocked the Luxmore Grunt off! Great to see all their stories out and about enjoying what Te Anau has to offer and we can’t wait to host them again to share more. 

Just like you, we love our stunning Fiordland environment 💚 Caring for our local wildlife is super important for us - did you know we’re proud supporters of the Antipodes Island Parakeet, also known as the Kākāriki?

Thanks to fantastic conservation efforts from our friends at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary (only a 20 minute walk from us), these special birds are being protected from extinction.
It’s that time of the year to vote for Bird of the Year for 2021 - so jump on with us and vote and if you can make a donation towards their great efforts.
Link in bio

📸 @nzbirdsonline
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

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