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!

  • "From the easy parking to the super warm welcome from Kerri & the brilliant night's sleep - what's not to like at Radfords? Great location - 5 mins walk to the main street, 10-12 mins at most to the farthest restaurant - 2 mins to the seaplane, 5 mins to the heliport & 30 seconds to the lakeside - so well positioned. Rooms large, fast Wifi, did I say comfy bed? Large bathrooms & well-equipped kitchenettes & spotlessly clean rooms - each had a lovely spot to sit outside for an afternoon wine. Kerri is a hive of information about the local sights & eats - upon her recommendation, we ate at Redcliff & Fat Duck - both fantastic. If you have time do the Heli-Hike with Southern Lakes Heli to the Kepler Track - all-day activity but SO worth it."
    KiwiNZExplorer – April 2022 – Queenstown, New Zealand  Read Reviews
  • "What a magical stay... the best accommodation and most impressive host during our two-week SI road trip. Kerri was so warm, and helpful and gave us the best tips for our stay (Redcliff's Restaurant and the Cruise Milford experiences were amazing). The location of the property was perfect, with views of the lake and the rooms were beautiful... exactly how they look in the photos. Stunningly fitted out, comfortable bed and the added benefit of great kitchenette facilities to prepare your own breakfast, if preferred. We, (two couples) would definitely return."
    Robin B – May 2022  Read Reviews
  • "Fantastic time staying at Radfords, the service was outstanding, great recommendations, and beautiful rooms. We are a family of 5 and it was a nice home away from home for our 2 night stay, wish we could have stayed longer."
    Jess G – June 2022  Read Reviews
  • "Kerri the owner was very warm, friendly & super helpful. She made us welcome right from the start! The rooms were very spacious & the decor was lovely. The beds were super comfy. We had a superb view over-looking the lake. The motels were within easy walking g distance to town & the restaurants etc. We would definitely recommend this place to stay."
    PaulaMM – April 2022  Read Reviews

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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 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.