8 Things to do in Fiordland this Winter

July 29, 2021

8 Things to do in Fiordland this Winter

Best known as the gateway to Fiordland National Park, Te Anau is the best place to base yourself for a few days this winter. Home to plenty of activities and experiences it warrants a place on your New Zealand road trip itinerary.

Winter is a special time here in Southland and if you are thinking about visiting, don’t be put off by the cold temperatures, it’s well the extra layers in the suitcase. Winter brings Fiordland’s lowest rainfall, plenty of snow, and a picture-perfect national park.

Below are our top eight activities to put on your list this winter season in New Zealand.


Visit Milford Sound in all of its winter glory

Arguably the most famous destination of them all, the jewel in our Fiordland crown and home to some of the most iconic views in New Zealand. Winter is the perfect time to cruise in Milford Sound. The fiord is calm, the sunsets are golden and the Milford Road will blow your mind.

Take a full day driving from Te Anau and stop at some of our favourite locations like The Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, and the famous Homer Tunnel. Keep a lookout for the Kea birds, the world’s only alpine parrot. Take a two-hour cruise with (insert fave cruise company link) and marvel at Mitre Peak and Stirling Falls.

Take a hike in Fiordland

Fiordland is a hiking paradise and for good reason. Did you know Fiordland is home to three of New Zealand’s Great Walks? However, if you are keen to strap on the hiking boots before the Great Walk season why not check out some of the famous day hikes in the area. Lake Marian day hike reveals a pristine glacial lake and Key Summit showcases the finest views down the Hollyford Valley. Looking to stay closer to Te Anau? Take a stroll from the control gates onto the iconic Kepler Track. This easy, flat walk takes you through the native bush where you might spot a little bird or two. An easy little escape into nature that is perfect for all ages and abilities

Visit the Te Anau Bird sanctuary

Punanga Manu o Te Anau, The Bird Sanctuary, is nestled on the shores of Lake Te Anau and home to some of the rarest, flightless birds in the world. The Takahē are the stars of the show and meeting these funny-looking characters is a must-do for Te Anau visitors. Enjoy up-close encounters with Kaka, Kereru, and Tui’s, all while listening to the knowledgeable and caring rangers who look after these birds. You can arrange a private group tour to learn more or simply drop in on a gold coin donation for feeding time. Take a peek at some of New Zealand’s birds that are difficult to spot in the wild and donate to the hard work they do to rehabilitate these rare species.

Cycle to Lake Manapouri

Have you heard about the Lake2Lake Cycle trail? You have now! A custom-built trail that runs alongside Lake Te Anau and the Waiau River through to Manapouri is waiting for you and your two wheels. Cycle from Te Anau and take in the natural beauty, the bike trail is open to walkers, runners, cyclists, and e-bikes, all of which we can arrange for you. Take your time, this ride showcases some of the best forests and lakeside views on the South Island.

Visit the Glow Worm Caves

Hop on a boat with the Real Journeys crew and take a trip to the iconic glow-worm caves. Travel across Lake Te Anau to an amazing 12,000-year-old cave system. Here you will find a grotto filled with thousands of glittering Glow Worms, all native to New Zealand. A magical adventure for kids and adults alike. Te Anua is the place to tick off some of New Zealand’s best-loved experiences.

Eat delicious local food

If there is one thing Fiordland is good at (apart from being picture-perfect, of course) is food. Our locals know their stuff, whether you want to sample the local favourites like venison or crayfish, delve into a deliciously crafted Bao Bun or dine with pristine lake views, Te Anau appeals to all tastebuds. There is always something happening in our little town and we will point you in the direction of famed hangouts such as La Toscana or Redcliffe for an evening of fun. You can order from almost every menu in town and enjoy in the comfort of your Radford’s hotel suite too.

Stay with the locals

Sharing Fiordland’s beautiful environment and unique experiences with guests is our passion. As “born and bred” Southland locals, Kerri and Steve know their stuff and will hook you up with the best experiences and best-kept secrets in their backyard. Staying with locals most certainly has its perks, pair this with luxurious accommodation and top-notch recommendations for an unforgettable stay.

Feel the calm in Doubtful Sound

Patea, Doubtful Sound is a Fiordland gem. A striking and powerful landscape spanning 40 kilometres from the head of the fiord right out to the Tasman Sea. Branching into three arms, you will experience impressive waterfalls, tranquil waters, and some of the most incredible wildlife. Did you know Doubtful Sound provides shelter for a population of Bottlenose Dolphins and Tawaki, the Fiordland Crested Penguin? With no road to the fiord, the experience of getting there is an adventure in itself. Depart early for a full day exploring this peaceful wonder and return to tell us all about it.

From off the beaten track to well-known adventures. Fiordland National Park serves up a spectacular array of iconic moments just waiting for you this winter. We can’t wait to see you soon.

  • "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

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 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.