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.

  • We stayed here for only one night prior to our overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound, which is a shame because it was one of the best places we stayed in on our three-week trip around New Zealand, and a longer stay would have been most welcome. Room 12 was large, and beautifully appointed with an extremely comfy bed. Kerri on reception was excellent; efficient and very welcoming about things to do in Te Anau.
    Jinty21 – February 2024  Read Reviews
  • My husband and I spent four glorious nights at Redford’s on the Lake…. What a slice of heaven, with the lake right in front of our eyes…. Kerri was the most gracious, helpful and conscientious host. She knows all about the area, had great restaurant recommendations, where to grocery shop, and what to see and do. And always with a smile. We felt like we were visiting someone’s luxurious vacation home with beautiful linens, lush curtains, several types of pillows for comfort and wallpaper and lots of great amenities. Good/strong Wi-Fi, super comfortable king-size bed, anything, and everything you could imagine you need as a traveller was provided including use of their washer and dryer facility, including laundry detergent,…always a bonus! We hiked three strenuous hikes three days in a row and coming home to the large Jacuzzi bathtub in our bathroom was heaven. Great for sore muscles. Our one-bedroom suite was spacious and luxurious. If we ever get back to Lake Teanau, we will definitely be coming back to Redford’s on the Lake. It’s a five-star plus accommodation with the most gracious owner and staff.
    Freddi W – February 2024  Read Reviews
  • We truly enjoyed our stay at Radford’s on the Lake. Our room was very clean and spacious with a wonderful view of the lake and easy parking. The location was perfect with an easy stroll to town for any restaurants or activities as well as a short drive to Milford Sound. However, the best aspect was the service provided by Kerri. She gave us wonderful recommendations to make the most of our visit and even loaned my husband a raincoat when he forgot his. She truly made us feel welcome.
    Traveller227 – February 2024  Read Reviews
  • Superbly appointed accommodation and lovely view of the lake. All the staff were great too! Fairly short and level walk into town so easy to get to cafes, restaurants and shops. Plenty of parking at the Radfords and in town. Te Anau is a great location to head off into Fjordland - less than an hour to the reserve and only 90 minutes to Milford Sound.
    Ian L – January 2024  Read Reviews
  • We stayed 2 nights in January 2024. What a nice place to stay! A very warm welcome from Kerri, and an introduction to our room. The room was with 2 bedrooms, we travelled as family, nice and clean. The kitchenette was with things we needed for preparing breakfast. Good and comfortable beds, a nice view to the Lake Te Anau. We asked for recommended restaurants and Kerri was nice to show us places for dinner and drew on a map where to go. Excellent service and great hospitality from the management. Our best recommendations to Radfords on the Lake.
    Steenlerche – January 2024  Read Reviews
  • It was the cutest little “motel” we have stayed. The room was beautiful overlooking the lake. We had the first-floor room and had a great view. The name motel only applies to the fact that we could see where we parked our car. However, it felt more luxurious when you got inside. Comfortable bed, clean linens and a very cute little kitchen. The lady at the front desk was wonderful and gave us plenty of Great tips on where to eat. We hope to visit again one day and stay again
    Bella – January 2024  Read Reviews

Our Environmental Promise

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

#Radfordsonthelake

SHARE YOUR SPECIAL IMAGES WITH US

Did you know that last winter we completed new fit-outs to all the kitchens in all our units? This included adding dishwashers and coffee pod machines. The kitchens now have a modern finish with a contemporary feel. 

Every year we set out to refurbish or improve an area of the property ensuring we are always providing the highest quality accommodation to our guests.
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#fiordland #fiordlandnz #lovefiordland #fiordlandbeyondbelief #radfordsonthelake
#fiordland #fiordlandnationalpark #fiordlandnz #nz #destinationnz #milfordsound #laketeanau #teanau #doubtfulsound #nzmustdo #southislandnz #southisland #newzealand #purenewzealand #purenz #newzealandguide #newzealandvacations #newzealandtravel #dosomethingnewnz #mysouthland #southland
Are you planning your next winter escape in Fiordland. Once you book your accommodation with us make sure you book in dinner in one of the many delicious Te Anau restaurants. If you're not sure where to go, click the link in our bio to see some of few of our favourites.
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#fiordland #fiordlandnz #lovefiordland #fiordlandbeyondbelief #radfordsonthelake
#fiordland #fiordlandnationalpark #fiordlandnz #nz #destinationnz #milfordsound #laketeanau #teanau #doubtfulsound #nzmustdo #southislandnz #southisland #newzealand #purenewzealand #purenz #newzealandguide #newzealandvacations #newzealandtravel #dosomethingnewnz #mysouthland #southland
We received this wonderful review recently from a lovely guest while we (Kerri and Steve) were away on holiday. With Kylie in charge in our absence, we always know Radfords is in good hands. Kylie looks after Radfords like it's her own and we couldn't appreciate her more for her unwavering dedication and hard work. We love having Kylie on our team and our guests love her too.
Last month we celebrated the amazing Jeanette, an integral member of our team for the last 10 years and long term friend of Kerri's. A team player with the highest standards and an all round bloody good person. Radfords on the Lake would not be the same without her. Jeanette keeps the team in high spirits with her great sense of humour, we're a better team with her on it. Never one to say no to a glass or two of Merlot with some chips and kiwi onion dip after a long day. Jeanette, we want to say a huge thank you for all your hard work over the years, we appreciate you so much. We look forward to many more years together at Radfords on the Lake.
As the sun goes down on another year, we would like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you too all our lovely guests who visited us over the last year. We love sharing  beautiful Te Anau with so many people from near and far. We can't wait to welcome many more visitors in 2024. 

Wishing you all a happy and healthy new from Kerri, Steve, Shelley, Katie and all the team at Radfords on the Lake.
From the Radfords on the Lake family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas 🎅🏽🤶🏼🎄🍾
If you are visiting Te Anau this summer make sure to add a trip on @fiordlandhistoriccruises to your bucket list. Enjoy a leisurely cruise across the south fiord of lake Te Anau into beautiful untouched wilderness. We can help you make a booking before you arrive so you don't miss out.
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#fiordland #fiordlandnz #lovefiordland #fiordlandbeyondbelief #radfordsonthelake
#fiordland #fiordlandnationalpark #fiordlandnz #nz #destinationnz #milfordsound #laketeanau #teanau #doubtfulsound #nzmustdo #southislandnz #southisland #newzealand #purenewzealand #purenz #newzealandguide #newzealandvacations #newzealandtravel #dosomethingnewnz #mysouthland #southland
Looking for the perfect present for a loved one this Christmas. Give the gift of a Fiordland Experience. Book a Te Anau getaway now for winter 2023 for just $250 per night.

This special rate is  based on 2 people sharing with a minimum 3 night stay in a Standard Studio or Ground Floor One Bedroom. SAVE up to $100 per night.

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#fiordland #fiordlandnz #lovefiordland #fiordlandbeyondbelief #radfordsonthelake
#fiordland #fiordlandnationalpark #fiordlandnz #nz #destinationnz #milfordsound #laketeanau #teanau #doubtfulsound #nzmustdo #southislandnz #southisland #newzealand #purenewzealand #purenz #newzealandguide #newzealandvacations #newzealandtravel #dosomethingnewnz #mysouthland #southland
🎃 H A L L O W E E N  2 0 2 3 🎃
We always get asked how close we are to the centre of town, so we thought we’d show you! Come with us on our short, flat 7 minute walk from Te Anau town centre back to the lake views from Radfords.
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#fiordland #fiordlandnz #lovefiordland #fiordlandbeyondbelief #radfordsonthelake
#fiordland #fiordlandnationalpark #fiordlandnz #nz #destinationnz #milfordsound #laketeanau #teanau #doubtfulsound #nzmustdo #southislandnz #southisland #newzealand #purenewzealand #purenz #newzealandguide #newzealandvacations #newzealandtravel #dosomethingnewnz #mysouthland #southland
Throwback Thursday! Reminiscing on a great night at the @hospitalitynz Awards for Excellence 2023 back in June. While we didn't win on the night, we were super proud to be a finalist alongside some fantastic motels. And it's always fun to get dressed up in the big city and celebrate our great industry with all our industry friends.
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#fiordland #fiordlandnz #lovefiordland #fiordlandbeyondbelief #radfordsonthelake
#fiordland #fiordlandnationalpark #fiordlandnz #nz #destinationnz #milfordsound #laketeanau #teanau #doubtfulsound #nzmustdo #southislandnz #southisland #newzealand #purenewzealand #purenz #newzealandguide #newzealandvacations #newzealandtravel #dosomethingnewnz #mysouthland #southland