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.  

  • "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

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