The Milford Track & Other Walks
Most dedicated trampers consider the famous Milford Track among the finest anywhere in the world. Four days are required to walk the 54km (33 miles) from Glad Jetty at Lake Te Anau's northern end to Sandfly Point on the western bank of Milford Sound. If you're short on time, you could join the Real Journeys Milford Track Day Walk (tel. 0800/656-501; www.realjourneys.co.nz), which includes a Lake Te Anau cruise, coach transfers, lunch, and a nature guide. It operates November through April. The minimum age is 10 years and the excursion costs NZ$195 for adults and NZ$127 for children. The 3-day Hollyford Track Guided Walk (tel. 0800/832-226 in NZ, or 03/442-3000; www.hollyfordtrack.com) takes you through spectacular landscapes with local wilderness guides, who give you an insight into the rich Maori and pioneer history of the region. You stay in cozy, purpose-built lodges, complete with roaring fires. It operates October through May and costs from NZ$1,695 for adults and NZ$1,295 for children ages 10 to 14. Other popular walks in this area are the Routeburn and the Kepler.
The Te Anau Glowworm Caves excursion on Lake Te Anau is operated by Real Journeys, Lakefront Drive, Te Anau (tel. 0800/656-501 in NZ, or 03/249-7416; www.realjourneys.co.nz). This adventure runs year-round and includes an underground boat ride into the glowworm grotto. The geologically young caves (only about 15,000 years old) have 200m (660 ft.) of passages, which are still being formed by water cascading down the cave tiers at a rate of 55,000 gallons per minute. On the second level of the water bed, you'll see the glowworm grotto. A major upgrade of the caves excursion was completed in 2006. One major element was the addition of a multimillion-dollar catamaran for accessing the caves across Lake Te Anau. If you want to make the most of the 15km (10-mile) scenic lake cruise, take the daylight option (NZ$70 for adults, NZ$22 for children ages 5-14). Alternatively, evening options provide an interesting nocturnal experience from October to April.
Other Outdoor Pursuits
Fishing -- Fiordland offers unsurpassed opportunities for wilderness trophy trout fishing. The best fishing is in the Eglinton Valley. Ian Murray of Fish 'n' Trips (tel. 03/249-7656; www.fiordland-flyfishing.co.nz) clearly has a sense of humor. If you want a guided wilderness fishing experience, call him. He charges NZ$350 to NZ$375 for a half-day trip and NZ$600 to NZ$650 for a full day. Fiordland Guides, 472 Te Anau-Milford Hwy. (tel. 03/249-7832; www.fiordlandguides.co.nz), can take you on a terrific fishing trip for NZ$800 per day for two people. The price includes a guide, picnic lunch, and fishing tackle.
Horseback Riding -- Pay NZ$95 per person (minimum age 10) for a 3 1/2-hour horse trek through beautiful landscapes of a 700-acre working deer, sheep, and cattle farm with High Ride Adventures, 245 Dale Rd. (tel. 0508/444-4743 in NZ, or 03/280-0552; www.highride.co.nz), or NZ$80 for 2 hours (minimum age 6). They have a variety of horses to suit all levels of experience. The 2-hour tour departs at 1pm and the longer tour departs at 9am and 4pm.
Kayaking -- Fiordland Wilderness Experiences, Sandy Brown Road, Te Anau (tel. 03/249-7700; www.seakayakfiordland.co.nz), offers guided sea-kayaking options ranging in length from 1 to 6 days (Sept-May). The tour goes to Milford, Dusky, and Doubtful sounds and Lake Manapouri. See the section on "Milford Sound," below, for further kayaking options. Kayakers must be 16 and over. A 1-day guided kayak trip in Milford Sound costs NZ$165 per person.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.