Visit Manapouri, Fiordland, NZ

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  • Manapouri is a small settlement on the eastern shore of Lake Manapouri, known for its lake cruising and as a gateway to the Fiordland destinations of Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound.

    Lake Manapouri is one of New Zealand’s largest and deepest, with many branching arms like inlets that reach into native-forested hills, abounding with bird and fish life.

    The western arm contains New Zealand’s largest hydro-power plant, located underground and fed by lake waters that flow out to reach Doubtful Sound through a 10-km long tunnel.

    Accommodation in Manapouri (NZ)

    Manapouri has a great range of accommodation options, from luxury lodge and 4-starhotels, through to motels, bed & breakfast establishments, and homestay/farmstay.

    Backpackers, campers and motor home travellers are catered for at holiday parks by the lake.

    Holiday homes and self-contained chalets are available for rent all year round.

    Basic tramping huts at various mountain and lakeside locations are maintained by the Department of Conservation, and may be used by walking parties for a nominal fee. Camping is also catered for at these sites, with running water and shower/toilet facilities

    Transport around Manapouri

    Manapouri is only 15 minute’s drive from Te Anau’s airport, which receives regular flights from Christchurch, Invercargill and Queenstown, along with charter flights from other Fiordland destinations.

    To reach Manapouri by road from Queenstown or from Invercargill requires a journey of about 2 hours along well-maintained highways. Coach services regularly travel between eastern Fiordland destinations.

    Water taxi, hired kayak or rowing boat can provide transport for short trips across the lake, for example to reach the start of a walking track.

    Tourist Activities around Manapouri

    Lakecruising on Manapouri is a very popular way to appreciate the sights, sounds and smells of the lake’s forested western inlet shores. Overnight excursions are available in addition to day trips.

    Fishing for brown trout and rainbow trout in Lake Manapouri is very good. The lake covers an area of 140 square kilometres, with 33 islands, and is over 1,000 feet deep in places. Local fishing guides have the knowledge to take visitors to where the fish are at any time of year. The lake and its rivers also contain the rare long-finned eel, which migrates across the sea to Pacific islands to breed.

    Hunters find a range of species roaming wild in forest, including red deer, Himalayan thar, wild boar, and opossum.

    Many visitors depart from Manapouri to visit Doubtful Sound or Dusky Sound via coach and boat, for day-trips or multi-day excursions that also involve cruising on the sounds, with optional diving.

    Whereas Te Anau is the starting point for some famous bush and mountain walks, Manapouri is the starting point for some lesser known but equally beautiful and fascinating hikes, especially popular for their wildlife viewing opportunities. The forests surrounding the lake have a profusion of birdlife including native owls, pigeons, songbirds and water-fowl. The forests also contain unique native plant life, including fungi, mosses, ferns and flowers such as orchids, within native southern beech forests.

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