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Your guide to Manapouri
All About Manapouri
Manapouri is a small town situated on the edge of Lake Manapouri in the stunning region of Fiordland on New Zealand’s South Island. Fiordland covers nearly 5,000 square miles of wilderness and is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise with lakes, mountains, and miles of unspoiled land. This mountain town is the perfect jumping off point for exploring the region, as a number of hiking trails start near Manapouri. The area also connects with Doubtful Sound, which is the deepest of New Zealand’s fjords, so many fjord cruises are arranged from Manapouri.
With a population of only 300, the town of Manapouri is a tiny gem that offers several restaurants, pubs, and cafes, many of which are found along Lake Manapouri, the second deepest lake in the country.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Manapouri
Manapouri’s location in the southern hemisphere means that its seasons are opposite from North America. Generally, the best months to visit are the summer months of December to February, when you’ll experience long days, mild temperatures, an annual summer music festival and a mountain biking competition. Fall (March to June) and spring (September to December) bring cool daytime temperatures, which make these seasons perfect for exploring the hiking trails in the area. In October, an annual fishing competition in Fiordland draws anglers from throughout the region. In March there’s also a kayak, mountain biking, and running event that offers competition events for all levels. Winter, from June to August, brings dry days with blue skies and cool, but not too cold, temperatures.
Top things to do in Manapouri
Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Te Anau Glowworm Caves is an underground, geological wonder. The caves are accessed through twisting limestone passages and include an immense waterfall. You can visit a hidden grotto here illuminated by hundreds of glowworms, which are unique to New Zealand and create a glittering spectacle.
To experience its true majesty, explore this Doubtful Sound in a kayak. Quietly drift by the area’s wildlife, which includes penguins, bottlenose dolphins, and fur seals. You’ll find several dramatic waterfalls and lush mountain scenery here, in a quiet setting.
Kepler Track Great Walk
The track starts at Manapouri and is a 36-mile loop through mountains, native forest, waterfalls, and glacier-carved valleys. The walk features boardwalks, bridged streams, and steps in the steep sections, so hikers of all levels can enjoy the spectacular scenery.