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Why Te Anau is the perfect Fiordland base

Why Te Anau is the perfect Fiordland base

After eloping with the kids in Glenorchy we set our in our camper van to explore the rest of the bottom of the South Island. First stop Te Anau.

Camp Glenorchy, Sunshine Weddings, Getting Lost, elopement

We chose Te Anau, as many do, for it’s proximity to Milford Sound. But to be honest this little town nestled on the largest lake in the South Island, with it’s spectacular backdrop of Mt Luxmore and the Murchison Mountains is worthy of a visit on it’s own merits.


Despite having a camper van with us we had just got married so it was pretty much the last thing we wanted to do sharing a camper with our 3 children. So instead we chose to find accomodation for these two nights and leave the camper for travelling only.


We were lucky enough to come across Whakata in Fiordland as a spot to spend a night.

Just out of Te Anau on your way to Milford you’ll find this tranquil little Swiss Style chalet with absolutely amazing view out to the mountains.

After winding our way around the winding roads to Milford Sound the relief from the children to find somewhere so amazing was palpable. They stood rooted to the spot – not sure wether to run for the large enclosed trampoline or the 6-seater private spa pool.

I however was under no illusions of where to head first and within a few minutes all five of us were in the spa pool looking out over the snow capped mountains! I had a wine in hand and James had a beer. Bliss!

My only regret with staying at Whakata is that we didn’t allow enough time to just be there. The name Whakata means ‘to take breath, rest, relax, and have a break’ and that’s exactly what you should do in this tranquil little spot.

The kitchen is fully equiped to whip up any meal (even with those little things like salt and olive oil that you always forget to buy).

There are marshmallows for roasting on the amazing open outdoor fire. We ran out of time at night so we made a deal with the kids that we’d do it in the morning.

The spa is perfectly positioned to watch the sun rise and turn the snow on the mountains pink.

And loads of space to relax and comfy beds to sleep in.

And if that’s all not enough, host Rachel (a massage therapist) also offers mindfulness, massage and yoga.

You can find out more about this amazing little spot over here.


Our highlight (for all of us actually) had to be the flying fox down by the lake.

I’ve not seen tandem flying foxes before and they are awesome. We all raced each other down them. I’d forgotten just how terrifying it is hurtling toward the end of a flying fox!


We didn’t have a conventional wedding. We ran off and had a private ceremony by the lake at Glenorchy with just James, me and the kids so I should have guessed my wedding night would be anything but ordinary.

We drove from Glenorchy to Te Anau on our wedding day and finally got a chance to relax after a pretty busy day. I refused to say goodbye to my wedding clothes entirely so I ditched the frock and kept on the jacket, heels and Grandma’s earrings.

And then one of James best mates Dave arrived from Invercargill.

Dave knew a really good local spot – The Moose. So off we all went for dinner and drinks (that may or may not have included celebratory tequila shots!)

It probably wasn’t the fanciest place in Te Anau but it couldn’t have been more perfect. The kids loved the colouring and kids meals. The grown ups devoured their delicious meals (I had the fish – it’s awesome!)

The whole thing was relaxed and laid back and just so much fun. Exactly what we wanted our wedding day to be~

Getting Lost would like to thank Whakata in Fiordland for putting us up for the night. As always, the thoughts and views expressed in this article are our own.

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