Te Anau, a pretty town on Lake Te Anau (the largest lake on New Zealand's South Island), is 105 mi/170 km southwest of Queenstown—more or less halfway between Milford Sound and Queenstown. It's also a gateway to Fiordland National Park and the starting point for some of New Zealand's most famous hiking tracks. Weather permitting, floatplane trips into the park depart from the lake. If feats of engineering fascinate you, take a guided tour of the huge, underground, hydroelectric Manapouri Power Station.
Trips to Doubtful Sound, larger and more remote than Milford Sound, also depart from Manapouri. In bad weather, check out the tiny Fiordland Cinema, with cozy armchairs and a licenced bar. It has regular screenings of Ata Whenua (Shadowland), an extraordinary film of Fiordland National Park, mostly shot from a helicopter.
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