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Photo-tastic

There are just so many places to see here...each another breathtaking jump from the last. Just to give you a snippet we've added a couple of galleries for your pleasure below...

  • Lake Manapouri gallery
    Lake Manapouri gallery
  • Fiordland gallery
    Lake Manapouri gallery

 

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Proudly members of BBH - BBH LogoWe're proud to be a BBH member hostel. Find out more about them on their website.

 

Boat trips in the sounds

Activities

We are happy to help you with your bookings in Fiordland at no extra cost and we very much appreciate it if you book with us. For more detailed information about all activities in Fiordland please visit: www.fiordland.org.nz

Our hot pick for your day out in Fiordland:

Take a crusie with Manapouri Lake Cruises : Explore Lake Manapouri on a unique cruise with a difference. Enjoy the diversity of beautiful sandy and rocky beaches, crystal clear water, watch the trout and discover the 33 islands of New Zealand’s most beautiful lake. You can reach little tracks, like the walk up to the Monument, which are only accessible by boat.

Once you pass the first point on the lake you are in remote wilderness and get a feeling like being in the Fiords. Have a look at our slideshow - this one is of pictures from Lake Manapouri and there's a second of Fiordland generally.

We'll even do you a last minute hop-on deal if you're staying at Freestone!

Kayaking

Freedom rental is only possible on Lake Manapouri and Lake Te Anau, not in the Fiords, but you can book 1-3 days guided tours in Doubtful and Milford Sounds.

Tramping

Fiordland is truly a paradise for tramping. There is a huge range of small tracks and walks of up to 8 days. The ‘Great Walks’ like the Milford, Routeburn, Hollyford, Dusky and Kepler Tracks must be booked and inquiries can be made at DOC (the Department of Conservation) Fiordland +64 3 249 7924. fiordlandvc@doc.govt.nz

There are other multi day tracks, where you don’t need a booking, although you should sign in at DOC to get all info needed to make it a safe trip. You will also need to buy your hut passes to cover each night's stay. Reduced prices if you buy a season ticket.

Local Tracks in Manapouri:

Frasers Beach 30min
Home Creek loop 30min
Day walks on the Kepler Track: Rainbow Reach about 3hrs return - an easy walk across the swing bridge and a walk down to Lake Manapouri, or walk from Lake Te Anau Control Gates up to Mt Luxmore: 8hrs return
Some of the Manapouri tracks are only accessible by water taxi or with a rowing boat which you can hire at the local shop in Manapouri for $10 a day: Circle track 3.5hrs with top views of Lake Manapouri, Pearl Harbour to Hope Arm 4-6hrs return, Pearl Harbour to BackValley hut, about 4-5hrs return.

Two other amazing tracks reachable only by boat are: The Monument Track - 2hrs return and Stockyard Cove Track 1hr return.

There are shorter and longer tracks in Te Anau, on the Milford Road, tracks in the Takitimu Mountains if you like more remote and challenging tracks, nice shorter and longer tracks by Lake Monowai and Mavora Lakes, both an hour from us, or the easily accessible wetland tracks at Rakatu, 15min south, which is a paradise for bird watchers.

Milford or Doubtful Sound?

One of the most common questions we had over the past years is:  Which Sound should we visit - Milford or Doubtful? Well, here’s my personal opinion. Both are stunning and very different. Milford is only a third the size of Doubtful Sound, but gives you the impression of how small you are. It’s majestic and almost claustrophobic for me, where as Doubtful gives me the feeling of endless freedom and peace.

Milford is more easily accessible and therefore much busier. I don’t like the noise of the planes, but the drive  there is very worthwhile! Make a day of it: there are fantastic shorter walks around 3-4 hours and you can round it off with one of the last cruises in the afternoon when the crowds are gone, or visit the underwater observatory. You can avoid the incoming traffic by going early or late and try not to be there between 10am-3pm. Compared with most places in Europe, it’s not all that busy!

Doubtful Sound’s advantage is that it’s so isolated that you hardly see a boat or plane. The disadvantage is that it’s not cheap to go there. But my favourite trip in Fiordland is the overnight cruise with Deep Cove Charters or the other two smaller operators, Fiordland Cruises and Fiordland Expeditions (max 12 people). Or if you prefer a bigger boat, Real Journeys do an overnight trip as well.

Look out for Lake Manapouri Cruises, a business which we’ll start sometime this summer. This will be running a dinner cruise with live piano music, a tramping option on request, or just a cruise. Kerstin's a great cook and talented pianist. There's many a great comment about both! Hugely discounted for those staying with us - or even free: we'll be running a few trial trips for backpackers.

Manapouri even has an airport now and you can jump from a perfectly good plane (that's skydiving to the rest of us), or take a scenic flight over the Fiords in a helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft. There is a pub with a restaurant, a small grocery shop and post office, and Café 23 - a nice spot to enjoy coffe and a slice. You can go horse riding, take a jetboat ride down the Waiau River, go fishing or hunting, visit Astronomy Fiordland with a full dome digital planetarium, or visit the cinema with its cool bar.

But then again...

Maybe you’d just like to sit on our porch… pick some herbs, make a cup of tea, read a book and admire the views and the tranquillity of Freestone. Nothing is a problem here. We may not be perfect, but we’ll do our best to make your stay a memorable and truly great experience.