Manapouri is a small town located on the eastern shore of Lake Manapouri, in the middle of Fiordland, New Zealand’s largest national park. The lake is dotted with over thirty small islands, all covered with native bush and are only accessible by boat. Manapouri is often overlooked in favour of Te Anau, a bigger town only 15 minutes drivenorth.
Manapouri is the fifth largest and second deepest lake within New Zealand. It is also one of the most beautiful. It was originally called Roto Ua (the rainy lake) and Moturau (many islands) by early Maori inhabitants of the region. Manapouri can be translated as “lake of the sorrowing heart”, though the name is of recent origin and is also applied to one of the Mavora Lakes, which are outside of FiordlandNational Park.
Several walking tracks start on the eastern shores of Lake Manapouri. These are suited to day trips and easy two or three day tramps. Tracks in the Garnock Burn catchments, to the south of the lake, can be walked as a loop and have several side trips. All are at low altitude. There are also several more demanding routes suitable for more experienced parties. The Lower Waiau River does not have a bridge crossing. Access to the track on the opposite side is by hired dinghy across the river, or by boat across the lake. Several other short walks exist with access from Lake Manapouri. These include Stockyard Cove, Shallow Bay and The Monument.
Manapouri has an attractive range of accommodation options. It can get busy here so it pays to have you accommodation booked in advance.
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