The Lake 2 Lake Trail

The Lake2Lake trail runs alongside Lake Te Anau and the East side of the Waiau river towards Lake Manapouri.  The total length to Manapouri will be 28km. The first 19km to Balloon Loop is now open for walkers, runners, cyclists and any other non-motorised transport (e-bikes welcome).  The trail is mostly 2.2-2.5m wide and is rated “Grade 2 Easy”.

The trail can be used in both directions or people can make a loop by returning on Golf Course Road or the Te Anau-Manapouri Highway.
A 41km loop can be created up Mt York Road and along Ramparts Road, past the lookout, returning to town via the Te Anau-Mossburn Highway (see map).


Saturday the 2nd of December 2017 was the first running of the Fiordland Trails Trust 5km/10km Challenge, click the following link for race day results. Well done to all participants and a special mention to our volunteers and supporters!

Fiordland Trails Trust Lake2Lake 5km results[2322]


The trail has been constructed by a charitable trust funded entirely by donations.  We welcome new donations, which can be made via:

  1. Online banking: account number 03-1749-0049791-000 (please also email with your name, amount and date of donation if you would like to receive a receipt)
  2. Donation box at Outside Sports in Te Anau and near the start of the trail.  Include your name and email or postal address if you would like a receipt
  3. Crowe Horwath office, 112 Main Street, Te Anau

Donations of $500.00 or more make you eligible to become a Patron of the Trust, and have your name etched at the entrance to the trail. All contributions over $5 qualify for a charitable donation receipt.


The trail begins at the Department Of Conservation visitor centre and heads along Lake Te Anau to the control structure at the start of the Waiau River, a stretch of 4km.  The control structure is the entry to Fiordland National Park and the Kids Restore the Kepler Project. This section offers magnificent vistas over Lake Te Anau to the Fiordland mountains, has several rest areas and is well away from any road.

Leg 2 travels 6.4km along the upper Waiau River from the Control Gates to Queens Reach, a popular access point to the Waiau River.

Leg 3 continues another 6.4km from Queens Reach to the Rainbow Reach car park. This link enables runners or walkers to loop back to the control structure by crossing the swing bridge and heading back along the Kepler Track (9.5km to the control structure).

Leg 4 continues along the Waiau River to Balloon Loop Road providing another vehicle access point to the trail or return loop option for cyclists.  It is 2km.

Overall the trail offers a natural, highly scenic and safe recreational experience that will cater for a wide range of users. The trail is being built to grade 2 i.e. “easy” by NZ Cycle Trail standards (0-3.5% gradient for 95% of length; 2.2m wide etc.)

Stage Two

The legs from Balloon Loop to Manapouri include a section of Fiordland National Park (FNP) and a further 9km of trail. Under the current Fiordland National Park Management Plan cycling is not permitted on the National Park section of the trail. The Park Plan is due for review in 2017 and the Trust will continue to work with DOC in partnership to enable cycling.


“Development of the trail will provide numerous benefits for the local community such as job creation both during construction and long term through tourism related business and services, not to mention the obvious recreational opportunities for walkers, cyclists and fishermen. Over time the trail will generate its own revenue that will sustain the ongoing maintenance of the trail, all of which helps build a more sustainable community.”

Feasibility Report, May 2010: Te Anau-Manapouri Cycleway & Walkway by Southern Land CKL, Wanaka


Major Sponsors

Community Trust of Southland

Meridian Energy

Te Anau Community Board        Mararoa-Waimea Ward


Platinum Sponsors





Gold Sponsors


Ian & Jenny Willans                    Greaney Group