On our first day near Te Anau, we started with an easy hike along a small section of the Kepler Track, and then went on to explore the amazing Te Anau Glowworm Caves. But as we still had quite a few hours of daylight left, we decided to explore a few more places. The first of these mini walks was around Lake Mistletoe. We had booked a room at the Fiordland National Park Lodge, and Lake Mistletoe is right next to it, on the opposite side of the road. As this mini hike was sooo close, we couldn’t resist checking it out!
Lake Mistletoe trail map
Lake Mistletoe – the basics
Distance: 1.3 km
Time: My brochure says 45 minutes, but it was more like 25 minutes (I don’t think we were even walking fast!)
What to bring: You don’t need to bring anything special, but anti-bug spray is a good idea. Black flies in this area are horrible!
How hard is it: Comically easy. The path is easy to follow, there is no elevation gain and it’s not long at all. It’d be a good place to stretch your legs on the drive to Milford Sound
The path to Mistletoe Lake is very easy to follow. There is a sign by the car park, and the path winds through some gorgeous woodland. You do need to cross a stream, but there is a beautiful bridge, so don’t worry about getting your shoes wet! Once you make it close to the lake, the ground is more marshy, but there is a boardwalk, so it is still super-dry and easy to follow.
Here is our first few of the lake. It’s not bad for such a short walk! The grasses and ferns make the whole area look lovely and lush.
The best thing about Lake Mistletoe is that it is just far enough away from the mountains to give you an excellent view. These stunning views are off in multiple directions.
One thing we noticed around the lake were some interesting puffed-up webs stitched up around ferns. Each one had a large hole, as if some kind of monster spider or bug had broken out from it! I have no idea what these are, so do tell me if you know more. After viewing the webs, we kept walking back through the woods towards the road.
Don’t trust the signs
On most of the trails near Te Anau the signs state walking times, rather than distances, but they list really generous times. If you do decide to take a peek at this lake, don’t trust the sign, it takes half the time they listed. This is probably a good thing, as it shows that anyone can manage this walk. I’m pretty sure you could even manage it with a push chair.
Start of the Milford Track
We still had buckets of energy, so we walked along the road to the start of the Milford Track. The Milford Track is one of the ten Great Walks in New Zealand. It starts with a ferry ride from this point. You can see it is a pretty epic view to start a walk!
So, that was our mini wander around Mistletoe Lake. This was more of a quick stroll than an actual hike; But it was pretty, so I figured I should include it in my blog. The views of the mountains were so lovely, that we went back to Lake Te Anau that evening to take in the views with some Kiwi wine. We’re really classy, so we drank wine from tea cups.
Here are some of the other epic things we did with our first day near Te Anau:
- Kepler Track – We had a quick taster of one of the 10 Great Walks along this pleasant track along the rainbow river
- Te Anau Glowworm Caves – We experienced a tour to see some glowworms and got to see new star constellations inside a cave! I loved these pretty light-filled larvae.
- Boyd Creek Track – We explored a beautiful moss-filled forest and spent time attempting to take photos of super-fluffy birdies
Or you can find more about our New Zealand Itinerary here.