Manapouri Things To Do
Manapouri is a beautiful lakeside town in New Zealand, positioned favorably on the edge of the stunning Fiordland National Park.
Manapouri offers not only beautiful views of the lake and the mountainous park also easy access to all the adventurous expeditions that the area has to offer.
Here are the top things to do in Manapouri, New Zealand.
1. Take a Cruise to Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound is a beautiful fiord or a glacier-created inlet with steep cliffs, and is a true gem of the entire Fiordland National Park.
What makes taking a cruise a spectacular way to visit Doubtful Sound is that you’ll easily cross Lake Manapouri and Wilmot Pass, thus getting the chance to see a variety of wildlife such as seals, penguins, and dolphins!
2. Kayak Doubtful Sound
Some people enjoy exploring Doubtful Sound on a cruise. Alternatively, others want to feel closer to the water, more actively involved in their exploration, and more in touch with the natural surroundings overall.
This is why many visitors love to kayak over cruising—or do both!
Kayaking keeps things into perspective, reminding you of how small you are compared to the gigantic cliff-face walls on either side of you and the shockingly deep blue water below you.
It is a humbling, memorable, and awe-inspiring experience for many. And if you’re lucky, you may catch sight of a few dolphins as well!
If this sounds exciting but also a bit nerve-wracking, don’t worry. You can book a Doubtful Sound kayaking tour and go with a trusted, informed guide to ease your concerns, in addition to providing valuable knowledge and information about the area.
3. Take a Cruise On Lake Manapouri
Doubtful Sound is the most popular tourist attraction, and you travel through Lake Manapouri to get to it, but Lake Manapouri is spectacular in and of itself.
At 444 meters deep, Lake Manapouri is the second deepest lake in New Zealand, right after Lake Hauroko (462 meters), also in the Fiordland National Park vicinity.
Tourists enjoy a cruise on Lake Manapouri and might even prefer it compared to a Doubtful Sound cruise because it allows you to appreciate the surrounding natural views and sights without the crowds.
Some boat cruises include additional elements to make guests’ experiences that much more pleasant, such as tasty food and classical piano playing.
On a cruise around Lake Manapouri, you’ll likely have opportunities to get off the boat and partake in other activities as well, such as kayaking, fishing, visiting the beach, or taking small hikes.
4. Frasers Beach
Frasers Beach is a quiet lakefront beach that runs almost the whole length of Manapouri and is certainly worth a quick visit if you are staying in or near the area.
You’ll get the background of the beautiful mountains and cliffs that the area is known for while relaxing in a remarkably peaceful setting. You can even check out some interesting stones while taking a walk up and down the strip.
This isn’t a very popular beach, which contributes to its appeal for off-the-beaten-track tourists.
5. Tour the Kepler Mountain View Alpaca Farm
The alpaca farm at Kepler Mountain View is an exciting thing to do in Manapouri, especially for families.
You can visit the farm and take a tour in order to hand feed the alpacas, take a trek with an alpaca around the farm, learn more about alpaca farming, and get great photos.
If you are a fan of sustainable practices, you’ll also be pleased to know that they use solar power as their number one source of energy and hydropower as a backup.
They also treat their own sewage, make their own compost, collect their own rainwater and construct their building from renewable materials.
6. Shop at the Wild Wool Gallery
The Kepler Mountain View Alpaca Farm offers not only tours of the farm but also the opportunity to buy unique, durable, handmade, and environmentally-friendly wool products at their Wild Wool Gallery.
Items for purchase include but are not limited to scarves, blankets, wraps, hand warmers, cardigans, and headbands.
They offer their own handmade products and other alpaca products from across New Zealand.
7. Hike Around Rainbow Reach
Hiking in Rainbow Reach is one of the best things to do in Manapouri for genuine nature lovers.
This is especially true for bird lovers, as there are many species of birds in this area, and birdwatching is one of the most common things to do on these walks.
There are several peaceful nature walks to explore throughout the area, and you can cross the wetland on the bridge. And if you have ample time, consider walking from Rainbow Reach to Shallow Bay.
8. Two Wee Bookshops
As the name suggests, Two Wee Bookshops consists of two very small bookshops, both selling new, secondhand, unique, rare, and/or specialist books.
However, the smaller shop, which claims the title as the smallest bookstore in New Zealand, is specifically made for kids. Kids can seek their secondhand books, purchase new ones, and throw in a few soft toys to their final order.
People like visiting on their Manapouri trip due to the genuine bookshop feel as well as the kind and friendly owners.
9. Rest in Manapouri
Despite being a relatively small and often overlooked area, there are several high-quality accommodation options to choose from if you and your travel group would like to stay in Manapouri.