Different Stops Between Dunedin and Te Anau

Dunedin to Te Anau — 14 Awesome Stops on the Way

Taking a trip from Dunedin to Te Anau but not sure where to stop along the way? 

We’ve got you covered! We’ve travelled between the vibrant city of Dunedin and the picturesque haven of Te Anau many times. Join us as we unveil the gems that await you on this scenic road trip!

Tunnel Beach 

Distance from Dunedin: 6.7 km

Distance from Te Anau: 285 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/LDzkpPcfjjxDnSKs7

Tunnel Beach is just a short drive from Dunedin’s bustling city centre, so that’s why we put it at the top of our list. This secluded coastal paradise beckons with its dramatic cliffs, turquoise waters, and fascinating history. 

As you venture down the winding path towards the beach, you’ll be greeted by majestic limestone formations that frame an idyllic cove, perfect for a refreshing dip or a leisurely stroll along the shoreline. 

Oh, and hidden beneath the cliffs is a hand-carved tunnel worth exploring if you have the time.

Pro Tip: 
Try your best to go during low tide because this will allow you to fully explore the captivating caves, arches, and rock pools that adorn Tunnel Beach. 

Gabriel’s Gully 

Distance from Dunedin: 93.1 km

Distance from Te Anau: 213 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/NRAxkE6VJoxum4Bo7

Carve out time to visit the historic Gabriel’s Gully, a must-see stop that will transport you back to the heart of New Zealand’s gold rush era. 

Nestled in the picturesque Otago countryside, this remarkable site is where Gabriel Read discovered gold in 1861, sparking a frenzy that forever changed the nation’s history.

Pro Tip: 
• Follow the well-marked walking trail that leads you through the remnants of gold-mining operations, including water races, tailings, and the iconic Victoria Quartz Crushing Battery. 
• Don’t miss the opportunity to try your hand at gold panning in the gully’s sparkling streams – who knows, you might just strike it rich!

Kaka Point 

Distance from Dunedin: 100 km

Distance from Te Anau: 228 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/Sye2QqYBNeuMiSPu5

Be sure to carve out time to visit the picturesque Kaka Point. This charming coastal village is a true hidden gem, boasting stunning panoramic views, pristine beaches, and an array of native wildlife. 

As you explore the golden sands and rugged cliffs, you’ll be captivated by the dramatic vistas of nearby Nugget Point Lighthouse, standing proudly against the backdrop of azure waves crashing against rocky outcrops.

Pro Tip: 
If you stroll around Nugget Point Lighthouse, watch for fur seals and sea lions. If you’re lucky, you may run into some rare yellow-eyed penguins.

Horseshoe Falls

Distance from Dunedin: 128 km

Distance from Te Anau: 238 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/zWZ8of1H67XuyQ6f7

Horseshoe Falls offers a serene retreat into nature’s embrace from the hectic roads. While you follow the gentle walking trail that meanders through the lush native forest, the soothing melody of cascading water will alert you to how close you are to the waterfall. 

With its distinctive curved shape and crystal-clear waters tumbling gracefully over moss-covered rocks, Horseshoe Falls is a sight to behold. 

Pro Tip: 
Horseshoe Falls is most spectacular, early morning or just after rainfall! The early morning light filtering through the trees creates a magical atmosphere around the falls.

Millers Flat 

Distance from Dunedin: 133 km

Distance from Te Anau: 202 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/qG3ATDbVHLThKZVT9

Nestled along the banks of the mighty Clutha River, Millers Flat offers a serene setting for a leisurely break amidst the stunning landscapes of Central Otago. 

Set out on the Millennium Track – a gentle riverside walk that unveils the area’s diverse flora and fauna while treating you to breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Pro Tip: 
For a taste of Millers Flat’s rich history, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the historic Horseshoe Bend Suspension Bridge, a testament to the region’s gold mining past.

Distance from Dunedin: 136 km

Distance from Te Anau: 247 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/eeffgDoNoP1iZ6W16

Take a whimsical detour to the quirky, captivating world of The Lost Gypsy Gallery. Tucked away in the charming town of Papatowai, this one-of-a-kind artistic haven is the brainchild of the ingenious inventor and artist Blair Somerville. 

When you enter the gallery, you’ll be instantly transported into a realm where everyday objects are transformed into mesmerizing kinetic sculptures, interactive installations, and delightful curiosities. 

But The Lost Gypsy Gallery is more than just an art space—it’s an immersive experience that invites you to explore, play, and marvel at the boundless ingenuity of human creativity.

Pro Tip: 
• Set aside ample time to fully immerse yourself in the gallery’s countless nooks and crannies, each brimming with intricate details and enchanting surprises. 
• And don’t miss the enchanting Winding Thoughts Theatre, a cozy, magical space where stories come to life amidst a symphony of handcrafted automata and curious contraptions.

Florence Hill Lookout 

Distance from Dunedin: 138 km

Distance from Te Anau: 256 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/GG7XZ3nKjzmUHyUd8

The awe-inspiring Florence Hill Lookout will take your breath away! Perched high above the Catlins coast, this vantage point provides a sweeping panorama of the dazzling Tautuku Bay, framed by rolling hills and lush native forest. 

Pro Tip: 
To make the most of your visit to Florence Hill, time your arrival for sunrise or sunset when the sky erupts in a kaleidoscope of colours, transforming the already stunning view into a truly unforgettable spectacle.

Cathedral Cave

Distance from Dunedin: 149 km

Distance from Te Anau: 250 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/MX8ChJePSBg1QRmk7

Cathedral Caves, tucked away in the resplendent Catlins region, are renowned for their towering ceilings, echoing chambers, and fascinating geological formations. 

Upon venturing through the winding forest path that leads to the caves, you’ll be greeted by the soothing sounds of waves gently lapping against the rocky shore. 

Pro Tip: 
Visit during low tide, when the caves are accessible. Take the time to wander through the soaring archways and marvel at the intricate patterns etched into the ancient rocks.


Distance from Dunedin: 151 km

Distance from Te Anau: 137 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/usBtPkS4jLBA8BBR7

Stop by the charming town of Gore—a must-see stop that will add a touch of warmth and character to your South Island adventure. Often referred to as the “Country Music Capital” of New Zealand, Gore offers a delightful blend of cultural attractions, natural beauty, and rich history waiting to be explored. 

Take a leisurely stroll through the vibrant streets adorned with colourful murals and sculptures, and immerse yourself in the local heritage at the Eastern Southland Gallery. 

Or, for the musicians amongst us, indulge in the town’s passion for country music by timing your visit with the annual Gold Guitar Awards—a lively celebration showcasing talented musicians from around the nation. 

Pro Tip: 
Venture out to the nearby Hokonui Hills, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and gain insight into the region’s fascinating moonshine history.

Curio Bay 

Distance from Dunedin: 179 km

Distance from Te Anau: 239 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/5nZ2VdgUMs4QP54T8

The fascinating Curio Bay is renowned for its ancient petrified forest that offers a unique glimpse into our planet’s prehistoric past. Stroll along the rocky shoreline, and marvel at the intricate patterns of fossilized tree stumps and fallen logs preserved for over 180 million years. 

But Curio Bay’s allure doesn’t end with its geological wonders—it’s also a haven for marine life enthusiasts.

Pro Tip: 
Time your visit during low tide and watch playful Hector’s dolphins frolicking in the waves or observe the endearing antics of yellow-eyed penguins waddling ashore at dusk.


Distance from Dunedin: 181 km

Distance from Te Anau: 109 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/JpPrhp6aKvoGDB4eA

Situated amidst Southland’s lush pastures and rolling hills, Riversdale boasts a warm and friendly atmosphere in its small-town lifestyle. 

Explore the nearby Dolamore Park, where you can wander through verdant native bush, marvel at the enchanting glowworm caves, and even enjoy a leisurely picnic amidst the tranquil beauty of nature.

Pro Tip: 
For those seeking a more active pursuit, Riversdale is home to an immaculately maintained 18-hole golf course, where you can tee off with a stunning backdrop of picturesque landscapes.


Distance from Dunedin: 210 km

Distance from Te Anau: 77.3 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/ufSSPW8j3CRkk1ma6

Nestled in Southland’s rolling hills and fertile farmland, Lumsden boasts a warm and welcoming community atmosphere, inviting you to slow down and savour life’s simple pleasures. (Even if it’s just for a short pit stop!) 

Wander through the town’s quaint streets, and take in the beautifully preserved heritage buildings that harken back to Lumden’s rich history as a bustling railway hub. 

Pro Tip: 
Enjoy a leisurely picnic at the picturesque Lumsden Green, a serene oasis where you can relax beneath leafy trees and watch the world go by!


Distance from Dunedin: 229 km

Distance from Te Anau: 58.1 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/Fhpdzxbee32uytxq9

Need a pit stop to recharge and refuel? Set aside time to visit Mossburn, a town with a delightful blend of natural beauty and warm hospitality. 

Fondly known as the “Deer Capital of New Zealand,” Mossburn is surrounded by picturesque deer farms and rolling green pastures, providing an idyllic setting for a relaxing break from your road trip adventure. 

Pro Tip: 
When it’s time to refuel, don’t miss the opportunity to sample some of Mossburn’s delicious local cuisine, which includes mouthwatering venison dishes that showcase the town’s proud heritage.

Mirror Lakes

Distance from Dunedin: 343 km

Distance from Te Anau: 56.9 km

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/yV9dpVaJEgwYM2yD7

There’s one mesmerizing pit stop we simply can’t overlook every time—the ethereal beauty of Mirror Lakes. These serene pools have breathtaking reflections of the surrounding mountains and lush forests mirrored on the water’s glass-like surface. 

Pro Tip: 
Plan your visit during the early morning hours, when the calm waters are at their most reflective, and the soft glow of sunrise casts a golden hue over the landscape.