Ivan Wilson Park
If you are ever lucky enough to find yourself in Te Anau, a beautiful village on the shores of the idylic Lake Te Anau in the South Island of New Zealand, and you have a bit of time on your hands, then here is a lovely little park you can visit.
The entrance to Ivan Wilson Park is found on the road to Manapouri, and is only a short 5 or 10 minute walk from the township around the shore of Lake Te Anau. The short and steep road up into the park is signposted, and is on the opposite side of the road to Lake Te Anau.
Ivan Wilson Park offers visiters a serene and peaceful spot, with a large reservour and copius trees. It is stunning in Autumn, tremendous in summer, calming in spring, and exceptional when covered by a light dusting of snow in the winter.
A walkway leads around the lake, although the start of it isn't all that well marked. Just look for the little posts stuck in the ground with a picture of a kiwi on them.
The walk is easy and scenic, although muddy after rain. Three quarters of the way around, a signpost leads to the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary. You must cross the road again to get there, and entry is free. Here you will find some of New Zealand's rarest birds, including the Takehe, which was believed to be extinct until the 1940s. After a walk through the sanctuary, I like to walk back to the township around the shore of Lake Te Anau, and watch the sun set over the snow capped mountains. [more]