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Paddle, hike, swim

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November 2017 Issue
This entry is part 11 of 18 in the series Ranger Secrets

Hidden Lakes, Fiordland National Park

Ranger: Ken Bradley, Te Anau

North-west of Te Anau township lies a collection of lakes among a moraine field. The only trouble is there’s five or so kilometres of water in between. To reach East Cove and the start of the Hidden Lakes Track, you’ll need to kayak or take a boat from town.

Once there, a trail leads to two of the lakes. “It’s quite isolated,” says ranger Ken Bradley. “It’s popular for local boaties, but on most days you’ll have the place to yourself and there are often nice reflections in the water.”

The moraine field makes walking to the other lakes difficult, so most stick to the short 1km track to Mussel Cove or the longer track to West Beach. There’s great snorkelling close to the rock faces of the South Fiord of Lake Te Anau – look for freshwater sponges, giant eels and ancient rock dropping into the deep.

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