The Fiordland Trails Trust was formed in 2007 to enable the provision of a high-quality interconnected network of trails in and around Fiordland for non-motorised recreational activity. It aims to create a buzzing outdoor recreation scene around Te Anau, Manapouri and the Te Anau Basin (including Mavora Lakes).


Initially, the Trust struggled to get funding, but regrouped in 2021. Major donations from Community Trust South and Meridian Energy Limited helped kick off fundraising from local businesses and individuals and the start of the trail network was born. 

In 2015 local engineer David Boniface joined and led the construction committee, drawing up tender documents and overseeing construction of the first part of the trail network. 

By June 2016 the Trust was able to open its first 10km of trail from Te Anau to Queens Reach. 

2015 – 2018

Each of the following three years saw more trail added to the Lake2Lake trail until 28km had been completed, with only a 4km gap unable to be built until the Fiordland National Park Management Plan is reviewed to allow cycling through a 2km section of trail that passes through National Park. During those four years the Trust raised over $1million with no Government funding and over three-quarters of funds coming from within Southland.


In 2018 the Trust was a regional winner in the TrustPower Community Awards and a finalist in the NZ Sport & Recreation Awards Community Impact category.


In 2020 the local community board upgraded the trail north of Te Anau and the Trust was able to extend this section over the following two years to form the Upukerora Loop, which also forms the first 5km of the Te Anau Downs trail. The New Zealand Transport Agency supplied a separate pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Upukerora River in 2021.


As of June 2022, the Trust is awaiting consent to continue extending the trail up the side of the Lake Te Anau. 

Events and more

The Trust has also been involved in organising and enabling events, initially with 5km and 10km runs or walks on the day of the Kepler challenge in December, then with a half marathon and later 10km run held in August each year. Other events held on the trail have included the Enduro, Men’s Muster, Saturday morning Park runs, Godzone and the Spring Challenge. The trail is a regular part of several bike tour groups and other tour packages.

There are now around 40,000 passes at the busiest section of the Lake2Lake trail and plans to build up the network as funds and authorities allow.