(August 2023) Plans to complete the Lake2Lake Trail from Te Anau to Manapouri are taking shape, as the Fiordland
Trails Trust begins investigations into a route that would create a full off-road link between the

Currently, to complete the full 28km Lake2Lake trail, users need to travel on the State Highway for
2km. However, a proposed route that would eliminate the need for that is now edging closer to

Construction on the Lake2Lake Trail started in 2015, and since then it has continued to grow in
popularity among bikers, walkers, runners and other off-road trail users. However, one of the middle
sections has not yet been completed, requiring users to travel on the highway and presenting a
health and safety risk that has long concerned the Trust.

The sticking point has been the Trust’s desire for the trail to go through part of the Fiordland National
Park. The Fiordland National Park management plan, however, does not allow for biking within the
national park.

While the Trust had hoped a review of the management plan would make way for its plans, they now
acknowledged with no clear timeframe for the plan review – and no guarantees of a review
ultimately allowing for biking – it was time for a new approach.

The new proposed route would avoid the national park but would still offer trail users a high quality,
scenic experience – and eliminate the need to travel on the State Highway.

Tagged as Leg 5 of the Lake2Lake Trail, the trail section will run from Balloon Loop to Supply Bay Road and complete the Lake2Lake Trail, connecting Te Anau and Manapouri through one off-road trail.

Investigations and scoping into the new trail leg are underway and discussions with affected parties
are making good progress.

Fiordland Trails Trust Chair David Boniface says it is exciting to have a way forward.

“As a Trust, we are very conscious of the health and safety risk posed by the requirement to travel on
the road for trail users who want to complete the full route from Te Anau to Manapouri or travel in
the other direction. The new proposal to link the trail is really exciting and we believe will add to the
hugely positive experience most trail users report,” he says.

“While this alternative route was not our initial plan, we are committed to the new way forward and
look forward to progressing with the work required to make it possible.”

While the alternative route for Leg 5 will require resource consent, Department of Conservation,  and landowner permissions,
the Trust is confident that this is now the right way forward.

A recent independent Impact Assessment on the Lake2Lake Trail found there was frustration with
users having to use the road to complete the full trail.

“Completing Lake2Lake trail is a priority for the Fiordland Trails Trust, along with extending our trail
network,” Mr Boniface says.

“The recent impact assessment report highlighted significant positive economic and social impacts of
the Lake2Lake Trail, and we have no doubt those benefits will only increase once the trail is complete.”

The Fiordland Trails Trust will do a presentation of the alternative route at its Annual General
Meeting on 10 October, which anyone is welcome to attend.