te anau

The settlement was first surveyed in 1893, shortly after the Milford Track opened. But a town only developed after the opening of the Homer Tunnel and road route to Milford in 1953.

Meaning of place name
Named after the lake. According to Māori legend there was a cave filled with glowing light somewhere on the shores of the lake. In 1948 this supposedly mythical cave was rediscovered, complete wth the lights of countless puratoke (glow-worms). Early explanations of the meaning of the name then gave way to the obvious interpretation of the full name Te Ana-au, te: the; ana: cave; au: swirling, in reference to an underground torrent that ran through the cave.

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