This Is Lake Tekapo
You’ll never forget the moment you come over the hill and see the glacial waters of Lake Tekapo for the first time. Are you ready for your love affair with the Mackenzie Region to begin?
Surrounded by snowy mountains at the heart of an expansive region is the popular holiday town of Tekapo. Here are our top tips to explore this beautiful place.
If you’re thinking you can see stars anywhere, you’ve never seen them from Lake Tekapo. It is home to the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, one of the best places in the world to see the stars thanks to minimal light pollution. You can take a stargazing tour with a range of operators such as Dark Sky Project, Silver River Stargazing and Tekapo Stargazing.
Dark Sky Project also offers an indoor experience, perfect for all members of the family and a great rainy-day activity.
Only a fool would underestimate a local club ski field. Roundhill Ski Area is one of the most beautiful small ski fields in New Zealand. The huge beginner’s area is perfect for first-timers, but if you’re adventurous and experienced, Roundhill has the world's longest rope tow, along with Australasia's biggest vertical drop (783m).
Visiting Lake Tekapo in August? You gotta check out Roundhills iconic 80s day. It’s a real hoot.
The best walk in Lake Tekapo is the Mt. John Summit Track. Leaving from behind Tekapo Springs, this trail heads gently uphill through forest, before a short climb into the open and up to Mt. John. The blueness of Lake Tekapo is only enhanced by the height. Done the walk? Grab a coffee at the Astro Cafe, a great place to soak in views on a chilly day.
From lakefront hostels to boutique lodges and suites, Lake Tekapo has you sorted for somewhere to stay. A common stop off while exploring the central South Island, the town is regularly buzzing with visitors.
Modern facilities will help you relax, as will the endless eatery options and visitor activities.
Don’t be expecting any chain store takeaways here, just good local tucker. From international cuisine to Insta-worthy burgers, pizzas to pub grub, Lake Tekapo has you sorted for a tasty meal.
Tekapo Photo Moments
Keep the camera handy when cruising around this lakeside town. There are endless great spots to grab that perfect memory of your Mackenzie visit.
Church of the Good Shepherd: Lake Tekapo’s most iconic building and surely the most photographed church in New Zealand, the contrast of the historic church against its breath-taking backdrop makes an incredible vista.
Mt. John: A hike up to Mt. John will provide amazing overhead views of Lake Tekapo. You wouldn’t believe it, but the lake looks even bluer from above.
Lake Alexandrina: Photographers love Lake Alexandrina’s beautiful jetty, and it's a great quiet spot to shoot astrophotography from.
Roundhill Ski Area: Even if you aren’t a skier, the wintery view of the mountains and Lake Tekapo from the top of the ski access road is just beautiful.