The Mackenzie Region is famous for blue lakes, rivers and beautiful mountains. A picnic on the shore of one of the stunning lakes is the perfect way to relax and take in the scenery.
Lake Alexandrina is a hidden gem and considered an “oasis of life” due to the wildlife that can be found there.
Hot tip: Turn off State Highway 8 onto Godley Peaks Road, only a short distance from Tekapo. The lake is peaceful due to no motorised watercraft and is especially beautiful in autumn.
The stunning views of the brilliant blue water at Lake Pukaki with Aoraki/Mount Cook in the distance will take your breath away.
Hot tip: Follow State Highway 8 and park near Hayman Road. Walk some of the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail and you’ll find plenty of great spots for a picnic and swim.
The traditional border between the Canterbury and Otago districts, Lake Ohau is cobalt blue in colour with views to the foothills of the Southern Alps.
Hot tip: Turn off State Highway 8 onto Glen Lyon Road near Twizel. Take a left after the bridge past Loch Cameron. The last kilometre is on a gravel road, then you’ll see Port Bryson with a beach and jetty.
The most family friendly of the lakes, Lake Ruataniwha was constructed in the late 1970s as a recreational reserve.
Hot tip: Turn off State Highway 8 near Twizel onto Max Smith Drive then turn into the motor camp entrance. The lagoon is a lovely spot with shallow, warm waters and large pine trees for shade. There’s a swing set and toilet too.
Pure turquoise waters and mountain views are a gorgeous backdrop for a relaxing picnic at Lake Tekapo.
Hot tip: Turn off State Highway 8 onto Lakeside Drive and park by the playground on the right. It’s a lovely spot with mature trees for shade and calm waters for swimming (if you can brave the cold water!). You can also walk there on the Lake Tekapo Walkway.