Located on the northern rim of the Mackenzie Basin in New Zealand’s South Island, Lake Tekapo is the second-largest of three parallel lakes in Mackenzie Country. Situated on State Highway 8, one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist routes, Lake Tekapo is just a 3 hour drive from Christchurch’s International Airport and offers exquisite natural views of New Zealand. Lake Tekapo holidays are known for having some of the world’s best views and are picturesque by day, but become even more dazzling by night thanks to its position within the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve.
This Lake Tekapo travel guide is designed to help you make the most of your time in this scenic region. Facing north across the remarkable Southern Alps, the township of Lake Tekapo is just a short distance from Mount Cook and is characterised by its unique yet intense milky turquoise colour. Created by fine rock flour that is ground by glaciers and then suspended in the water, the lake offers a number of walking tracks along the shore as well as some incredible hikes up Cowans Hill and the Mount John Observatory.
Lake Tekapo accommodation offers a variety of options to suit all travellers and budgets. Ranging from 3 stars to 5 stars and everything in between, Lake Tekapo accommodation enjoys spectacular views of the turquoise water and surrounding mountains, with some accommodation options even set on the shores of the lake surrounded by majestic mature trees. With options ranging from motels and cabins to full service hotels, boutique resorts, charming bed and breakfasts and even self-catering options, Lake Tekapo accommodation is ideal for a romantic couples escape, a holiday for the whole family or just a brief stopover. Book cheap Accommodation in Lake Tekapo
Unsurprisingly some of the biggest Lake Tekapo attractions, aside from the lake itself, are the world-class range of leisure and recreational pursuits and unique activities available year round. Visitors love taking part in all manner of climbing, bush walking, mountain biking, horse trekking, kayaking, fishing and hunting, boating, scenic flights, windsurfing, ice skating, water skiing, ski touring and cross country skiing. Another popular Lake Tekapo attraction is the Church of the Good Shepard. Situated on the shores of the lake, the historic church was built for pioneer families in 1935 and the alter window perfectly frames a stunning view of the lake and Southern Alps beyond. However if you would prefer to soak up the beauty of Lake Tekapo without the interruption of some of the more adventurous activities, the south-eastern corner of the lake is a designated ‘passive’ area for quieter forms of recreation.
Lake Tekapo is home to the southern hemisphere’s equivalent to the Northern Lights. Unsurprisingly known as the Southern Lights, Lake Tekapo is New Zealand’s best vantage point for viewing this symphony of light and colour. Known for its lack of light pollution and its clear nights, Lake Tekapo is the best place to see the Southern Lights, particularly between April and September when views are at their best. For the best viewpoint in Lake Tekapo, head to the south-facing Mount John Observatory high in the mountains for the most spectacular experience of this natural light show.