The 10 Best Things to Do in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

September 8, 2017 Jeremy Dunfee

Discover the best top things to do in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand including Lake Tekapo, Mount John University Observatory, Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo Springs, Mackenzie Sheep Dog Statue, Roundhill Ski Area, Mount John Summit Circuit Track, Lake Alexandrina, Peninsula Walkway, Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.
Restaurants in Lake Tekapo

1. Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand 080023538283
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Lake Tekapo

Reviewed By jdfranco - Glen Ridge, New Jersey

Beautiful beyond words. Breath taking. We stopped at the view and then at the church. As we could not get lodging near by we did not get to take full advantage of the area.
Make sure to book lodging in advance. We were being a bit too spontaneous and two weeks prior everything was booked. We stayed on Mt Cooke so driving back was just too long.

2. Mount John University Observatory

422 Godley Peaks Road, Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand +64 3-680 6000
Excellent
69%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 554 reviews

Mount John University Observatory

Reviewed By traveljetter2017 - Mumbai, India

We went on one of the nights and the staff briefed us wonderfully, helped us click pictures of the night sky, gave us hot chocolate, if you're lucky you may even see the southern lights. If you're in Lake Tekapo, its a must visit.

3. Church of the Good Shepherd

Pioneer Drive, Lake Tekapo 7949, New Zealand +64 3-685 8389
Excellent
50%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Church of the Good Shepherd

The Church of the Good Shepherd is situated on the shores of Lake Tekapo amongst the natural beauty of the lake and the Mountains. The Church of the Good Shepherd was built to the glory of God as a memorial to the pioneers of the Mackenzie Country. "Somehow the setting and the church combine to speak of God to those who enter and pause in the midst of their busy lives." - Peter Hurricks NO PHOTOS INSIDE Please do not use cameras, cellphones or tablets inside the church so that others may enjoy as is a place of prayer and reflection. PLEASE REMOVE YOUR WASTE There are no toilet or rubbish collection facilities in the area around the church so we kindly ask that visitors remove their waste and respect the natural environment around the church.

Reviewed By TravlQ - Bengaluru, India

A beautiful stoned Church alongside Lake Tekapo. It is a small church but quite well maintained; has beautiful surrounding around. This church is a must recommended one if you are planning to visit the lake. a small but a beautiful place.
Also, one can get a good view of lake from church surroundings, so this is a god lace for shutterbugs also.

4. Tekapo Springs

6 Lakeside Drive, Lake Tekapo 7945, New Zealand +64 3-680 6550
Excellent
42%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 914 reviews

Tekapo Springs

Located in beautiful Lake Tekapo, Tekapo Springs is a must-do for everyone, with a fun mix of relaxing and exciting activities. Soak in the stunning views from one of our 3 hot pools (36 - 39 degrees Celsius), all beautifully landscaped with native plants. Relax in our Steam & Sauna rooms and try the cold plunge pool. Children (and the young at heart!) love our Aqua Play Area with exciting interactive water features and shallow pool for playing in. There's a deep pool for swimming a few laps or jumping off the side. In summer, dare to ride the TRIPPO, an 11 metre high waterslide with three chutes providing hours of fun! In winter, get fit and have fun on our outdoor ice skating rink or try the thrilling 150-metre Snow Tube! Soak up some “me time” with a revitalising facial or massage at the Day Spa then sample the scrumptious menu at our fully licensed cafe. By night, Soak in the Stars with Tekapo Star Gazing, the only guided hot pools and star gazing tour in New Zealand.

Reviewed By KitchiGenoojay - Brisbane, Australia

I desparately wanted to go here. We actually waited outside for it to open, because I was so keen. We also paid extra for the sauna and steam room. I will start with the bad, then go to the good.
Really the value isn't great. Unless you're a family who is keen to spend like 4+ hours here it's a bit hard to justify it compared to the cost of swimming pools. The sauna and steam room door doesn't really lock or close properly so lots of people who didn't pay for the special key were entering anyways. Also on cost, we saw the lockers before the free cubbies outside. If I were doing it again, I wouldn't have got the locker, since it was cheap or user friendly. I still enjoyed my experience, but I kept thinking 'how could this be better?', I decided it just need more space. Only an hour after opening it was starting to get a bit too busy, and a bit too wild. Like, if you're trying to escape the screaming children, they were still quite present and active in and around the adult pools. If you have kids it could still be a bit chaotic just trying to control them or keep them to one pool when they want to explore. I saw a lot of parents trying to keep up with their kids and missing out on some quality relaxing. I guess it depends on your attitude a bit too! Just my thoughts: a lot of people, small place, questionably active lifeguards. Oh! and the steamroom smells a lot of cooked crustecean, like as if the steam is coming directly from a mass crab boiling operation below.
The good! The whole thing was awesome. The view (more so standing than sitting, cause of the landscaping) is incredible. The pools themselves are beautiful and kept clean and toasty warm. The front desk staff were very polite and accomodating. There's a waterfountain/bubbler to keep you hydrated, so you're not stuck paying for bottled water unless you prefer it.
My recommendations: there is a hike that goes around the pools nearby. Since you get a bracelet to return I think it would be a good day activity to do a swim-hike-swim combo. Consider bringing your own food if you can, the cafe was quite pricey. Come early, stay late, try to beat the crowds when you can (come in the off season!). Just get the pools, you're not missing much with the sauna/steam room.

5. Mackenzie Sheep Dog Statue

Pioneer Drive | Near Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Excellent
25%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
33%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 337 reviews

Mackenzie Sheep Dog Statue

Reviewed By julie B - Devizes, United Kingdom

A shortwalk from the centre and next to the Church of the good sheppard, you will find this endearing staue of a sheepdog. Nicley placed with a backdrop of the lake and Mountains

6. Roundhill Ski Area

2544 Lilybank Road, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand +64 21 680 694
Excellent
57%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 43 reviews

Roundhill Ski Area

Ski or Snowboard in the heart of the South Island of New Zealand. Roundhill is a fantastic family ski field with breathtaking views of Aoraki Mt Cook, the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo. Roundhill is a place that friends and family meet to enjoy a relaxing day on the slopes. Learners and little ones can head to our massive beginners area featuring a platter lift and 2 beginners rope tows for a fun and gentle way to find your feet in the snow. Our 2 T-Bars give access to loads of super wide, perfectly groomed intermediate trails with lots of natural dips and curves making for fun and interesting skiing and riding. For the more adventurous, head up the world’s (yes that’s right!) longest and steepest rope tow and see what Australasia’s biggest vertical drop (783m) is all about. Offering super long natural half pipes, chutes this is skiing and riding at its best. For the freestylers, Central Park has jumps, rollers, rails and boxes for most abilities. Our ticket office opens at 8:30am and lifts are open from 9am – 4pm. We look forward to welcoming you to Roundhill this winter!

Reviewed By Dearmans - Hastings, United Kingdom

The drive alone is worth it the views are stunning. Small area with everything from beginners ski school and bunny slopes to 783m vertical skiing slope. We saw some para-skiing too which was great. Nice hot chocolate in the cafe.Hi Dearmans, Thank you for your review. We agree, the drive is stunning! I'm glad you enjoyed our diverse terrain - and the delicious hot chocolates!! We hope you can make it again one day. Kind regards Kylie

7. Mount John Summit Circuit Track

Lakeside Drive, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand +64 3-435 0802
Excellent
50%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
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Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 34 reviews

Mount John Summit Circuit Track

Always check the website for changes that might affect your trip.

Reviewed By Larry P - Fargo, North Dakota

The "summit hike" up is about 45 minutes and moderately challenging. A young couple behind us with two toddlers had to turn back. The view from the top is rewarding and the circuit track around the lake (about another 90 minutes) has many nice views of the beautiful lake. We stopped at a car park right off Highway 8 and needed to walk at least another half mile to get to the track.

8. Lake Alexandrina

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Excellent
100%
Good
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Satisfactory
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Poor
0%
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 3 reviews

Lake Alexandrina

Reviewed By jmd632017 - Timaru, New Zealand

If you like walking in a wonderful secluded scenic spot then this could be the place for you. Approx 20 mins drive from Lake Tekapo you arrive at the outlet to Lake Alexandrina, this is a lake where only row boats are allowed and it is a trout fishermans dream. The Lake is surrounded by low hills which has a backdrop of Mountains often covered in snow, willow trees line the lake shore so there is always a shady spot to stop and take in the view. There are a few batches and caravans here but it is not overrun with people. No dogs allowed.

9. Peninsula Walkway

Godley Peaks Road, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
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Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Peninsula Walkway

Reviewed By unbobo911 - Tokyo, Japan

8号線からAstro Cafeに向かう脇道に入り、登山口を右折せずにそのまま直進。少し行くと右手に駐車スペースがある。ここがトレッキングの起点。そこから踏み跡と思しきところを歩いていく。あるきはじめてすぐ鉄のゲートを開けて中に入る(必ず閉めておくように、と書いてあるのでちゃんと閉める)。そこから踏み跡を辿ってとりあえずは一本道なのだが、道というほどはっきりしているわけではない。しかも、最初想像していたより結構距離があり、少しずつ不安になってきたあたりで、実は目印があることに気づく。ただこの目印、なかなか見つけづらいところにあるものもあって、なかなか一筋縄ではいかない。だが、結局はちゃんと順番に目印を辿って進むことができた。けっこうなアップダウンがあるが、指示通りに歩けば意外にきつくない、という感じ。面白かったのは、あるきはじめてすぐは蟻の大群に襲われ(サンドフライではないし、刺すわけでもないのだが、とにかく鬱陶しい)たが、同じ道を帰る時には全く纏わりついてこなかった。そこですれ違った往路の人は、「虫にたかられてしんどい」と言っていたので、いなくなっていたわけではないようだ。何故行きだけで、帰りは無視されたのかが不思議だった。

10. Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve

Lake Tekapo 7945, New Zealand
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Dark Sky Reserve is an Astro Tourism business which is dedicated to the richness in astronomy and science. We are firm believers that astronomy above and surounding areas within the Mackenzie country is for everyone forever.

Reviewed By 88_Gem - Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

We saw over 10 meteors one night. Stunning skies on a clear night. Unless you know alot about astronomy I would recommend a tour (either at Mount John Observatory, Cowen hill Observatory or at the hot springs) we did a tour that started at midnight at the hot Springs learnt alot about the stars and got to look through some really powerful telescopes and then relax in the hot pools star gazing for 45 mins. Priceless

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