Lake Tekapo is New Zealand's highest lake and it's turquoise colour astounds visitors. The unusual colour of the water comes from fine rock particles suspended in the glacier fed waters reflecting the light. One of the most popular - and most photographed - landmarks in the region is the Church of the Good Shepherd. This iconic stone building was dedicated in 1935 and utilises part of the wood from the demolished Tekapo bridge.
Nearby a statue of a Bronze Sheepdog pays tribute to the strong contribution these animals have made to the farming community. West of Lake Tekapo is Mt John, and it's here you will find the Canterbury University Observatory. Driving to the summit of this mountain is well worth the soaring views you'll get from the top. Drive a little further towards Lake Alexandrina, a wildlife reserve home to many birds. No motorised craft are allowed on the water, making for a very peaceful visit. For a different view of this stunning landscape, catch a scenic flight over Mt Cook National Park and the West Coast Glaciers - Fox and Franz Joseph.
Earth and Sky Stargazing tour departs nightly from the office in the Lake Tekapo township. Travel to the Mt John observatory high above the village where you will explore features of the majestic Southern Sky. You will be provided with equipment and guidance, all you need to bring are keen eyes, warm clothes and a desire to see, learn, and experience.
Navigating your way through the Southern Sky using various telescopes and the naked eye, you will see amazing sights such as our own Milky Way Galaxy, the Southern Cross, Alpha-Centauri - our closest neighbouring star at only 4.3 light years away, and Sirius - the brightest star in our sky.
Behold and learn about our closest neighbouring galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, which grace our night sky along with constellations such as Orion the Hunter and Scorpius.
You may also have the opportunity to see star clusters like the beautiful Jewel Box; awe inspiring planets; nebulae, immense clouds of gas and dust; and distant galaxies which test the limits of human imagination.
The flight of a lifetime, the "Grand Traverse" is a spectacular scenic flight seeing experience allowing you to explore the Mount Cook and Westland National Parks. This magnificent flight encompasses two World Heritage National Parks and 200 km of New Zealand's most memorable and spectacular scenery. The contrast of colours is beautiful with the turquoise glacial lake against the tussock covered sheep stations. Your journey will bring you over Aoraki Mt Cook National park where you view New Zealand's longest glacier, The Tasman. From there you cross the main divide into the Westland National Park encompassing the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers which spill down to the rainforests of the west coast. Their large and varied fleet especially selected for New Zealand air tour sightseeing ensures that every passenger has a window seat and all aircraft have wings-above to ensure optimum viewing below. Pilots provide a full and informative commentary with multi language commentary brochures supplied.
The Mackenzie Country's Lake Tekapo contains some of New Zealand's most picturesque and natural scenery. Teal blue lake water and chiselled mountains are amongst Mackenzie's jewels. Join Mackenzie Alpine Horse Trekking by sharing the natural beauty in one of the most natural forms of transport available, in a saddle.
Enjoy a remote backcountry Scenic 4WD Tour through one of New Zealand’s most beautiful High Country Stations of The Mackenzie Country. Private access to Braemar Station offers guests the best views of unique landscapes and incredible scenery overlooking Mt Cook, Mt Tasman, Lake Pukaki and the Ben Ohau mountain range. Journey through remote 4WD tracks , across some of the most unforgettable High Country and experience the heart of Tekapo’s backcountry landscapes at their finest.
Tekapo Springs offers three adjoining main Hot Pools for you to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself while looking out to the beautiful Two Thumb range and stunning Lake Tekapo. Pool temperatures range from forty degrees celsius to thirty-six degrees celsius and each pool offers something different - massage jets to assist in taking away any aches and pains and fountains to splash under. For an adrenaline rush, you can also experience the 150-metre downhill waterslide! Experience this classic Kiwi summer activity and slip, slide and splash all day long amidst the stunning beauty of Tekapo.
The ultimate in stellar relaxation, Tekapo Star Gazing is the only guided hot pools and star gazing experience in New Zealand! A two-hour experience, the first half of this guided indoor / outdoor tour introduces you to Tekapo's amazing night skies with a unique combination of astronomy and storytelling. The second half of the tour takes place in a 38-degree hot pool; relax on a floating hammock and feel like you're soaking in the stars as you explore the wonder of night skies.
A stunning 2 day trek among New Zealand's highest mountains. Trek through amazing alpine terrain, surrounded by New Zealand's highest peaks and longest glaciers. Enjoy a night in the private Caroline Hut, savouring the fabulous views of the 2000m high Caroline Face of Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest ice face. Relax in its wonderful setting on the Ball Ridge, high above the Tasman Glacier, and be awed by the ice avalanches rumbling down Mount Cook. Sunsets in this high alpine environment can be incredible!
Climb Fergan's Knob with your guide in the morning for even more stunning views before beginning your descent. Enjoy the unique alpine flora and bird life on your way back down to the Tasman Valley and out to Mount Cook Village. The views out over the Tasman Glacier are even better in the return direction.
Get ready to embark on a journey 13.8 billion years in the making. A treat for the senses, the Dark Sky Experience brings science, tātai aroraki (Māori astronomy) and fascinating multi-media installations together in a ‘Big Bang’ of awe and inspiration. Thought-provoking, educational and entertaining, this journey is sure to change your outlook in the best possible way.
Navigating your way through the Southern Sky using various telescopes and the naked eye, you will see amazing sights such as our own Milky Way Galaxy, the Southern Cross, Alpha-Centauri - our closest neighbouring star at only 4.3 light-years away, and Sirius - the brightest star in our sky. Behold and learn about our closest neighbouring galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, which grace our night sky along with constellations such as Orion the Hunter and Scorpius. You may also have the opportunity to see star clusters like the beautiful Jewel Box; awe-inspiring planets; nebulae, immense clouds of gas and dust; and distant galaxies which test the limits of human imagination.
Lake Tekapo, in the heart of the Makenzie Country, is a very beautiful, turquoise coloured lake that provides good fishing for both brown and rainbow trout. It is the Northern most lake in the upper Waitaki basin and is mostly fed by snow melt, causing the light turquoise colour from the glacial silt. Lake Tekapo holds good numbers of trout and some reaching very impressive weights. There are a number of small creeks and rivers which generally flow clear providing excellent fishing at the point they enter the lake.
For the shoreline angler, some of the best fishing is to be found around the mouths of these small streams. Most anglers however prefer to troll a lure from a boat. There is good access to the southern shore via State Highway 8. The Lilybank road provides good access at several points along the eastern shore and the Godley Peaks road provides access near Lake McGregor and towards the northern end of the lake.
Just west of Tekapo is Mt. John and located on top is the University of Canterbury's astronomical observatory. Located here due to the large number of clear night skies the region enjoys. As well as offering tours of the Observatory during the day you can also enjoy an evening tour to view the night skies.A detour from the main road to take the steep windy road to the top is well worth the effort with incredible 360 degree views of Lakes Tekapo, Alexandrina and McGregor as well as the vast Mackenzie high country and the Tekapo basin. The Astro Cafe is a great place to enjoy coffee and the best views in the region. If you have the time then the Mt John walkway is a enjoyable short hike starting in Tekapo.
Grab your tube and head to the top of Tekapo Springs Tube Park for a fun activity the whole family will enjoy. Spend an hour sliding down the snow-covered slope with friends and family, or head up the hill alone if you're feeling extra brave!
Hike above worry level in the foothills of the Southern Alps. Be inspired by the magic light of the Mackenzie High Country across golden tussock, snow-capped peaks and the turquoise of Lake Tekapo. Climb a 2070m peak and return to a cosy mountain hut to savour the sun setting behind mountain silhouettes and a star-studded sky - one of the clearest and darkest skies in the southern hemisphere.