Welcome to Lake Tekapo

Such splendid Mackenzie Country and Southern Alps views are reason enough to linger, but there's infinitely more to see if you wait till dark. In 2012 the Aoraki Mackenzie area was declared an International Dark Sky Reserve, one of only 12 in the world, and Tekapo's Mt John – under light-pollution-free skies – is the ultimate place to experience the region’s glorious night sky.

Top experiences in Lake Tekapo

Amazing hotels and hostels

We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

Travel guides

Starting at $36.39

Image for

Lake Tekapo activities

$263.64 Day Trips & Excursions

Explore Mount Cook from Christchurch

A short stop at either the Tin Shed (an old shearing shed selling discount sweaters) or at Barkers Winery for tastings of wines, sauces and jams. Continuing through the foothills of the Southern Alps from Geraldine to Fairlie and through the MacKenzie Basin, with its brown snowgrass-covered landscape which has an almost desert like aspect, to Lake Tekapo. There is the opportunity to take an idyllic photograph of the Church of the Good Shepherd on Lake Tekapo with its backdrop of magnificent alpine scenery.Next, it's onto Lake Pukaki where the Tasman Valley opens into the MacKenzie Basin with Mount Cook and the surrounding snow covered peaks in the background. Lunch is at the Hermitage in the Mount Cook National Park. Following lunch an alpine flight over the National Park can be arranged with Mount Cook Airlines (optional at additional cost, payable direct). Glacier landings by ski planes are also available (optional at additional cost, payable direct).Next, you'll explore the Tasman Glacier where a twenty minute climb by foot will take you to the top of the terminal moraine, this vantage point provides views of both the Tasman Glacier and the newly formed Lake Tasman. Return by coach in the afternoon, stopping at the Canterbury high country town of Fairlie for late afternoon tea.

$421.12 Multi-day & Extended Tours

South Island Flexible Travel Pass - Christchurch Return

Christchurch to KaikouraWe depart Christchurch International Airport early in the morning for a scenic drive up the coast to the wildlife wonderland of Kaikoura. Spend the afternoon whale watching or swimming with dolphins.Kaikoura to PictonContinue north to the top of the South Island to our next destination Picton, nestled on the edge of the stunning Marlborough Sounds. Enjoy an afternoon free to walk part of the unbelievably beautiful Queen Charlotte Track, or just explore Picton's waterfront and town centre.Picton to Abel TasmanWe cruise through the world famous Marlborough vineyard area to the coastal town of Nelson. We make a supermarket stop then make our way to our amazing and remote overnight stop right on the edge of Abel Tasman National Park. The next day is a free day.Abel Tasman to Franz JosefWe make our way down the ‘wild’ West Coast to the spectacular limestone Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes. We’ll take a short stop in Greymouth  on our way to the Franz Josef Glacier. The next day you'll have a full free day to experience the Franz Josef Glacier.Franz Josef to WanakaSee the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson then travel inland through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora towards Wanaka. This is one of the most scenic drives you’ll ever do! We arrive in Wanaka late-afternoon in time to enjoy this picturesque lakeside town.Wanaka to QueenstownQueenstown is known in New Zealand as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ and the spiritual home of bungy jumping! Spend at least two days in Queenstown taking it all in! Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt CookWe arrive at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook with time for afternoon activities. Mt Cook to RangitataLeaving Mt Cook, we stop to admire the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo. After lunch, we will continue to our overnight stop in Rangitata Peel Forest. Tonight, we’ll stay in one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations.Rangitata to ChristchurchThis morning, you will have the opportunity to sign up to a top-notch grade 5 white water rafting experience on Rangitata River, nestled under the foot of the Southern Alps or to explore the stunning Peel Forest scenery on horseback. Today marks the end of your Stray trip as we arrive in Christchurch  

$2399 Multi-day & Extended Tours

10-Day Photography Expedition of the South Island of New Zealand

Join this stunning 10-day photography expedition of New Zealand. Each day there will be a variety of themes for your pictures!DAY 1: Christchurch After the overnight flight to New Zealand then Christchurch, the second largest city of the country and transfer to the hotel, the morning will be free for you to recover from the long journey and adapt to the time zone. We will have a welcome dinner and orientation to the expedition. Enjoy the afternoon walking around the main streets of the city center, or just stay resting in the hotel. (D)DAY 2: Mount Cook We will start the day with a visit to the central botanical gardens. Early in the afternoon our destination will be Aoraki Mount Cook with stops at Lake Pukaki and the famous Good Shepherd church at Lake Tekapo. After dinner we will make some long exposure photos of the stars, with backdrops of Hooker Valley and Aoraki Mount Cook. Photo theme: landscape, nature, architecture and road. (B)DAY 3: Mount Cook Today we will explore the short walks in the Hooker and Aoraki valleys and Mount Cook with its beautiful lakes and parks, after that we will be traveling to Wanaka. Photo theme: landscape, nature, architecture and road. (B)DAY 4: Wanaka Our day will start with Lake Wanaka follow by Mount Aspiring National Park, Cardrona and Crown Range Valley. Photo theme: landscape, nature, architecture and road. (B)DAY 5: Catlins/Nugget Point After a photographic sunrise by the Lake Wanaka, we will travel to the region of Catlins Forest Park and Nugget Point lighthouse until the sunset. Photo theme: landscape, nature and road. (B)DAY 6: Milford Sound We leave early to Milford Sound through Te Anau. There will be many photo stops along the way on the most beautiful highway in the country. The sunset with Mitre Peak as background. Photo theme: landscape, nature and road. (B)DAY 7: Milford Sound Free morning. Photo theme: landscape and nature. (B)DAY 8: Queenstown Morning journey to Glenorchy and the Greenstone. In the afternoon we will explore the region in Queenstown and the legendary city of Arrowtown, and the Kawarau Bungee Jump. Photo theme: landscape, nature, city and architecture. (B)DAY 9: Queenstown In the morning we will explore Queenstown, Lake Hays, Wakatipu and the Remarkables. At night we will have our farewell dinner. Photo theme: landscape, nature, city and architecture. (B, D)DAY 10: Queenstown After breakfast, shuttle to the airport and return flight home.

$2910.90 Multi-day & Extended Tours

24 Day Epic NZ Tour - Haka Tours

Tour starts 8.00am at Haka Hotel Newmarket, 9 Manukau Rd, Newmarket Auckland Day 1 Auckland to Paihia - Begin your adventure with perfect beaches, ancient forests and more Day 2 Paihia - Soak up the sun in Paihia and the Bay of Islands Day 3 Paihia to Auckland - Visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds and explore the surrounding region Day 4 Auckland to Coromandel - Take in the oh so perfect coastal views on an epic scenic drive to the Coromandel. Day 5 Coromandel to Waitomo - Explore majestic Cathedral Cove, dig your own hot tub before heading to Waitomo. Day 6 Waitomo to Rotorua - Discover underground caves illuminated by thousands of glowworms and journey to Rotorua. Day 7 Rotorua - A full day in Rotorua with options galore Day 8 Rotorua to Taupo - A free morning in Rotorua and a short drive to Taupo.. Day 9 Taupo - Explore the Taupo region, home of Australasia’s largest lake and the world-famous Tongariro Crossing Day 10 Taupo to Wellington - After road-tripping past Mordor and Mt Doom we hit New Zealand’s “cool little capital”, Wellington. Day 11 Wellington to Kaikoura - Sail to the South Island and discover the stunning Kaikoura coast. Day 12 Kaikoura to Christchurch - A paradise for marine wildlife, Kaikoura is home to playful dolphins and beautiful whales Day 13 Christchurch to Lake Tekapo - Explore downtown Christchurch before heading to the striking lakes and mountains of Tekapo. Day 14 Lake Tekapo to Queenstown - A stunning drive through mountain landscapes to the jewel of the South Island: Queenstown Day 15 Queenstown - Indulge your inner adrenaline junkie in Queenstown.  Day 16 Queenstown to Wanaka - Cross the mountains from Queenstown into wondrous Wanaka. Day 17 Wanaka to Franz Josef - Our favourite scenic New Zealand drive from the Southern Alps to the West Coast. Day 18 Franz Josef - Take in the stunning Franz Josef Glacier. Day 19 Franz Josef to Punakaiki - Road trip up the South Island’s wild West Coast Day 20 Punakaiki - Hear the roars of the crashing waves on the Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki. Day 21 Punakaiki to Abel Tasman - Journey to the top of New Zealand’s South Island; in summer we sleep on a unique floating backpackers. Day 22 Abel Tasman - Prepare to fall in love with Abel Tasman National Park. Day 23 Abel Tasman to Wellington - Discover azure skies and wide open spaces around our sunniest location - Nelson. Day 24 Wellington to Auckland - Journey back up to Auckland.

$418.31 Private & Custom Tours

Lake Tekapo from CHCH Private Escorted Tour for up to 5 people

Lake Tekapo Escorted Private tour for up to 5 peopleLarge modern air conditioned vehicle with pure NZ lambs wood seat covers.Knowledgeable interesting and professional Driver/Guide.This area will blow you away!Tour through Lake Tekapo and stop at the Church Of The Good Shepard.Depart 10:00 am or as arranged with Christchurch Taxi Tours and TransfersPhoto stops galore - you can tell us where to stop.Pristine lakesRugged beautyIf time permit we could visit one of the Salmon Farms in the area.Light snacks and pure NZ Spring Water complimentaryAirport Meet and Greets by arrangementTHINGS TO DO IN TEKAPORelax or...............  STARGAZE IN A DARK SKY RESERVEYep, Lake Tekapo is literally one of the best places in the world for stargazing. It’s part of the Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve which means it is recognised on an international scale for its pristine stargazing conditions. Either hop in the car, get out of town, and find a safe place to pull over for some stargazing away from artificial light to enjoy the stars. Or join a tour to the Mt John Observatory where you can use state-of-the-art telescopes to see galaxies like you’ve never seen before.GET AN OBLIGATORY PHOTO WITH THE CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD The Church of the Good Shepherd is the most photographed building in New Zealand. That’s likely because it’s impossible to take a bad photo of this quaint church with the stunning backdrop of Lake Tekapo and the Southern Alps. Work on your people-deleting Photoshop skills though, because there’s a whole bunch of people wanting to take a photo at the same time as you!TAKE A SCENIC FLIGHT OVER THE SOUTHERN ALPSThat’s right, from Lake Tekapo airport you can take scenic flights not only over Lake Tekapo itself, but all the way to the Southern Alps. Fly around New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook, and see a whole lot of glaciers, glacier lakes, braided rivers and generally mind-blowing scenery.RELAX IN SOME HOT POOLS (Recommended by CTTT)Unwind at the Tekapo Springs hot pool complex with three large hot pools varying in temperatures and overlooking Lake Tekapo. In winter, the complex also features ice skating, while summertime means jumping on the giant water slideGIVE THE DOG STATUE SOME ATTENTION (Recommended by CTTT)Standing in the shadow of the Church of the Good Shepherd, many tourists forget to give the dog monument the attention it craves. The Mackenzie sheep dog statue is a monument to the first permanent settler of the area, James Mackenzie and his dog, Friday.GO SKIING/SNOWBOARDING...and much, much more.

$878.80 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Overnight Luxury Tour - Mt Cook and Lake Tekapo from Christchurch

Day 1 Itinerary: Pickup from your hotel or preferred location in Christchurch. Take the scenic route via Ashburton & Geraldine. Visit the heart of Mackenzie Country and take a short break at Lake Tekapo. Take a drive through Lake Pukaki and reach the majestic Mt. Cook. Enjoy a scrumptious buffet lunch at Hermitage Hotel. Time to explore the alpine walks & glacier valley in Mount Cook. Drive back to Lake Tekapo & check-in to your hotel. Enjoy a 3-course dinner with overnight stay in a 4-star accomodation in Lake Tekapo. Experience Stargazing with Earth & Sky Tour at Mt. John Observatory. Day 2 Itinerary: Enjoy hot/ cold breakfast at your hotel before checking-out. Visit the Church of Good Shepherd & Sheepdog Memorial. Time to explore the town of Tekapo with some time for shopping. Drive to Mt. John Observatory for unbeatable views of alpine landscapes. Soak & relax yourself in hot pools at Tekapo Springs. Enjoy lunch at one of the many cafes’ in Tekapo (at your own expense). Drive back to Christchurch via same scenic route. Stretch legs at the picturesque little town of Fairlie. Return back & drop off to your hotel or preferred location in Christchurch.