Picturesque by day and dazzling by night, Lake Tekapo is part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing.
Lake Tekapo is about three hours drive south-west of Christchurch in the Mackenzie Basin. The township faces north across the remarkable turquoise coloured lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps. Lake Tekapo gets its intense milky-turquoise colour from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water.
On the shores on the lake you'll see the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd, where the altar window frames a perfect view of the Southern Alps beyond the lake. The church was built in 1935 for the pioneer families of the Mackenzie district, and it's a popular photo spot for visitors.
Close by is the "sheepdog monument" - a bronze statue sculpted to recognise the district's debt to the sheepdog "without the help of which the grazing of the mountainous country would be impossible".
There are walking tracks following the lake shore. For huge views of the Mackenzie Basin you can hike up to Mount John Observatory (1031 metres) or Cowans Hill.
The southern hemisphere's equivalent of the Northern Lights, Lake Tekapo is one of the best places in New Zealand to see this symphony of colour come to life. Best seen between April and September, Lake Tekapo is known for it's clear nights and lack of light pollution, making it a great viewing destination. Head to Mount John Observatory - perched high in the mountains and south-facing - for your best chance of experiencing this spectacular natural light show.
The first people to live in the Mackenzie Basin were Maori. They quarried stone for tools, fished for eel, hunted birds and established summer camps along the rivers and lakes. European settlers didn't really know about the area until the mid 1800s, when a Scottish shepherd named Jock Mackenzie was arrested for sheep stealing. He ventured into this high country to hide his stolen flock from the eyes of the law.
Functional facts: Approx. population 320, food store, fuel.
Featuring free WiFi and a balcony offering beautiful lake and mountain views, Hamilton Apartment is located in Lake Tekapo. Guests enjoy free on-site parking.Situated alongside the lake, this spacious 2-bedroom apartment features a fully equipped kitchen, a spa bath and a lounge area. Each... (more)
Situated overlooking the deep turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo, with panoramic views of the New Zealand Southern Alps and surrounding countryside, Lake Tekapo Budget Accommodation is a backpackers hostel providing accommodation, with communal and budget rooms. We welcome groups, families an... (more)
Lake Tekapo Lodge is next to the village of Tekapo and boasts stunning mountain and lake views. It features modern New Zealand artwork throughout the lodge. Free on-site parking and free Wi-Fi access are available.The heated guest rooms include a flat-screen TV. The en suite bathroom offer... (more)
Lake Tekapo Motels & Holiday Park offers holiday park and camping ground accommodation in Lake Tekapo. It is set in the Mackenzie basin amongst trees overlooking Lake Tekapo and the mountains beyond.Accommodation includes 13 motels, 2 tourist flats, 8 ensuite cabins and 10 standard cabins ... (more)
Lake Tekapo Scenic Resort is a Qualmark 4-star Motel. It has 19 units and guests can choose from 12 lake view studios or 5x2brm.
Lake Tekapo is the second largest lake in the Mackenzie Basin in Canterbury. The Church of the Good Shepherd beside the lake is the oldest in the region and a... (more)
Our 72-bed lodge is specifically built for backpacker travellers. It overlooks the beautiful Lake Tekapo which is just a walk across the road. The lake is surrounded by picturesque mountain and lake views.The lodge opened in January 2005, it is built from wood and stone to blend into the l... (more)
Lexi's Lodge is located in Lake Tekapo.There is a full kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a hairdryer and towels. There is an additional bathroom. You can enjoy a mountain view and a garden view from the room. Extras include a wa... (more)
Mantra Lake Tekapo apartments feature a private balcony or patio and a lounge room with a fireplace. Guests enjoy an outdoor pool and a hot tub overlooking the Southern Alps. When the weather warms up, diving into the refreshing pool or just relaxing under the New Zealand summer sun seems ... (more)
Choose from 6 self-contained, unique places with all the comforts of home (linen supplied). Set amongst 4 acres of private gardens with spectacular views of the church, lake and mountains, Parkbrae is just 200m from the lake shore and yet only 5 minutes walk to the centre of town.Garden Co... (more)
Peppers Bluewater Resort is a 4.5-star hotel close to the shores of Lake Tekapo. This resort features luxury accommodations, great views and is ideally located for exploring the Mackenzie Basin and the Southern Alps. It is a 10-minute walk from the Church of the Good Shepherd.The air-condi... (more)
The Chalet is beautifully located on the lake front and offers you fantastic views to the lake and surrounding mountains either from the apartments and/or from its gardens and it's the perfect place for your private stargazing. When visiting this region stay with Zita and Walter Speck in t... (more)
The Godley Resort has spectacular views of Lake Tekapo and offers a restaurant with a great selection of local specialties, a charming bar, and an outdoor swimming pool and an indoor spa.
The Hotel offers comfortable and clean rooms in a beautiful location. All guest rooms have electric... (more)
The Residence offers luxury accommodation at Lake Tekapo. The Residence has been designed to integrate with nature in a landscaped alpine setting. It promises luxury, comfort and privacy in an idyllic location.Accommodation comprises of 28 spacious self-contained 2 & 3 bedroom apartments, ... (more)
Three Rivers Lodge is on the southern banks of Lake Tekapo, in the shadow of New Zealand’s picturesque Southern Alps. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide views of the lake and surrounding mountains.Guest rooms at the Three Rivers Lodge offer comfortable beds and private bathrooms. Rooms are m... (more)
Located right on the shores of Lake Tekapo, this backpacker hostel offers mountain views and a large lounge room overlooking the lake. In the lounge room, you can relax in front of the log fire, play the piano or watch the large TV.
YHA Lake Tekapo is 3 minutes’ drive from the Mount Joh... (more)