Lake Tekapo on a sunny day.
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo , Christchurch - Canterbury

By Julian Apse

The Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
The Church of the Good Shepherd, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Sergio Del Rosso

Looking over Lake Tekapo from Mt John
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo , Christchurch - Canterbury

By Canterbury Tourism

Enjoying the views over Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Canterbury Tourism

Marvel at the night skies over Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Fraser Clement

Enjoying the hot pools at Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo , Christchurch - Canterbury

By Canterbury Tourism

Relaxing at Tekapo Springs in Canterbury.
Lake Tekapo
Tekapo Springs, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Julian Apse

Lake Tekapo

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.

Content courtesy of Tourism NZ

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Alpine Vista B&B and Alpine Cottage - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
Lake Tekapo
Offering free Wi-Fi, Alpine Vista B&B and Alpine Cottage offer panoramic views of the Southern Alps, Mt John, Lake Tekapo and the Two Thumbs Range. It is a 10-minute walk from Lake Tekapo and from restaurants, cafes and shops. All accommodation boasts stunning mountain views of the Sout... (more)
Book Tekapo Holiday Homes - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
Lake Tekapo
036806609
Just a 2 to 10-minute walk from Lake Tekapo, Book Tekapo Holiday Homes include free on-site parking.These self-contained holiday homes are scattered around the stunning Lake Tekapo Village and are within a 30-minute drive of Lake Pukaki. Aoraki or Mt Cook is an hour-drive away.All accommod... (more)
Hamilton Apartment - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
Lake Tekapo
036806224
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)
Lake Tekapo Budget Accommodation - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
8.10 11 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
036806808
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 Cottages - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
8.70 127 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
036806865
Surrounded by tall pine trees and a large garden Lake Tekapo Cottages offer stunning mountain views. Guests enjoy free WiFi and free secure parking.There are bicycles, fishing gear, a telescope or binoculars to watch the stars and barbecue facilities available.All studios and cottages are ... (more)
Lake Tekapo Lodge - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
9.80 118 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
036806566
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 - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
7.20 250 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
0800853853
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 - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
8.80 586 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
0800118666
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)
Lakefront Backpackers Lodge - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
6.70 61 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
0800840740
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)
Lakeview Tekapo - Accommodation in Tekapo New Zealand
9.10 66 Reviews
Tekapo
036806265
Offering free Wi-Fi and beautiful views of Lake Tekapo and the Southern Alps from all rooms and your private patio, lake view Tekapo offers accommodation with a kitchenette and flat-screen satellite TV.lake view Tekapo is located in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, the ... (more)
Lexi's Lodge - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
Lake Tekapo
021329885
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 - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
8.50 330 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
0800448891
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)
Marie Therese B & B - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
9.30 76 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
036806616
Just a 6-minute walk from Lake Tekapo, Marie Therese B & B features a patio with lake, mountain and river views. Free Wi-Fi, free parking and breakfast are included.Marie Therese Bed and Breakfast is a 4-minute drive from Church of the Good Shepherd and a 7-minute drive from Tekapo Springs... (more)
Parkbrae Estate - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
8.70 97 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
036806780
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 - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
8.60 1773 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
0800448891
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)
Tekapo Heights - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
9.00 200 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
036806528
Offering rooms with a private patio and partial lake or rural views, Tekapo Heights is just 1 km from Lake Tekapo. It features free Wi-Fi and a sunny terrace with views of the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo.Tekapo Heights Motel is 2.2 km from Alpine Springs, and 30 minutes’ drive from Lake ... (more)
The Chalet Boutique Motel - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
9.70 166 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
0800843242
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 Hotel - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
5.70 420 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
0800835276
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 - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
Lake Tekapo
0800448891
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 - Accommodation in Tekapo New Zealand
9.40 288 Reviews
Tekapo
036806899
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)
YHA Lake Tekapo - Accommodation in Lake Tekapo New Zealand
7.20 210 Reviews
Lake Tekapo
036806857
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)
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