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Lake Tekapo

Travel Guide
Lake Tekapo featuring mountains, a lake or waterhole and wild flowers

Take in awe-inspiring views of rugged mountains by day and dazzling stars by night at the township on the edge of this magnificent glacial lake.

Spend a few days in reverence of New Zealand’s majestic Southern Alps, the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and one of the most spectacular night skies you will ever see. Trek through the mountains on horseback, relax in soothing hot springs and take your own picture of New Zealand’s most photographed church.

Many people only spend a short time in Lake Tekapo, stopping here on a tour to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and admire the church’s stunning mountain surroundings. However, a longer trip will reveal the charms of this alpine town where you can unwind fishing for salmon in the streams and hike through the forest.

The views across the lake framed by towering snow-capped peaks are simply mesmerizing on a clear day. The unusual milky-blue color of the water is due to the lake’s fine rock sediment, created over time by glacial movement.

One of the best places to overlook the lake is Tekapo Springs at the foot of Mount John. Soak in four different naturally heated pools and treat yourself to a massage. Stay into the evening and watch the spectacular night sky appear above you. Lake Tekapo is a designated UNESCO Dark Sky Spot; join an astronomy tour to learn about the clear constellations above.

In winter, the nearby Roundhill or Mount Dobson ski areas offer great skiing conditions. Back in town, enjoy a hearty meal at one of the restaurants or hotels. Stop for a drink and chat to the locals about life in the area.

Finally, don’t miss the Sheepdog Statue near the church. This pays tribute to the role the collie has played in helping sheep farmers survive in the tough terrain.

By car, Lake Tekapo is around 3 hours south of Christchurch and 3 hours north of Queenstown. Stop here for a night or two on your tour through the South Island, or make a daytrip from nearby Timaru.

The Godley Hotel
The Godley Hotel
3 out of 5
State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$154 per night from 25 Jul. to 25 Jul.
Situated on a lake, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Lake Tekapo and Church of the Good Shepherd. Tekapo Springs and Mount John Observatory are also ...
3.9/5Very Good! (152 reviews)
"Nice view across the lake. Warm beds. Not very sound proof. Good base for a couple of nights stay."

Reviewed on 13 Jul. 2021

The Godley Hotel
Peppers Bluewater Resort
Peppers Bluewater Resort
4.5 out of 5
State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$188 per night from 25 Jul. to 25 Jul.
Situated in Lake Tekapo, this luxury aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lake Tekapo, Church of the Good Shepherd and Sheepdog Statue. Tekapo Springs and ...
4/5Very Good! (2,628 reviews)
"This is a very clean, neat and beautiful place to stay, I loved it!"

Reviewed on 27 Jun. 2021

Peppers Bluewater Resort
Lake Tekapo Village Motel
Lake Tekapo Village Motel
3.5 out of 5
Village Centre, State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$167 per night from 25 Jul. to 25 Jul.
Situated in the mountains, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Dark Sky Project, Cowans Hill Walkway and Lake Tekapo. Church of the Good Shepherd and Sheepdog ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (853 reviews)
"Close to everything"

Reviewed on 15 Jul. 2021

Lake Tekapo Village Motel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Port Watch - Akaroa Holiday Home
Port Watch - Akaroa Holiday Home
78 Woodills Road, Akaroa, Canterbury
Situated in Akaroa, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of St Patrick's Catholic Church and Akaroa Wharf. Artisans Gallery and Akaroa Museum are also within ...
Port Watch - Akaroa Holiday Home
The Grandstand - French Farm Holiday Home
The Grandstand - French Farm Holiday Home
326 Wainui Main Road, French Farm, Canterbury
Situated in French Farm, this holiday home is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Wainui Banks Peninsula and within 12 miles (20 km) of Akaroa Wharf and St Patrick's Catholic ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (2 reviews)
Fabulous views
"This was a fabulously, peaceful place to stay. Wonderful views, not too far to drive to Akaroa and equipped with all we needed for out short stay. The birdsong in the evening was amazing as we sat out on the deck. Would book again!"

Reviewed on 22 Jan. 2021

The Grandstand - French Farm Holiday Home
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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