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Lake Tekapo
Travel Guide

Lake Tekapo featuring a lake or waterhole

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.

Peppers Bluewater Resort
Peppers Bluewater Resort
4.5 out of 5
State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$149 per night from 16 May to 16 May
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! (2,605 reviews)
"Room was small but there was big wardrobe."

Reviewed on 3 May 2021

Peppers Bluewater Resort
Lake Tekapo Motels & Holiday Park
Lake Tekapo Motels & Holiday Park
2 out of 5
2 Lakeside Dr, Lake Tekapo, Canterbury
The price is NZ$107 per night from 1 Jun. to 1 Jun.
Situated on a lake, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Lake Tekapo and Tekapo Springs. Church of the Good Shepherd is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) away.
4.1/5Very Good! (29 reviews)
"Very accomodating staff member"

Reviewed on 2 May 2021

Lake Tekapo Motels & Holiday Park
The Godley Hotel
The Godley Hotel
3 out of 5
State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NZ$142 per night from 16 May to 16 May
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 ...
3.1/5 (972 reviews)
"Very comfortable and clean. Such a central location Would stay again"

Reviewed on 27 Mar. 2021

The Godley Hotel
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.
Peppers Bluewater Resort
Peppers Bluewater Resort
4.5 out of 5
State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$149 per night from 16 May to 16 May
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! (2,605 reviews)
"Room was small but there was big wardrobe."

Reviewed on 3 May 2021

Peppers Bluewater Resort
White House
White House
3.5 out of 5
12 Pollock Place, Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie
The price is NZ$368 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Situated in Lake Tekapo, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sheepdog Statue and Church of the Good Shepherd. Lake Tekapo and Tekapo Springs are also ...
2/5 (1 review)
"I’ll start with a positive, it’s a beautiful house with breathtaking views and if it wasn’t for the lack of attention to detail it would be worth the cost. It was very disappointing it wasn’t equipped with basic items I.e toilet paper, spray and wipe, dishwashing liquid, fire wood that actually fit ..."

Reviewed on 10 Aug. 2020

White House
Scott Street Apartments
Scott Street Apartments
3.5 out of 5
3 Scott Street, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$159 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Situated in Lake Tekapo, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Cowans Hill Walkway and Church of the Good Shepherd. Lake Tekapo and Tekapo Springs ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (91 reviews)
"Unit was well designed, spacious, clean, central to significant tourist sites, info provided was very useful, everything worked well, could see the lake, couldn’t fault anything. Highly recommend it."

Reviewed on 7 Feb. 2021

Scott Street Apartments
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.

Popular places to visit in Lake Tekapo

Top activities in Lake Tekapo

Reviews of Lake Tekapo

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
121
5 - Excellent 61.111111111111114%
4 - Good
55
4 - Good 27.77777777777778%
3 - Okay
18
3 - Okay 9.090909090909092%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 2.0202020202020203%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

4 Jun. 2020

Great place to pass through

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

21 Mar. 2020

Stunning scenery the view from the top of Mt John was well worth the $8 car toll to drive up.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

16 Mar. 2020

Plenty of things to see and take photos of. Small town with some restaurants and shops.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

16 Mar. 2020

The one night i was there the skies wete too overcast to see the incredible view of the stars, however i booked a tour at the dark skies project, it was excellent and i would recommend it.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

4 Mar. 2020

Beautiful location, worth the drive

5/5 - Excellent

Denisse

1 Mar. 2020

The downtown by the lake is pretty small with limited dinning options and the only supermarket in the area sells merchandise very expensive, so, if staying at a place with a kitchen, I'd recommend to bring your groceries and buy only the minimum.

Cities near Lake Tekapo