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Lake TekapoNew Zealand

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.

Top hotels in Lake Tekapo

Peppers Bluewater Resort
Peppers Bluewater Resort
4.5 out of 5
State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$149 per night from 21 Oct. to 22 Oct.

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 ...

4.1/5Very Good! (2,528 reviews)

"Room smaller than expected however still tidy and modern"…"

Reviewed on 16 Oct. 2020

Peppers Bluewater Resort
The Godley Hotel
The Godley Hotel
3 out of 5
State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$129 per night from 21 Oct. to 22 Oct.

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 (964 reviews)

"The staff were very friendly and helpful. The room was quite dated, with squeaky floor, a shower with very low pressure and the mattress was very tired. Other than that it was great."…"

Reviewed on 30 Aug. 2020

The Godley Hotel
Lake Tekapo Village Motel
Lake Tekapo Village Motel
3.5 out of 5
Village Centre, State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$160 per night from 5 Nov. to 6 Nov.

Situated in the mountains, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Lake Tekapo and Church of the Good Shepherd. Sheepdog Statue and Tekapo Springs are also ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (833 reviews)

"In the middle of town so very close to the shops along with some good tourist points within walking distance."…"

Reviewed on 19 Sep. 2020

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.

Holiday Rentals in Lake Tekapo

Peppers Bluewater Resort
Peppers Bluewater Resort
4.5 out of 5
State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$149 per night from 21 Oct. to 22 Oct.

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 ...

4.1/5Very Good! (2,528 reviews)

"Room smaller than expected however still tidy and modern"…"

Reviewed on 16 Oct. 2020

Peppers Bluewater Resort
Mantra Lake Tekapo
Mantra Lake Tekapo
4 out of 5
1 Beauchamp Place, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$245 per night from 21 Oct. to 22 Oct.

Situated on a lake, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Lake Tekapo and Church of the Good Shepherd. Tekapo Springs is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (517 reviews)

"Proximity to Tekapo Village and warmth of unit/ apartment was greatly appreciated. Lovely family accommodation with full kitchen and laundry facilities was very handy. The internal access garage was brilliant too."…"

Reviewed on 9 Jul. 2020

Mantra Lake Tekapo
Scott Street Apartments
Scott Street Apartments
3.5 out of 5
3 Scott Street, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$139 per night from 21 Oct. to 22 Oct.

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 ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (80 reviews)

"Very cosy apartment with great amenities, great location, we wish we stayed more than one night."…"

Reviewed on 14 Aug. 2020

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

Church of the Good Shepherd
Image for Church of the Good Shepherd

Church of the Good Shepherd

4.5/5(175 reviews)

Stop off at this charming church to enjoy stunning mountain views, appreciate some fine stone carving and learn its fascinating history. 

Mount John Observatory
Image for Mount John Observatory

Mount John Observatory

4.5/5(66 reviews)

Take an evening tour to see the wonders of the night sky or visit during the day to enjoy the stunning views of Lake Tekapo and the surrounding mountains.

Sheepdog Statue
Image for Sheepdog Statue

Sheepdog Statue

4/5(131 reviews)

Standing proudly before the snow-capped Southern Alps, this famous statue is testament to the high esteem with which sheepdogs are held in this area.

Top activities in Lake Tekapo

Aoraki-Mt Cook & Tasman Glacier day tour from Christchurch
Image for Aoraki-Mt Cook & Tasman Glacier day tour from Christchurch

Aoraki-Mt Cook & Tasman Glacier day tour from Christchurch

NZ$344
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Full-Day Mount Cook National Park & Lake Tekapo Tour
Image for Full-Day Mount Cook National Park & Lake Tekapo Tour

Full-Day Mount Cook National Park & Lake Tekapo Tour

NZ$385
Per adult
Mount Cook & Twin Glaciers Helicopter Flight with Landing
Image for Mount Cook & Twin Glaciers Helicopter Flight with Landing

Mount Cook & Twin Glaciers Helicopter Flight with Landing

NZ$660
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Mt Cook Small Group Adventure Tour from Queenstown
Image for Mt Cook Small Group Adventure Tour from Queenstown

Mt Cook Small Group Adventure Tour from Queenstown

NZ$199
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Alpine Vista Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing
Image for Alpine Vista Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

Alpine Vista Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing

NZ$280
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
45-Minute Mount Cook Ski Plane and Helicopter Combo Tour
Image for 45-Minute Mount Cook Ski Plane and Helicopter Combo Tour

45-Minute Mount Cook Ski Plane and Helicopter Combo Tour

NZ$418
Per adult

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.

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