New Zealand may have travel restrictions in place, including self-quarantine, due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

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$129 per night from 28 Jan. to 29 Jan.

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! (2,572 reviews)

"Amazing view from the room, only issue was the window latch was broken so was a tad noisy when the wind hit!"…"

Reviewed on 21 Jan. 2021

Peppers Bluewater Resort
Mantra Lake Tekapo
Mantra Lake Tekapo
4 out of 5
1 Beauchamp Place, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$219 per night from 28 Jan. to 29 Jan.

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! (520 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
Lake Tekapo Motels & Holiday Park
Lake Tekapo Motels & Holiday Park
2 out of 5
2 Lakeside Dr, Lake Tekapo, Canterbury
The price is NZ$120 per night from 1 Feb. to 2 Feb.

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.

4.2/5Excellent! (18 reviews)

"Great spot on the shore of Lake Tekapo, everything was splendid!"…"

Reviewed on 9 Nov. 2020

Lake Tekapo Motels & Holiday Park
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$129 per night from 28 Jan. to 29 Jan.

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! (2,572 reviews)

"Amazing view from the room, only issue was the window latch was broken so was a tad noisy when the wind hit!"…"

Reviewed on 21 Jan. 2021

Peppers Bluewater Resort
Mantra Lake Tekapo
Mantra Lake Tekapo
4 out of 5
1 Beauchamp Place, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$219 per night from 28 Jan. to 29 Jan.

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! (520 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
The Mackenzie Suites
The Mackenzie Suites
3.5 out of 5
67 Darchiac drive, Lake Tekapo
The price is NZ$175 per night from 2 Feb. to 3 Feb.

Situated in the mountains, this eco-friendly apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lake Tekapo and Church of the Good Shepherd. Tekapo Springs and Mount ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (36 reviews)

"Beautiful apartment, awesome views. The apartment was well equipped, easy walking distance to town. Would highly recommend this place."…"

Reviewed on 21 Jan. 2021

The Mackenzie Suites
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