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Lake Tekapo - Things to do

Lake Tekapo is number 9 on the list of New Zealand’s largest lakes, and there’s a namesake village on the south shore. Lake Tekapo is located precisely in the middle of the South Island. The climate here is sunnier and drier than the country’s averages, and Tekapo is a pleasant place to be year-round.


Tekapo lacks any type of light pollution, which makes it an outstanding spot for stargazing. Study the constellations and planets during the Crater Experience at Cowan’s Observatory Star Gazing Tour. The night skies here are some of the most undisturbed in the country, and with the telescopes, you can explore more of the universe.


Lake Tekapo is a source of fun for adventurous backpackers: hire a kayak to explore the turquoise water, go paddleboarding, or enjoy a fast jet boat ride. Take a break at the Church of the Shepherd, a small stone cathedral that’s featured in numerous pictorials and blends in perfectly with the serene backdrops.


In November and December, you’ll be treated with a new spectacle around Lake Tekapo. This is when the lupines are in full bloom and show their magnificent colours. These flowering plants are known to be found here in the Mackenzie Region, and mainly around the lake.


Next to the mighty Lake Tekapo, it might be easy to overlook Lake Alexandria. But it’s definitely worth stopping by this smaller basin close to Lake Tekapo. Rent a boat or walk the track around Lake Alexandria to truly appreciate the beauty and the reflecting mountain tops in the water. Lake McGregor is only a brief stroll away and is another oasis of quietness and charm.


Duck into thermal pools at Tekapo Springs, a complex with pools, wellness treatments, and an on-site cafe with spectacular views. Right next to the entrance of Tekapo Springs you can start the Mount John Summit Track, which leads to a sky observatory that’s highly elevated above the lake and Tekapo town. Once you reach this summit, you can overlook the blue lagoon, mountain ranges, and a deep valley in a 360 degrees angle. Lake Tekapo has it all!

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