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Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

The Basics

Lake Tekapo’s stellar scenery is best visible from the Mount John University Observatory. Look skyward to see the Southern Cross, Milky Way, Magellanic Clouds, and southern lights (aurora australis). The area is not just for stargazers: The nearby stone-built Church of the Good Shepherd is also stunning, views of Mount John and the fields of purple lupines are lovely, and outdoor activities abound. If it gets too chilly, warm up at Tekapo Springs and enjoy fantastic views of land and sky while you soak.

Many small-group and private Mount Cook day tours from Christchurch include Lake Tekapo, the Church of the Good Shepherd, lunch, and hotel pickup and drop-off.

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Mount Cook Private Day Tour via Lake Tekapo including Lunch
Mount Cook Private Day Tour via Lake Tekapo including Lunch
US$291.51 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Post Covid Treat!
Our guide Anusj was amazing! Polite, friendly and knowledgeable. We had amazing weather and the change in lunch venue was also perfect. Highly recommend.
Rachel_H, Jun 2020

Recent reviews from experiences in Christchurch

star-4
Great day out to see the beauties of some of the south island.
Grant_Z, Jul 2021
Mount Cook Lake Tekapo & Tasman Glacier (small Group Tour Including Lunch)
Tour guide was very knowledgeable and the day was well worth doing. Plenty to see along the way and right amount of stops for photo opportunities.
star-5
Must do South Island experience!
Samuel_S, Jul 2021
Mt Cook and Lake Tekapo 2 Day Small Group Tour from Queenstown
Book this tour now! One of the highlights of our South Island holiday, this tour was spectacular from start to finish. On our first day we drove from Auckland to Hooker Valley, stopping to admire the scenery along the way. Once there were did the Hooker Valley hike up to Galcier Lake, it had just snowed and looked spectacular. We enjoyed a stunning sunset over the Southern Alps on our way to Lake Tekapo. That night we did the Lake Tekapo hot pool and star gazing, we got to look at the stars and planets through their telescopes and listen to folk stories about the constellations as we soaked in the hot pools until midnight. On the second day we were helicoptered up to the Tasman Glacier where we hiked around on top and in the glacier, it was an amazingly serene experience. Mark, our guide was very knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating to us throughout the trip. He went out of his way to cater the trip around the weather and our interests. Highly recommend this trip and a big thanks to Mark and the Cheeky Kiwi team for making this such an awesome experience for us!
star-5
Great tour
manue87, Jan 2020
Mount Cook Lake Tekapo & Tasman Glacier (small Group Tour Including Lunch)
This tour is perfect, and Anujk was a wonderful guide, very nice and helpful. The whole area surronding Mount Cook is just beautiful.
star-5
Awesome tour
rosealkahili, Dec 2019
Mount Cook Private Day Tour via Lake Tekapo including Lunch
Despite the fact that when we arrived at Mt Cook it was cloudy and pouring, we had an awesome time. As we couldn't go on the 45 minute hike due to the weather, Anujk stopped at other viewing points/ outlooks and even a lavender field. Awesome guide - really knowledgeable and made sure to tailor the tour to our liking.
star-5
It was a very well organised tour and the tour guide Anuj was very friendlt and helpful . He did not show any haste
Ratan lal J, Nov 2018
Mount Cook Private Day Tour via Lake Tekapo including Lunch
Very well organised tourTour guide Anuj is excellent and friendly He did not show any haste during the whole journey
star-5
Excellent tour!
milkoomeda, Dec 2019
Mount Cook Lake Tekapo & Tasman Glacier (small Group Tour Including Lunch)
Everything was perfect. Very nice service, amazing landscapes and a comfortable journey. The lunch was awesome as well. Thanks to our guide! Highly recommend!
star-5
Awesome day
Samuel G, Mar 2019
Mount Cook Private Day Tour via Lake Tekapo including Lunch
Amazing scenery, particularly at Mt. Cook National Park. Our guide was outstanding. He was very accommodating about stopping for photos and making sure our day was great. It was a long but very enjoyable day in a nicely furnished van. Our guide also provided snacks and beverages.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Lake Tekapo is a must for outdoors lovers and stargazers.

  • If walking or hiking the popular Summit Circuit Trek, wear sturdy shoes. And wear warm clothes in all seasons—it can get very cold at night.

  • Bring your swimsuit for a soak at Tekapo Springs.

  • Don’t forget your camera!

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How to Get There

Lake Tekapo is a 3-hour drive from Christchurch, Dunedin, or Queenstown. Buses and shuttles regularly travel past the lake from several South Island locations.

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Trip ideas

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How to Spend 2 Days in Christchurch

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Ways to Experience Maori Culture in Christchurch


When to Get There

Lake Tekapo’s personality changes seasonally. In summer (December to February/March), days are longer and average highs are around 68°F (20°C). In winter (May/June to August), the trees have shed their leaves and the surrounding mountains have snow; average nighttime lows are below 36°F (2°C). Skiing, ice skating, and alpine trekking happen until around mid-spring.

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Adventure Activities

There is a huge array of activities available around the lake. In addition to stargazing tours and hikes, there’s everything on offer from horse treks, kayaking, and biking in summer to skiing, snowboarding, and mountain trekking in winter. Don’t miss the geothermal Tekapo Springs, hot pools, and spas—especially when the temperature drops.

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