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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, Lake Tekapo & Tasman Glacier(Small Group Day Tour From Christchurch)
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo & Tasman Glacier(Small Group Day Tour From Christchurch)
US$146,11 per adult
Traveler Favorite
10/10
Anuj our guide was terrific and had such passion for the area-we learned so much on the day. It's a long day but worth it. The glaciers were a highlight.
Nelmari_B, Jan 2023

Recent reviews from experiences in Christchurch

star-4
Great day out, with stunning views
Clare_H, Jan 2023
Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo & Tasman Glacier(Small Group Day Tour From Christchurch)
Although a lot of time was spent on the road, we had numerous stops either to take a rest or enjoy the scenery and take a photo opportunity. Our guide/driver was very knowledgeable and entertaining and kept us informed at all times. The road time seemed to go quickly thanks to the drivers interaction.
star-5
Mt Cook, it was a pleasure
Colin_R, Jan 2023
Mt Cook & Lake Tekapo Small Group Tour from Christchurch
The whole day really. Pick ups were on time & precise. Guide kept us informed from start to finish. Nice group of people on the small bus. The views were amazing. Taken to all the best views.
star-5
Photos Galore
Cathy_J, Jan 2023
Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo & Tasman Glacier(Small Group Day Tour From Christchurch)
The weather was perfect and the opportunity to take pictures of the scenery as we progressed through the pass was well planned. Every stop and break was perfectly timed. The journey was long but well worth it.
star-4
Wonderful tour with a...
Hwiji_A, Dec 2022
Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo & Tasman Glacier(Small Group Day Tour From Christchurch)
Wonderful tour with a good tour guide. Amazing view in Lake Tekapo and Tasman Glacier. Overall are good.
star-5
Best 4 Wheel drive experience
Deborah_L, Nov 2022
Scenic 4WD Tour Lake Tekapo Backcountry
Guide was fantastic and views were spectacular and information provided by guide by so interesting. A great experience
star-5
Trip of a lifetime
Graciela_S, Oct 2022
Christchurch to Queenstown via Tekapo & Mt Cook Small Group Tour
Steve was very friendly and made our trip from Christchurch to Mount Cook enjoyable. He knew the places well and gave us lots of tips and time to explore every places that we stopped. It was worth it and would definitely do it again when we travel back to NZ. Highlight of our trip was when we had lunch at the cafe at Mount Cook, overlooking the mountains. The view was spectacular! Thank you Viator for the memorable trip that we will forever treasure.
star-5
Day Tour Jan 2023
NARESHKUMAR_A, Jan 2023
Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo & Tasman Glacier(Small Group Day Tour From Christchurch)
Anuj was amazing! Very nice and comfortable tour. Scenaries were breathtaking. No words to describe. Thank god for the beautiful weather. The sun and the blue sky! :)
star-5
Awesome trip with 100% Kiwi Ass :P
Felicia_T, Oct 2022
Christchurch to Mt Cook via Lake Tekapo Half-Day Tour (One-Way)
We were really lucky going up to Mt Cook on a Sunday morn and having our guide Tony all to ourselves! As the party was small and time wasn't so tight, he was super accomodating about stopping at the various sights and making it feel like a very leisurely journey with a friend. We had excellent coffee, hot chocolate and delicious pies at Fairlie Bakehouse on a cold morn (before the long queues formed). Tony also kindly took the inside route that drove towards the mountain ranges (before rejoining typical route of the state highway) so we could get an extended eyeful of the mountains even before we got to Canterbury High Country! We also got to stop by Lake Tekapo for half an hour to walk along the water and soak in that fresh air and picture perfect landscape, before heading to chomp on salmon sashimi along the benches at Lake Pukaki. Other than the sights, our biggest highlight was learning about the meat industry from Tony who was so engaging and knowledgeable about NZ meat :) it was just a few short hours but we learnt so much! Really recommend this tour to anyone - way better than the large group tours because you get a more attentive guide and a less rushed itinerary. Well worth the price!
star-4
Great trip but could use some improvements
joanndt87, Sep 2022
Queenstown to Christchurch Via Mt Cook & Lake Tekapo Small Group Tour
Overall, this was a great trip! Our driver/tour guide was very funny and provided great knowledge. However, I didn’t appreciate how interactive it was and being forced to participate in some of his antics like singing your country’s national anthem. For those who are not aware, when you book the tour from Queenstown to Christchurch, you are passed off to another tour company midway after you visit Mount Cook and you do NOT stop at Lake Tekapo. I was extremely disappointed in this as it was advertised as part of the itinerary AFTER Mount Cook and it turns out the group I later joined had already stopped by Lake Tekapo beforehand/before I was swapped over…which is why I knocked off one star.
star-5
Amazing experience!
Antonina_R, Dec 2022
Mt Cook & Lake Tekapo Small Group Tour from Christchurch
Absolutely amazing experience with CheekyKea! Each other stop point was more beautiful than the other. Our guide was very friendly and with a great sense of humor which made this trip even more enjoyable. They provided us with water, welcome snack pack and even a lunch. Also, the minibus had free WiFi, not very stable, but we had it and this is great! Around 8am we had some coffee stop with a possibility to buy yummy newzealand pies. The way to the attractions is approximately 300km, but is absolutely worth it! We started at 6am and back around 7:30pm.
star-5
Value for money spectacular view
yuetwan_l, Oct 2022
Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo & Tasman Glacier(Small Group Day Tour From Christchurch)
The driver, an indian, is very informative. We travelled in a small group of 8. We managed to visit geraldine for coffee, lake tekapo, lake pukaki, twizel, hotel hermitage to view mt cook and lastly lake tasman & blue lake. Thank you.
star-5
What a beautiful day...
eunicebriffa, Jan 2023
Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo & Tasman Glacier(Small Group Day Tour From Christchurch)
What a beautiful day spent- lakes, mountains and beautiful scenery. The driver (AG....i think that was his name)is very friendly, gave us alot of information on the way. Very professional. Highly recommended
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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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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Lake Tekapo?
A:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Christchurch?
A:
As well as visiting the Lake Tekapo, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: