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  • Writer's picturePatrick Broadbent


Turquoise waters and picturesque snowy mountain peaks frame the exquisite town of Lake Tekapo. Located in the Mackenzie Basin, a three hour drive south west of Christchurch, Lake Tekapo is favourite spot for both locals and visitors. You can happily spend your time enjoying the natural beauty of the glacial fed waters of the lake. If however, you want for more, then Lake Tekapo has plenty on offer.

  1. Find a shooting star at the Mt John Observatory

Lake Tekapo is one of the best places in the world to gaze at the stars. With its clear unpolluted sky, the area is a part of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. The Mt John Observatory has two locations in the region dedicated to stellar observations. You can also simply find a dark spot and enjoy the pristine night sky for yourself - mesmerising!

  1. Take a soak in the hot pools at Tekapo Springs

Three glorious pools await you at Tekapo springs, to infuse you with a sense of true relaxation. Take in the stunning views while soaking the stresses of the world away. The exceptionally pure waters make this alpine retreat an unmissable destination.

  1. Get your snow shoes on and go skiing. 

Or snowboarding - if that tickles your fancy. Lake Tekapo is home to two Ski Fields. Mt Dobson is the perfect spot for all day sun and wide open uncrowded runs. With a Snow School and passionate international instructors at the ready, Mt Dobson Ski Field has everything you need. Round Hill Ski Field, is an easy lakeside drive away and is host to stunning views. It is a great choice for beginners and families with one of the biggest learner slops in New Zealand.

  1. Dive in for some water fun on the Lake.

If gazing at the blue waters from the shore isn’t enough for you then Lake Tekapo has experiences in and on the water at the ready. If you fancy getting the adrenaline levels pumping then a burn on the Lake Tekapo Jet is in order. Start your journey on the south shores and head up the lake and around Motuariki Island. Gorgeous views and interesting commentary will provide some everlasting memories and stunning photos. If you are after something slower paced, then perhaps a kayaking adventure may be the ticket. The lake shore offers kayak spots for miles and kayaks can be rented from the Lake Shore Backpackers.

  1. Check out the best photo spots.

If you want to add a shot of the most photographed location to your holiday snaps then head to the Church of the Good Shepherd. Perched on the shores of the lake with the Southern Alps as a backdrop, it is Instagram worthy and definitely #nofliterneeded. If frolicking through a field of wild flowers is more your style then Lake Tekapo’s abundant Lupins will tick all the boxes. Blooming in all their purple and pink glory through late November to February, it is the stuff of picture books! 

Easy to get to when you hire a Snap Rentals car, Lake Tekapo is most definitely a destination and not just a pit stop. Soak up the beauty of the Mackenzie Region and make your Insta followers #jealous

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