25 people found this article useful

5 Lake Tekapo Must-Dos


Things you can’t miss in Lake Tekapo!

Thanks to its awe-inspiring scenery, Lake Tekapo is a destination you can’t miss on the South Island. You might enjoy those brilliant turquoise waters and snow-peaked mountains so much that you’ll want to stay awhile! If that’s the case, then we have narrowed down all the things to do in Lake Tekapo to bring you this list of Lake Tekapo must-dos!

To make the most out of the scenery, stargazing, relaxing activities and more active activities, we have brought you the best of what there is to do in Tekapo. For more inspiration for your Tekapo stay, head to Lake Tekapo – Guide for Backpackers and find yourself some cheap accommodation with 5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Lake Tekapo.

XE - Money Transfer

1. Scenic flight over Lake Tekapo

Why do people come to Lake Tekapo? First and foremost, it’s for the scenery. The best way to really treat yourself to that scenery is with a scenic flight. See the vibrant turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo from above, as well as the mind-blowing views of the Southern Alps and Aoraki Mt Cook! Flights can be done by plane or by helicopter.


2. Stargaze in one of the world’s darkest skies

Lake Tekapo is part of an International Dark Sky Reserve meaning it has some of the darkest skies and best conditions for stargazing in the world. If you get a clear night, join a tour to the Mt John Observatory where you can use state of the art telescopes to check out the Southern Hemisphere’s perspective of faraway galaxies and star clusters. Alternatively, combine your stargazing with hot pools on the Tekapo Springs Stargazing Tour.

Tourism NZ

3. Get a photo of the Church of the Good Shepherd

As a quaint little isolated church on the shores of Lake Tekapo, The Church of the Good Shepherd makes its way onto everybody’s Instagram! You know you’re going to visit it anyway, so that’s why The Church of the Good Shepherd sits comfortably at number three on our list! And by the way, if you want to see lupins around the church, then this is the best time to see them.

Location: On the eastern side of the Tekapo road bridge down Pioneer Drive.
 Irudayam on Flickr

4. Unwind in Tekapo Springs

Hot pools have never felt as good as they do in this cool alpine town. Relax in three different large hot pools at Tekapo Springs. The outdoor pools give you great views of Lake Tekapo and the surrounding mountains. They make a great way to unwind after a long drive.

Location: Lakeside Drive.
Tourism NZ

5. Hike up Mt John

For a more active (and cheaper) thing to do in Lake Tekapo, a must-do is a hike up Mt John! After walking through pine forest, you’ll emerge on a tussock hillside with sweeping views of Lake Tekapo all the way to the Southern Alps. Walking up and back down again takes about 1h20mins or you can do the whole 3-hour Mt John Summit Circuit.

Location: Start from next to Tekapo Springs on Lakeside Drive.

Base Hostels
Was this article useful? Useful Useless
Help other travellers, share this article now:
Working Holiday Insurance
Northland Inc
Art & Culture

10 Historical Places in Northland You Can’t Miss

Historical Places in the Bay of Islands, Hokianga and Beyond. New Zealand’s [...]


10 Things You Did Not Know About New Zealand Wildlife

Fun facts about wildlife in New Zealand! That’s right, New Zealand isn’t just [...]

Viator Best Price Guaranteed
Hot on Backpacker Guide
North Island Cities

Auckland City Centre – Guide for Backpackers

The City of Sails, volcanoes and parks! As New Zealand does everything […]

South Island

11 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Akaroa

Experience Akaroa on a budget! It’s true, Akaroa is small town packed […]


12 Awesome Hikes in Picton

Explore Picton on foot! With sensational views over the Marlborough Sounds, native […]

We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
I accept