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Top 3 things to do and activities in Tekapo

Lake Tekapo in many ways is a perfect illustration of what makes New Zealand so special and well-regarded.  Whether you’re looking for the perfect weekend getaway from the city or need somewhere to rest your weary head en route to other South Island attractions, Tekapo has a lot to offer.

Regardless of the time of year or weather conditions, Lake Tekapo’s a photographer’s delight with its perfect turquoise-tinted water created by rock flour from surrounding glaciers. 

Tekapo boasts an almost unlimited amount of top quality activities and things to do, however for those on tight timeframes we thought we’d summarise some of the best things to do and experience in this rural haven.


Relax and unwind

While New Zealand’s renowned as an adrenaline-fueled destination, it’s also one of the best to reconnect with nature and simply relax. Tekapo’s one of the South Island’s most friendly and laid-back towns if this is one of your holiday aims… In its wide-open setting, surrounded by incredible scenery, it couldn’t be much more peaceful and tranquil.

Take a trip to the Tekapo Hot Pools on a crisp morning to help relax those sore or tired muscles, then pop into the adjoining Glacier Day Spas and take your relaxation and ‘me time’ to the next level!

While you’re there, complete your magical day out by heading to the café to warm up by the fire or cool down with a beer – bliss.

Star gaze

Experience the wonders of the universe at the Mount John Observatory. Tekapo’s lucky to sit within a stone’s throw of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, making star gazing quite simply amazing! Join a tour and get the full experience, or just stay up late with a glass of wine and lose yourself in the thousands of stars twinkling away. If the weather isn’t great and cloud cover’s spoiling your view, they still run interactive tours for those interested.

Explore in awe

One of New Zealand’s strong points is not having to pay a fortune to have an incredible time… everywhere you go there are dozens of walking trails for every ability and mountain biking tracks for those wanting a bit more of a rush.

One of our favorite activities is just to head up Mount John on a clear day, to have your breath taken away by the panoramic view. With impressive mountains in all directions, including Mt Cook (NZ’s tallest peak) standing tall, you are bound to get a great photo to take back as a memory. It is also only a short drive  to some of the local ski fields. Why not get back on a pair of skis, or if you are new to it, ski instructor training is bound to make you fall in love with the winter sport.

We would also recommend heading over to the Church of the Good Shepard and getting a picture with the statue of one of New Zealand’s most famous dogs! You can find out why Friday (the dog) is so famous here.

You can find a list of Tekapo walks and routes here.