10 Amazing Things To Do In Lake Tekapo

Hot List Inspiration Top 10
Nestled in the heart of New Zealand's South Island, Lake Tekapo is a hidden gem that offers a plethora of activities for all kinds of travelers.  The panoramic views at Lake Tekapo are simply breathtaking, with snowcapped mountains and crystal-clear waters as far as the eye can see.

Whether you're an adrenaline junkie or a nature lover, there's no shortage of things to see and do in this stunning destination. In this article, we'll explore ten amazing things you can do in Lake Tekapo to make the most of your trip.

1. Take a Scenic Flight Over the Lake

For the ultimate aerial view of Lake Tekapo, consider taking a scenic flight over the lake.  You can choose to fly in a helicopter or a small aircraft, and there are several tour operators to choose from.  Some tours even include a landing on a nearby glacier, which is an unforgettable experience. The view from above will leave you in awe of the natural beauty of New Zealand's South Island.

2. Hike the Lake Tekapo Peninsula Walk

For those looking for a more grounded experience, the Lake Tekapo Peninsula Walk is a great option. The trail follows the shoreline of the lake and offers stunning views of the turquoise waters and the surrounding mountains. The walk takes around 2 hours round trip and is suitable for all fitness levels. Along the way, you'll also pass by a quaint little chapel, which is a popular spot for wedding photos.

3. Capture the Beauty of the Lupin Fields

One of the most iconic sights in Lake Tekapo is the blooming of the lupin fields in the summer months. These vibrant purple and pink flowers attract photographers from all over the world, and it's not hard to see why. The lupins can be found all around the lake, and make for a stunning backdrop for your vacation photos.

4. Visit the Mount John Observatory

One of the unique things about Lake Tekapo is its clear and dark skies, making it the perfect spot for stargazing.  Whether you're an astronomy enthusiast or just a casual observer, there are plenty of opportunities to marvel at the universe.

The Mount John Observatory is operated by the University of Canterbury and is one of the most advanced observatories in the southern hemisphere. The observatory offers guided tours where you can learn about the cutting-edge research being done and observe the stars through its powerful telescopes.  The observatory is located on Mount John, which has stunning views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Tekapo.

5. Try Your Hand at Fishing

Lake Tekapo is home to several species of fish, including salmon and trout. If you're an avid angler, you can book a guided fishing tour where you can try your luck at catching some of these prized fish.  The crystal-clear waters of Lake Tekapo are the perfect spot for fly-fishing, so make sure to pack your gear.

6. The Church of the Good Shepherd

The Church of the Good Shepherd is a small stone church located on the shores of Lake Tekapo, which offers stunning views of the night sky.  The church has large windows that face the lake, making it a great spot to sit and watch the stars.  The church is also a popular spot for astrophotographers, who can capture the Milky Way and other celestial bodies against the backdrop of the church.

7. Soak in the Tekapo Springs Hot Pools

The Tekapo Springs Hot Pools are a must-visit, with several hot pools ranging in temperature from 28-39°C.  The pools are fed by natural hot springs and are surrounded by stunning views of Lake Tekapo and the surrounding mountains. The pools range in temperature from 28-39°C, so you can pick the one that's just right for you.

If you're looking for a more indulgent experience, consider booking a spa treatment where you can be pampered with massages, facials, and other treatments.

8. Learn About the Maori History of the Area

Lake Tekapo has been an important site for the Maori people for centuries. The lake was a source of food, water, and spiritual significance. You can learn about the history and culture of the Maori people by visiting one of the local museums or taking a guided tour with a Maori guide. You'll gain a deeper understanding of the area's significance and the important role it continues to play in Maori culture today.

9. Go Horseback Riding Through the Countryside

Horseback riding is a great way to experience the countryside around Lake Tekapo.  Several operators offer guided tours where you can gallop through fields and enjoy the stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.  The tours cater to all riding abilities, so whether you're a beginner or an experienced rider, you'll have a great time.

10. Visit the Lake Tekapo Village and Shops

The Lake Tekapo Village and shops offer a glimpse into the local way of life. The village is home to several cafes, restaurants, and shops, where you can sample local cuisine and purchase souvenirs. The village also has a small museum, which showcases the history of the area and the important role the lake has played in its development.


As you can see, Lake Tekapo offers something for everyone. From stunning scenery to cultural history, this hidden gem of New Zealand's South Island is a must-see destination.  Whether you want to relax and unwind, get adventurous, or explore the local culture, Lake Tekapo has it all.  So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Lake Tekapo today.

Discover More Christchurch Activities:

Check our Christchurch Experiences to find out the best activities and take advantage of the best prices.