Lake Tekapo Tourist Attractions
Lake Tekapo Tourist Attractions – Lake Tekapo is the second largest of three roughly parallel lakes which running-north south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin which is located in the South Island of New Zealand. It covers an area of about 83 square kilometres or 32 sq mi, and is located at an altitude of 700 metres or 2,300 ft above sea level.
This lake is fed at its northern tip by the braided Godley River, which owns its source in the Southern Alps to the north. The lake is a popular tourist attraction, and some resort hotels are situated at the borough of Lake Tekapo at the lake’s southern tip. The Lake Tekapo Regional Park which is administered by Environment Canterbury is situated on the southern shore of the lake.
There is an astronomical observatory which is situated at Mount John, which is to south of the small Lake Alexandrina, and the north of the town. Here’s n overview of the tourist attractions in Lake Tekapo:
1. Air Safaris and Services
Air Safaris at Lake Tekapo offers Grand Traverse, some scenic flights over several most spectacular scenery in New Zealand. The fifty-minute flights pass over Westland National Parks and Mt Cook/Aoraki, 12 major glaciers, the highest top in Oceania and the sub tropical rain forests located at the South Island’s West Coast.
Operating from Lake Tekapo airport takes 2 minutes drive south of Tekapo township, the pilots and staff at Air Safaris will present you with 50 minutes of what is gonna be 200 km of the most awe inspiring view you are likely to have in New Zealand.
A booking office operates in central Tekapo township, however flights are arranged with a visit to the airport as well. Air Safaris also operate from Franz Josef Glacier on the South Island’s West Coast, or Glentanner Park near Mount Cook.
2. Earth and Sky Astronomy Tours
This is the home of Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve. International Dark-Sky Association’s Executive Bob Park remarked that the brand new reserve is coming in at a Gold level status. To put it simply, this place is one of the best stargazing sites on Earth.
BY DAY – $5 road toll drive applies or hike to the peak of Mt John. Tourist may enjoy a coffee with spectacular sceneries of the Mackenzie Basin at the Astro Cafe. Imagine seeing day-time stars on a day tour of Mt. John University Observatory. Powerful telescopes and favourable skies allow the planet, sun, or stars or to be seen. Marvel at the largest telescope of New Zealand, the MOA and learn about the research conducting.
MT JOHN TWILIGHT and NIGHT TOUR – Tourist can join us for the famous Mt John Observatory tour which is located in largest dark sky reserve in the world. There are transport, equipment and guidance provided for tourists, all they need to bring are warm clothes, keen eyes and a desire to see, just experience and learn! The telescopes can reveal familiar planets through to rich star clusters. Tourists need to bring your DSLR camera, be stunned by what could be captured. When the stars cannot be viewed, explore into the inner sanctums of the Observatory, as the tourists will learn about the largest telescopes in the country and their discoveries.
3. Tekapo Springs
Located beneath the slopes of Mt John, outside the Motor Camp lies the’s exciting new Tekapo Springs with its Winter Park and spa in Lake Tekapo area.
There is an option of 3 hot pools with amazing outlooks over the Lake Tekapo and beyond the mountains. The spring water is heated from the by-product heat which the Ice Rink produces a very energy efficient!
Pools range from 36 – 40 degrees Celsius in temperature. Tourists can spoil themselves with a relaxing treatment from the day spa. Massage away the stress of the day, or wake themselves up with the steam room and sauna which is followed by an optional dip in the eight-degree plunge pool.
Skating and tubing are a year round experience at Tekapo Springs. The skating rink offers magnificent views over the Lake Tekapo while tourists test their balance. The Tube park offers an adrenaline pumping ride down 150 metre slope. Tourists can experience Snow Tubing over winter or the first Summer Tube over summer in New Zealand.
4. Lake Tekapo High Country Guided Snow Shoe Hikes
The Southern Alps’ foothills undergo a magic transformation in winter. A covering of snow turns these snuffy tussock lands into a vast playground, not just for the skiers, but trampers on snowshoes as well.
Tourists can hike 3 hours up to the cosy mountain hut at the 1280 m snowline and use this as a basis to explore a winter wonderland of the ice-covered streams, snowy valleys, and curving ridges as well as relaxing in the evenings within the warmth of a pot belly stove. Maybe try a fondue and Glühwein in real Swiss style. The more adventurous is to build a snowcave and sleep inside it, or retreat to the hut.
In the foothills of the Southern Alps, Tourists are in the newly created Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park area of Two Thumb Range, with grand sceneries across the Mackenzie Basin and of the major summits of the Tasman, Main Divide, and Mounts Cook.
It is recommended 3 days as an maximum time for sampling snowshoeing, but for those who are limited to weekends, 2 days will certainly give a relaxing break, and there are a lot of trail options for those who can spend 5 days.
5. Lake Tekapo High Country Ski Tour
The Two Thumb Range forms the eastern boundary of the Mackenzie Basin, close enough to the Southern Alps to get amazing views, but sheltered enough to escape many of the predominant north-west storms hitting the Main Divide.
The founder of Alpine Recreation, Gottlieb Braun-Elwert, in the early 1980’s pioneered ski touring in the Two Thumb Range. The high country above the Lake Tekapo ticked all the boxes: an easy foot access about 3 hours from the road-end to Rex Simpson Hut, a series of parallel valleys to allow distinct tours for at least 5 days, a good variety of terrain, and an option of alternatives for avalanche conditions and marginal weather. Add to this a cosy hut and tourists have the recipe for a nice backcountry holiday.
6. Lake Tekapo High Country – Tekapo Trek
Tourists can hike above worry level in the Southern Alps’ foothills. They will be inspired by the magic light of Mackenzie High Country across turquoise of Lake Tekapo, golden tussock, and snow-capped peaks.
They also can climb a 2070 m summit and return to a cosy mountain hut to relish the sun setting behind the mountain silhouettes and a star-studded sky, one of the darkest and clearest skies in the southern hemisphere. The Tekapo Trek is in the new Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park, which covers the outstanding landscapes of ice-steepened mountains and extensive frosted valleys of the Two Thumb Range.
7. The Cairns golf Course
The Cairns golf course was once the wide open spaces which first brought the pioneer farmers up into Mackenzie Basin. Large station runs were established with dog and sweat, beginning the long and on-going association of Mackenzie with the high country sheep station. Lake Tekapo was formed about thousands of years ago when the glacial ice from the last ice age withdrew which leaving behind a natural dam of rock ruins behind which the lake was created.
It was on this ancient ruins which Mt. John Station was established and from the high points of the station, amazing vistas of the Mackenzie and Lake Tekapo are a delight to view. It is from the high country run which the Cairns Golf Course has been established.