Lake Tekapo vacation rentals
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Your guide to Lake Tekapo
All About Lake Tekapo
In the middle of New Zealand’s South Island, nestled in the Mackenzie Basin, is Lake Tekapo — a tiny town sitting on the shores of one of the country’s bluest lakes. The highlight of Lake Tekapo is, of course, the stunning glacier-fed lake with its eye-catching milky-turquoise hue. It’s a scene that becomes even more striking set against dense sage forest and the dramatic, often snow-capped Southern Alps.
Waterways and streams meander through town, providing fishing enthusiasts the chance to haul in trout and salmon. You can traverse Lake Tekapo’s diverse and spectacular terrain with a hike or bike ride on one of the town’s many trails, The Mount John Summit Track and Lake George Scott Track snake through pine forests and rolling hills, offering panoramic views of Lake Tekapo’s tranquil landscape. Lake Tekapo is also part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it an excellent spot for star-gazing. In the small village itself, you’ll find a supermarket, restaurants, cafes, and gift shops, where you can get local goods and wool knitwear.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Lake Tekapo?
The summer months, between December and February, boast warm temperatures ideal for swimming in the lake. Mid-November is a popular time to visit Lake Tekapo, when the lupins adorn the fringes of the lake and surrounding fields in vibrant shades of pink, purple, and violet. These candy-colored blooms typically last until the end of December. During the winter months in June through August, the snow-capped mountains transform the town into a wintertime paradise. Lovers of the outdoors catch some runs on the slopes at one of many nearby ski areas, hit up an outdoor rink next to the lake for a glide on the ice, and warm up afterward with a dip in the hot pools at Tekapo Springs.
What are the top things to do in Lake Tekapo?
Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve
Lake Tekapo is situated within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. The pristine star-gazing conditions make it possible to simply hop in your car and pick a spot around town to admire the scintillating sky and stars. If you’d prefer a guided view of the constellations, the University of Canterbury Mt. John Observatory, Cowan’s Private Observatory, and Tekapo Springs all offer star-gazing experiences.
Church of Good Shepherd
Standing on the shores of Lake Tekapo is the Church of Good Shepherd, an iconic landmark with vistas of the Southern Alps. You can spend time perusing the grounds or, if you make arrangements beforehand, tour the interior. The church’s stone façade offers a beautiful contrast against the vibrant landscape.
Cowans Hill Walkway
Cowans Hill Walkway is a four-mile hiking and biking loop offering stunning vistas of the lake and mountains. The footpath will take you along the lakeshore, through hills blanketed in tussock, across a bridge, and through a forest plantation. The area also encompasses a few wetlands that provide opportunities for bird-watching.