Lake Tekapo is about three hours drive south-west of Christchurch in the Mackenzie Basin. The township faces north across the remarkable turquoise coloured lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps. Lake Tekapo gets its intense milky-turquoise colour from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water.
See more, see further with New Zealand’s ultimate mountaintop stargazing experience at the world-renowned astronomical centre; UC Mt John Observatory.
Immerse yourself in the stunning surrounds, pristine night skies and sophisticated viewing technologies as our expert guides share the science and stories of our Southern Skies.
Don’t miss New Zealand’s premier stargazing experience. Exclusive to Dark Sky Project, the Summit Experience at Mt John Observatory is in partnership with the University of Canterbury.
The Church of the Good Shepherd
Situated on the shores of Lake Takapō amongst the natural beauty of the lake and the mountains, the Church of the Good Shepherd was built to the glory of God and as a memorial to the pioneers of the Mackenzie Country.
“Somehow the setting and the church combine to speak of God to those who enter and pause in the midst of their busy lives.” – Peter Hurricks.
Tekapo Mt John Walkway
The track rises steadily up through exotic forest and then open tussock hill slopes. Mt John is fantastic viewing platform with a 360-degree panorama of the surrounding mountains, lakes and Mackenzie Basin flats. The Mt John Observatory and cafe are at the top.
Another popular option is to drive to the top of Mt John, park near the cafe and walk the Summit Circuit Track (30–45 min).
Roundhill Ski Area
Ski or Snowboard in the heart of the South Island of New Zealand. Roundhill is a fantastic family ski field with breathtaking views of Aoraki Mt Cook, the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo. Roundhill is a place that friends and family meet to enjoy a relaxing day on the slopes. Learners and little ones can head to our massive beginners area featuring a platter lift and 2 beginners rope tows for a fun and gentle way to find your feet in the snow. Our 2 T-Bars give access to loads of super wide, perfectly groomed intermediate trails with lots of natural dips and curves making for fun and interesting skiing and riding. For the more adventurous, head up the world’s (yes that’s right!) longest and steepest rope tow and see what Australasia’s biggest vertical drop (783m) is all about. Offering super long natural half pipes, chutes this is skiing and riding at its best. 2020 Operating Season June 27th-September 13th.