MT COOK – LAKE TEKAPO
Travel distance is approximately 104kms (65 miles).
Allow at least 1.25 hours drive time (not including stops).
Because your travel time and distance for the day is very small, you can choose to either spend more time enjoying the delights on offer at Aoraki Mt Cook or spend the day at Lake Tekapo, taking in the sights and attractions of the region.
The picturesque road from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo guides you down the Tasman Valley and around beautiful Lake Pukaki. You cannot help but stop and take photos of the the lakes in this area due to the stunning, unique turquoise colour of the waters which is caused by fine, glacier-ground rock particles.
Lake Tekapo village is located at the southern end of Lake Tekapo and while once considered a place for a lunch stop, the village has grown into a popular holiday location with plenty of new accommodation, shops and quality tourism operators in the district.
For such a small area the choice of accommodation is very impressive, from holiday parks to hotels, motels, B & B’s, resort, holiday homes and backpacker lodgings, you will find it all here. However during the busy summer season we suggest you book in advance.
The township offers a great choice of dining options including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, European and delicious local cuisine from the local cafes and restaurants.
Highly recommended Lake Tekapo tourist attractions include…
Church of the Good Shepherd – Located on the shores of Lake Tekapo, this church always attracts a crowd of tourists keen to capture this historic church, which is only metres from the surreal teal waters of the lake. The church boasts awe-inspiring views of the lake and mountains through the altar window.
Alpine Springs Hot Pools – Three adjoining main Hot Pools nestled in a natural setting so you can sit back, relax and soak. Each pool offers something different in the latest technology – massage jets to assist in taking away any aches and pains and fountains to splash under while enjoying the wonderful views looking out over Lake Tekapo and surrounding mountain range.
Alpine Springs Hot Pools – Three adjoining main Hot Pools nestled in a natural setting so you can sit back, relax and soak. Each pool offers something different in the latest technology – massage jets to assist in taking away any aches and pains and fountains to splash under while enjoying the wonderful views looking out over Lake Tekapo and surrounding mountain range. New Zealand’s first Summer Tube park is situated at Alpine Springs. Replacing the Snow Park over the warmer months, the Summer Tube allows for an adrenaline filled tubing experience at Alpine Springs year round.
Outdoor Skating Rink – From mid April to mid September you can enjoy ice-skating in a truly picturesque outdoor setting. Skate hire available.
Snow Park – 100m’s long by 50m’s wide is a slope covered with man-made and natural snow dedicated to tobogganing and snow tubing during the New Zealand winter snow season. Great fun for the entire family.
Guided Wilderness Hikes – Variety of guided wilderness hikes ranging from moderate fitness to high fitness levels. Eco-tours with expert guides in small groups for personal service and safety. Hikes vary from 5 to 7 hours, including lunch and short breaks.
Lake Tekapo Cruise – A choice of cruises on Lake Tekapo are available, ranging from 25 minute scenic highlight cruises to longer cruises that can include enjoying a lunch of Mt Cook Salmon!
Golf Cross – The game played with the oval golf ball and features goal posts instead of holes. Located in the middle of New Zealand’s most spectacular alpine country, the Braemar Station GolfCross® Course is surrounded by stunning vistas of Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki.
Horse Trekking – Enjoy a guided trek on a high country sheep station with great views of Mt Cook and Lake Pukaki from November till April. Beginners and more experienced riders welcome, trips range from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Mt Cook Salmon Farm – Only 18 minutes from the Tekapo village, enjoy a tour of a working New Zealand salmon farm, feed the fish and grab yourself some of the best fresh and smoked salmon products to be tasted!
Stargazing – Tekapo Starlight offers visitors a guided stroll along the lakeshore on a clear night as you explore the universe.
New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
- 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
- 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch