Lake Tekapo Area

The beautiful Lake Tekapo New Zealand
The view across to the Church of the Good Shepherd
Lake Tekapo Accommodation: Peppers Bluewater Resort
Church of the Good Shepherd
Tekapo ski field - Roundhill
Lake Tekapo hot springs
Lake Tekapo New Zealand
Ski Tekapo NZ - Roundhill
Lake Tekapo NZ
A lovely cafe in the village of Lake Tekapo
View of the Tekapo township from the observatory
The view from one of the Tekapo restaurants
There are various hiking (tramping) tracks
Roundhill Ski Field Tekapo NZ
Lake Tekapo New Zealand
The small township
Church of the Good Shepherd
Lake Tekapo New Zealand
Scenic flights from Tekapo
Lake Tekapo NZ

Lake Tekapo Area

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Lake Tekapo

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Lake Tekapo New Zealand

Tekapo aka Lake Tekapo was once a little village that is fast growing into a popular tourist town. The highlight of the town is the spectacular backdrop of the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and the nearby snow-capped mountains.

Where is Lake Tekapo?

The town of Lake Tekapo (which is often just called Tekapo) is situated at the southern end of the lake of the same name. Both are located in the Mackenzie District of the South Island of New Zealand. The main street of the town is on highway 8, a popular tourist route between Queenstown and Christchurch, with Tekapo being the approximate half way point. Tekapo is 227km southwest of Christchurch and 257km northeast of Queenstown.

As the crow flies, Tekapo is close to the Mt Cook area, although by road the Mount Cook village is 105km away.

Tekapo Ski Fields

Lake Tekapo is a popular place to stay in any season, but during winter it’s a common holiday destination for skiers and snowboarders. Lake Tekapo is well located to access four NZ ski fields as a day trip; one club field and three small commercial ski resorts. The four ski fields are very inexpensive and uncrowded.

Roundhill is the closest ski field, only 32km from Tekapo (a half hour drive away), so it's often called the Tekapo Ski Field. Roundhill is a great place for families, beginners and intermediates, and the new mega ropetow has also made the ski field very attractive to advanced and expert riders.

Tekapo is also a good base for skiing at Mt Dobson, 44km to the east. The town of Fairlie is closer to Mt Dobson, but many prefer to stay at Lake Tekapo because it’s more “happening”.

Ohau ski field is also nearby. From Tekapo it is 94km to the Lake Ohau Lodge and then a further 9.6km (15-20 minute drive) to the Ohau snow field.

Fox Peak is a primitive club field that is 78km (75 minute drive) from Lake Tekapo. Fox Peak is completely deserted and the steep slopes are ideal for advanced riders..

Lake Tekapo is also well situated to go heli skiing at Mt Cook with Mt Cook Heliski (previously Wilderness Heliski and guided by Alpine Guides) or Harris Mountains. Heli skiing in the Mt Cook region is renowned for providing higher and longer runs than heli skiing in the Queenstown and Wanaka areas.

Alpine Guides also offer the famous “Ski the Tasman” tour which is plane accessed skiing on the majestic Tasman Glacier. Skiing is really only a small part of the experience, with the grandeur of the Tasman Glacier being the main event.

A couple of companies also offer guided ski touring trips in the Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook area.

Lake Tekapo Accommodation

It seems apt to stay in Tekapo considering that the name “Tekapo” originated from the Maori words “Taka” and “Po” meaning “sleeping mat” and “night” respectively. Thankfully the quality of Lake Tekapo accommodation is many steps up from just a sleeping mat and includes a few hotels, motels, apartments, backpackers, bed and breakfasts, and rental houses. Some of the Tekapo accommodation is very reasonably priced.

Lake Tekapo Activities

Taking a look at the Church of the Good Shepherd and the famous sheep dog statue on the shores of Lake Tekapo may only take 5 minutes, but it seems to be a mandatory experience whilst in the area.

Other Lake Tekapo activities include boat trips on the lake, scenic flights across the Mt Cook and Tasman Glacier areas, and a soak in the Tekapo hot springs. Tekapo also has some astro-tourism considering that the clear night skies make Tekapo are an epicentre of astronomy activity.

Why Visit Lake Tekapo?

With only a population of less than 500 locals, Lake Tekapo is a small picturesque town that offers a very laid-back and family friendly holiday.

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

South Island Snow Odyssey
11 Nights | 11 Days Riding at 10 Areas
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Take an odyssey of the South Island to the best New Zealand ski fields ranging from big commercial ski resorts to club field gems with barely any crowds. No need to worry about driving or organising anything as your host looks after all the logistics.
Price p/p From price based on quad share option.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,111
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Lake Tekapo here

Heli Skiing Tours

Ski The Tasman - Classic 2 Run Day
2 massive runs of 8 - 10 km each!
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
A Ski the Tasman odyssey should definitely be on your bucket list! The inimitable opportunity to go plane skiing on a glacier with two million years of history is an activity not to be missed. This is without doubt one of the most incredible experiences you will ever have!!! Share
Price p/p Base/invoice currency is inc NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 762
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 40% discount: was $NZ1190, now $699 if you book by July 31
Harris Mountains Heliski Private Charters
Fully customisable
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Private heli skiing charters offer the ultimate in flexibility and freedom to explore the vast heli skiing terrain, set your own pace, and ski or snowboard as much as you want, and wherever conditions permit. Get together your own group of up to 4 (single load) or 5-10 (double load).
Price p/p Per person price based on a group of 8 with 2 hours of helicopter flight time.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inclusive of tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 880
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Lake Tekapo here