Mt Dobson Activities & Tours Zealand/MtDobson/ActivitiesTours/MtDobson-Activities-Tours-01.jpg

Mt Dobson Activities & Tours

Southern Lakes Heli Skiing
There are various activities to do in Mackenzie Country other than skiing at Mt Dobson. Many of these are centred around the Tekapo area which is well set up for tourists, although the area surrounding Fairlie also has a few attractions.

Ski Tours and Activities

New Zealand heli skiing is an essential part of any great NZ ski holiday. Mt Cook Heliski provide 5 run packages in the famous Mt Cook region with runs that are higher and longer than those offered by heliski operators in the Queenstown and Wanaka region. The heli skiing is guided by Alpine Guides, the pioneers of New Zealand heli skiing, with tours leaving from the Mt Cook airport, about a one hour drive from Tekapo.

Departing from the Mt Cook airport, Alpine Guides also lead the Ski the Tasman tours. These trips offer a completely unique opportunity to go plane skiing! A fixed wing aircraft is used to land on the Tasman Glacier for two super long ski runs (8-10km long) that are appropriate for intermediate riders and above. Skiing is really only a small part of the experience with the grandeur of the Tasman Glacier being the main event.

Alpine Recreation (based in Tekapo) offers a range of alpine, telemark and Nordic ski tours. They lead various multi-day ski touring trips for advanced to expert skiers with high levels of fitness and experience with ski touring.

Alpine Springs, Spa and Winter Park

Alpine Springs, Spa and Winter Park (6 Lakeside Drive) is located in Tekapo above the shores of Lake Tekapo. The complex is open from 10am to 10pm so it’s a great inclement weather activity or après activity.

There’s an ice-skating rink on site and if you can cope with the music blaring out of the speakers, this is a great activity for the family. Skate rental is available.

Adjacent to the rink is a snowpark which is essentially a small tubing and tobogganing hill made from artificial snow. There’s no magic carpet to get up the hill, but this makes for great exercise and giggles for the kids (and the young at heart).

The facility has a range of hot pools that range in temperature from 36-40 degrees Celsius. One pool is suitable for children with a beach entry and shallow water, and there is also an adults only pool for some peace and serenity. The pools overlook the lake and mountains, so the setting is beautiful (except for the ugly blue concrete surrounding the pools that with luck will be covered in snow). You can top off the relaxation with a treatment from the day spa.

They have various combo passes and discounted return passes available, and if you plan to stay for a while there’s a café for meals and refreshments.

Leisure Activities in Tekapo

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.

Sight seeing from the air is also a very popular activity whilst in Tekapo. Tekapo Helicopters offer a range of scenic flights of the region across Mt Cook and the Tasman Glacier. On longer trips they also cover the Fox and Franz Glaciers. All their scenic flights land on the snow long enough to allow you to take photos of the majestic Southern Alps and very snap happy.

Air Safaris at Lake Tekapo offer 50 minute scenic flights over some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery. These operate from the Lake Tekapo airport, a 2 minute drive south of the Tekapo township. 

The Tekapo area has beautiful clear night skies and as such it’s become an epicentre of astronomy activity. You can do a DIY tour of the night sky, or check it out with Earth and Sky Tours at the observatory atop Mount John. In addition to night tours to study the stars and planets through a range of telescopes, you can also visit during the day for a tour of the observatory and enjoy lunch in the café at the summit of Mt John. 

Leisure Activities in Fairlie

Fairlie is a farming town so it seems apt to take a tour at the Morelea Farm (+64 3 685 8132 +64 3 685 8132) located 3km from the town of Fairlie on Highway 79. The experience includes a sheep dog and sheep shearing demonstration, feeding pet sheep and petting the lambies in spring. Don’t be sheepish – check it out!

The Fairlie Heritage Museum is located in town and features a variety of old farming equipment and memorabilia from the “olden days”. Entry is very inexpensive so it might be worth a quick peek.