Lake Tekapo Journals

The Turquoise Tranquility of Lake Tekapo

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An April 2008 trip to Lake Tekapo by svearvaldyr

MacKenzie Alpine Horse Trekking Photo, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand More Photos
Quote: Nestled in the middle of nowhere in New Zealand's South Island, the village of Lake Tekapo sits beside a beautiful lake with mountains in the distance. Read my take on what to do, where to do it and where to stay while you're there.

Mt John Observatory

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Attraction | "Breathtaking Views of Earth and Sky"

Mt John Observatory Photo, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Quote:
Mount John rises majestically over Lake Tekapo Village. It's an easy hike to the top from the car park at the Alpine Spa hot pools, down by the lakeshore. Just before you reach the car park there's a sign that leads you up into the woods. It's a clear path, well marked and well maintained, so there's no need for special equipment. You can manage it in trainers if you need to. The hike takes about 45 minutes and you come out at the top to stunning views right out over the basin in every direction. It's an amazing view of Lake Tekapo in all its turquoise glory, with the counterpoint of Lake Alexandrina in the distance. There's also a cafe up the top which serves an excellent cup of co...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 22, 2008

Mt John Observatory
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
+64 (3) 6806960

MacKenzie Alpine Horse Trekking

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Attraction | "'Experience the Legend'"

MacKenzie Alpine Horse Trekking Photo, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Quote:
MAHT is a great little company. If you're staying in Lake Tekapo for anything more than a pitstop then I highly recommend these guys to you. It is an excellent way to see this very beautiful area, coupled with the experience of being up on horseback - which is something I always thoroughly enjoy anyway. Sam, the owner, took us out on a 2 hour trek, which winds all the way round Mount John and along the shore of the stunning Lake Tekapo itself. The views as we came around the ridge of the hill were breathtaking, and this was true to a lesser degree through the entire two hours. We wound uphill and downhill, through the woods, along the valley floor and all in all really felt like we'd ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 15, 2008

MacKenzie Alpine Horse Trekking
Godley Peaks Road
Lake Tekapo
+64 27 5444880

The Grand Traverse

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Attraction | "Soaring Over Mount Cook and the Glaciers"

Lake Tekapo Village Photo, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Quote:
I worked in Lake Tekapo for a while and was invited along to a familiarisation evening for local businesses up at the village's airstrip. The strip is owned and operated by the family who founded it, who have set up Air Safaris - a small but very well managed operation running airborne tours of the beautiful MacKenzie basin. I think that it's important - particularly when you're paying a lot for something ($280 for the Grand Traverse when we did it) - that the people operating the company are agreeable. The Air Safaris people were excellent from start to finish. Honest, friendly, genuine and extremely enthusiastic about their company - which was a refreshing change after several experi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 15, 2008

Pepes Pizza and Pasta

Restaurant | "Warm, Friendly, Honest Fare"

Quote:
Pepe's can be found down near the Earth & Sky offices in Lake Tekapo. Everything in the village can be pretty easily found because it's all on the one promenade, and Pepe's has prominent signage out front. It opens at 5pm through most of the year and when you go in you'll find a few cozy booths, a well stocked bar, friendly, helpful staff and an open log fire. It's a great place to go in winter for this alone, as they keep it well stoked and it really adds to the atmosphere of the place. The menu is simple but very good - it's all relatively straightforward pizza and pasta dishes (as the name would suggest) themed along the standard Italian/Godfather type norms, but the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 15, 2008

Pepes Pizza and Pasta
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
+64 (3) 6806 677

Tailor-Made Backpackers

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Hotel | "Peaceful Garden Hostel Away from the Crowds"

Tailor-Made Backpackers Photo, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Quote:
New Zealand is known for the good quality of its budget accommodation. There is plenty to choose from and many options have bags of character as well as (usually) very knowledgeable and enthusiastic hosts. We stayed at a couple of the worse inner city hostels before coming to Lake Tekapo and finding somewhere that instantly redeemed this oft-talked about accommodation option. Lake Tekapo is largely a holiday weekend type of place, with 80% of the housing being holiday homes for city-dwelling Kiwis. The village itself (discounting the holiday homes, that is) is one street, where you'll find just about everything the place has to offer. There's a Four-Square supermarket, a garage, a pub...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2008

Tailor-Made Backpackers
9-11 Aorangi Crescent
Lake Tekapo
+64 (3) 680 6700

About the Writer

svearvaldyr

svearvaldyr
Fortrose, United Kingdom