What is there to see between Lake Tekapo and Wanaka

What is there to see between Lake Tekapo and Wanaka? 

Are you planning a road trip between Lake Tekapo and Wanaka? Well, you’re in for a treat! The stretch between those two spots actually boasts quite a lot of places worth seeing.

So, what’s there to see between Lake Tekapo and Wanaka? Join us as we take you through the best places to visit on the trip and provide you with pro tips to make your experience extra-memorable.

Lake Tekapo Regional Park

Distance to Lake Wanaka: 199 km 

Address: https://maps.app.goo.gl/gvEWKpJ4BdR7q1ph8?g_st=ic

Hours: Open 24 hours 

Obviously, our list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t suggest spending some time at Lake Tekapo Regional Park before you leave town—this turquoise-blue lake was an undeniable highlight of our trip and just may be too for your route. 

We suggest taking a scenic walk around the lake and visiting the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd. 

Pro Tip: 

  • Lake Tekapo is also one of the best places in the town for stargazing! The clarity of the skies and low-light pollution make it perfect for astronomy enthusiasts.

Church of the Good Shepherd 

Distance from Lake Tekapo: 500 m

Distance to Lake Wanaka: 199 km 

Address: https://maps.app.goo.gl/T7magvnCsnxVea1u9?g_st=ic 

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 5 PM 

The Church of the Good Shepherd is definitely worth a visit as it is an iconic landmark—standing boldly against an awe-inspiring backdrop—and has been serving as a place of worship since 1935.  Plus, the view of Lake Tekapo from its grounds is simply stunning. 

Pro Tip: 

  • Grab a picnic basket and enjoy the scenery and serenity surrounding this special place!

Tekapo Springs

Distance from Lake Tekapo: 2.2 km 

Distance to Lake Wanaka: 200 km 

Website: Tekapo Springs 

Address: 300 Lakeside Drive, Lake Tekapo 7945, New Zealand

Hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 11 AM to 7 PM
  • Saturday & Sunday – 10 AM to 7 PM

Pricing: 

All Pools & Aqua Play AreaSnow Tube ParkIce Skating
Adult35 NZD32 NZD20 NZD
Child20 NZD22 NZD17 NZD
Senior30 NZD23 NZD18 NZD
Family99 NZD98 NZD67 NZD

If you need a break from driving and want to rejuvenate, head to Tekapo Springs. This hot pool complex has six different outdoor pools ranging in temperatures from 28-39 degrees Celsius.

Take a relaxing soak in the natural mineral-filled water while enjoying the views of the snow-capped mountains. 

Pro Tip: 

  • If you are feeling extra adventurous, try out their ice skating or snow tube park- it’s sure to give you an adrenaline rush!

Lake Pukaki

Distance from Lake Tekapo: 47.4 km

Distance to Lake Wanaka: 152 km 

Address: https://maps.app.goo.gl/8pyqMhQPZgiy1TCj8?g_st=ic

Lake Pukaki is an azure blue lake that presents some of the clearest and most pristine water in New Zealand. It is the largest lake in Mackenzie Basin and lies at the foot of Aoraki-Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain.

Take a stroll along the lake’s edge, sit back, relax, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Southern Alps. 

Pro Tip: 

  • If you are into fishing, you can catch brown and rainbow trout and salmon in the lake’s crystal clear waters.

Mount John Observatory

Distance from Lake Tekapo: 9.5 km   

Distance to Lake Wanaka: 204 km

Address: https://maps.app.goo.gl/rFnKsiZpRv1739E97?g_st=ic 

Phone: +64 3 680 6000

Hours: 

  • Monday – 10 AM to 2 PM 
  • Tuesday to Thursday – Closed
  • Friday to Sunday – 10 AM to 5 PM 

One of our must-visit destinations on this journey is the Mount John Observatory. Situated at 1,031 meters, this observatory offers magnificent views of Lake Tekapo and the Southern Alps. 

You can take a guided tour of New Zealand’s most advanced astronomical observatory, learn about the southern skies, and stargaze through high-powered telescopes at night. 

Pro Tip: 

  • If you’re a photography enthusiast, bring your tripod and capture stunning shots of the Milky Way over the observatory.

Glenbrook 

Distance from Lake Tekapo: 253 km 

Distance to Lake Wanaka: 112 km 

Address: https://maps.app.goo.gl/SPwoZGnZudfG8bFm7?g_st=ic

When planning your road trip from Lake Tekapo to Wanaka, try to include a stop in Glenbrook. There’s something for everyone here! 

Nature lovers can explore the many walking trails that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and glacial lakes. For those who prefer to stay off the beaten path, there are plenty of rock climbing and biking opportunities. 

Or, if you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, make sure to check out some of the local cafés and restaurants in town—you won’t regret it. 

Pro Tip: 

  • For an even more unique experience, don’t miss the chance to visit Glenbrook in the winter—it’s a winter wonderland!

Lindis Pass

Distance from Lake Tekapo: 119 km

Distance to Lake Wanaka: 79.9 km 

Address: https://maps.app.goo.gl/ywASmabLGcjjsVRS6?g_st=ic 

Lindis Pass is a mountainous route that connects the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. The pass meanders through the tussock-covered Lindis Valley and provides stunning views of the Southern Alps. 

Pro Tip: 

  • If you’re lucky, you might spot some wildlife, such as rabbits, hares, or even deer.

The Otago Central Rail Trail

Distance from Lake Tekapo: 253 km 

Distance to Lake Wanaka: 112 km 

Address: https://maps.app.goo.gl/Mf2doySa3SznvfXw5?g_st=ic 

The Otago Central Rail Trail is an unforgettable cycle route that passes through dramatic gorges, river valleys, and high-country sheep stations. It is a 152km journey through Central Otago’s vast and empty countryside and is a genuinely immersive way to experience this unique region. 

Pro Tip: 

  • Before you start the trail, visit some of the charming small towns along the way where you can enjoy local wine, food, and hospitality.