Stunning Lake Tekapo – Hiking Edition!!


After my 9 days on a Contiki tour, off I go again alone, back to Lake Tekapo for 2 nights! Before I left, I booked an Intercity Bus that departs from outside Christchurch’s Botanic Garden to Lake Tekapo, the whole journey takes about 3 hours 30mins or so with a service stop.

Church of the Good Shepard, Turquoise blue lake water, quiet quint town. Super in love with this place. Was actually most excited in visiting this place for the entire trip.


I checked into a guesthouse, Lake Tekapo Cottages, and fell in love with this place. The whole cottage area was like a garden! Since it’s summer, they have lupins everywhere! & some bees working their ass off, while some decided to take a break in my room.

There are actually a lot of trails which hikers and bikers would do. I have booked myself on the Mt John Observatory tour at night but since it only starts at 11pm, I have the entire afternoon free. After grabbing some food from the mart and checking out what tours were there, I set off for Cowan Hill, a hill sitting behind the estates in Tekapo, the top of the hill giving hikers another view of the lake.


The entire trail takes about 2 hours and ends back at the lake. It started off in the residence which oversees the lake, and then walking into some dumping ground (okay, not exactly like it I guess, but I think the sign said something like that. That area was plain deserted. I was hiking and some french girls came along on the bikes, and we all didn’t know where to head just by looking at the hiking map given. Even the rare car which drove past didn’t have an idea where it was. But we still managed to figure it out, so anyways…) The whole place just looks like it has been deforested with trees uprooted and dry shrubs everywhere. The grass was in a bad shape, especially when it is summer and rain doesn’t come as frequent.


So we walked through the pine “forest” and then towards the end, climbed over a fence and eventually saw the hilltop. Its crazy how it’s summer but the mountains at the back are snow capped. The sun was blazing, so guys, remember remember and remember your sun screens. New Zealand’s sun has no mercy and I was glad I bought a new bottle in Queenstown.


The trail leads to the highway and eventually, the lake and the route to Church of Good Shepard. Took me a good 2 hours (almost exactly) to finish the trail before heading back for a nap.


The next day, I initially wanted to do a trail in Mt Cook but after much consideration, I thought I should be sane and stay put in Lake Tekapo. So instead, I took a hike up to Mt John, where I did stargazing the night before).


There are 2 ways up, 1 would be the steep and short trail which takes about 1 hour and 30 mins, and another which is less steep but in my opinion, much more tedious hike up Mt John along the lake for 3 hours. Bought some fruits from the mart the day before and munched them on the way up and down. Remember your water bottle guys!


& so, I took the 1hr hike up and 3hrs hike down, taking in nature like its meant to. While there’s not much view to catch while heading up, the view while heading down was impressive!

The hike up was slightly steep, but definitely doable for beginners wanting to hike.


At the top of the hill stands Mt John observatory, where astronomers study the stars. They have a cafe which is open during the day. Have a sip of coffee and enjoy mother nature. The turquoise blue lake waters was really pretty looking from the top of the hill. I had a sandwich, while many others had their brownie. Tbh, the brownie looks soooo good but I was too full for anymore food. Woes!

Even in the day, Mt John had telescopes set up to for visitors to view several stuffs like the ice cap, and the sun and so on, while in the night, the telescopes would show the stars.

After hanging around at the top, i took the lakeshore trail down back to little Tekapo town, stopping so frequently to catch pictures.

Yeap, what you see was what I saw. The water is THAT blue!

I was actually surprised at how there were so much dung on the trail! I was hoping to meet some animals but no. It was again, humans only.

Lots of other hikers were overtaking me and made me wonder if I was walking a little too slow. Heh! But then again, there’s nothing to rush. The trails for Mt John were much clearer for hikers, so no confused hikers running into dump sites again!

At the bottom the trail, we have the Tekapo Springs – which I really wanted to do. But since it was coming to the end of the trip, the money I had left was to be decided against food or Tekapo Spring. So of course food! & with that, I simply went back to the cottage for a hot shower bath instead.

Next up! Stargazing edition by Lake Tekapo!


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