The Tekapo Mt John Walkway is an easy route that takes you to the observatory complex on the top of Ōtehīwai Mt John (1031m). You can continue as we did to make a loop walk, returning by the shore of Lake Tekapo. The views are very spacious: this roche moutonnee is surrounded by lakes and wide plains, and beyond these are numerous high peaks.
There’s a cafe on top, and in fact you can drive to the summit (costs $8). We bypassed the observatory and cafe so I can’t offer much information on these, but here’s a link to the cafe website, and to the observatory website. So it’s not a wilderness experience by any means, but the surrounding country is pretty wild and it’s worth stretching your legs to do this walk. Track notes at the end.
Tekapo Mt John Walkway: The Scenery
You start next to the hot springs complex, and climb through pine forest at first. It’s then into grasslands for the rest of the walk. You could stop at the observatory complex, or else continue over the mountain and return via the lake. More info on the DOC website.