Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo, Canterbury NZ

The Tekapo Mt John Walkway is an easy circuit walk offering extensive views over lakes, plains & distant high mountains from the summit of Mt John (1031m).

Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo

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

Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo
Out of the pine forest, looking south.
Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo
West of the mountain.
Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo
Looking south.
Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo
A panorama south.
Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo
Looking north.
Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo
Lake Alexandrina
Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo
A panorama north. Lake Alexandrina left and Lake Tekapo right.

Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo

Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo
The Main Divide in the background.

Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo

Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo
Sophia was practicing her dancing while I took photos. The Two Thumb Range in the background.
Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo
Quite a bit of zoom for this shot up Lake Tekapo.

Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo

Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo
Looking north over Lake Tekapo.

Track Notes

Tekapo Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo
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.

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.

 

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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