Mt John Summit Circle Track

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Mt John Summit Circle Track is a medium 3km walk that will take you around 1.5 hours.

Starting from the Tekapo Hot Springs, follow the signs for the Mt John Summit Circuit Track which will lead you into a mixed forest. The ascent through the forest is gradual though steep. 

You will exit the forest after 45 minutes and find yourself in an open tussock grassland field. From this point, the track still continues uphill. Along the way, you will come across a gate which you will have to open and close.

At the top of the hill, you will reach a junction: continue right to follow the track for South Summit. The left side of the track leads to the Astro Café. 

The South Summit track allows you to walk around the summit of Mount John in order to truly experience 360 degree views of the Mackenzie basin, the stunning Lake Tekapo and the snow-capped mountains in the distance.

On the South Summit track, you will find a bench where you can sit and take in the views. You will also find an information panel naming the surrounding mountains.

The forest can be cold in the autumn and winter and the grassland is completely exposed to the elements, so it is best to come equipped for any weather.

Enjoy the Tekapo hot pools after your walk

Especially wonderful in winter, but any time of the year is good, finish off your hike or walk in Tekapo with a soak in the hot springs. If you don’t mind what time you go you can get cheaper entry tickets to the hot pools on this link.  The pools are open every day except Christmas day. There is a great day spa and cafe, bar to enjoy as well. The hot pools overlook stunning Lake Tekapo.

Quick Facts about this walk

  • Location: Lake Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand
  • Time needed: 1.5 hour walk
  • Distance: 3 km
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Bikes allowed: Unknown
  • Route: Return
  • Elevation: 311 m
  • Wet Feet: No
  • Toilets: There are toilets in Lake Tekapo township and at the cafe at the summit.
  • Dogs: No
  • Mobile Coverage: Yes, very good
  • Last Updated: May, 2020
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We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

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What sort of walking and hiking gear will you need

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

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