As this is a loop walk, you have the option to start in either direction. However, it is highly recommended to follow the track clockwise. It is the best way to get the hard climb out of the way and fully enjoy the rest of the walk and leisurely meander on the lakeshore part of the walk.
Assuming you choose the clockwise route: climb through larch forest for about 45 minutes before reaching the open tussock grassland fields. The track continues to climb until you reach the junction at the top of the hill. Detour left for the Astro café for a bite to eat or continue right for the South Summit loop track. After you are done enjoying the views from the summit, descend from the observatory on a zig-zagged track towards the lake.
This small track is about 50m above the lakeshore until you land on a gravel road which leads you back to Tekapo Springs.
The walk along the lakeshore offers nothing but views of Lake Tekapo and mountains.
The majority of this walk is exposed to the elements (wind, rain, sun) so it is best to come equipped.