Mt John via Lakeshore Walk

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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.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Lake Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand
        • Time needed: 3 hour walk
        • Distance: 7 km
        • Difficulty: Medium
        • Bikes allowed: Unknown
        • Route: Loop
        • 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
  • Track Highlights

    The track offers stunning views of the blue water of Lake Tekapo and the surrounding mountains.

  • Track Quality

    The track is mostly gravelled, but can be muddy.

  • Hazards


  • Transport

    Lake Tekapo township is a stop on InterCity’s bus network.

  • Water

    Drinking water is available in Lake Tekapo township and at the cafe at the summit.

  • Driving Instructions

    Lake Tekapo township is along SH8, about 3 hours from Queenstown or Christchurch. The walk starts at Tekapo Springs, where there is a car park.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    There are shops and restaurants in Lake Tekapo Township.

  • Area & Track History

    Lake Tekapo was once covered by glaciers. As the glacier moved, it dumped large amounts of terminal moraine eventually resulting in the damming of the valley causing. The valley filled with water and formed the lake.

  • Camping & huts on or near the walk

    No camping on this walk

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

Map of Mt John via Lakeshore Walk

Here is the map for Mt John via Lakeshore Walk showing it’s location in New Zealand. You can change the view on the map to satellite if you prefer to see an image of where the walk is instead.

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