Here's my 9 great walks around Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo is a stunning area for walking & hiking with huge mountain views and pretty lakes. Colourful lupins flower everywhere in the summer and snow-capped mountains in the winter, it’s spectacular.

Hopefully, you’ll get a nice day to do one of these walks in the Lake Tekapo area. It can be known to be rainy and wet a lot of the time. It’s best to go in the summer if you can, as winter is really cold.

Several walks start from right in Lake Tekapo town, which is handy. These walks are free and don’t require bookings.

After your walk on a cold day, take a soak in the lovely Lake Tekapo hot pools, what a way to end the day! 

There is no particular order to these walks, hope you get out and enjoy one or two of them.

List of all my walks in Lake Tekapo

Click into any of the walks below to get the full track details with maps and everything you need to know.

Cowan's Hill Walkway Loop

Cowan Hill Walkway Loop

7.2 km Loop • 1 hour 30 mins • Easy • Cowan Hill Walkway starts right in Tekapo town. Enjoy 360 degree views of the ...
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Lake McGregor

Lake Alexandrina and Lake McGregor Walks

Loop or return walks • Easy • There are several tracks to choose from around Lake Alexandrina and Lake McGregor near Lake Tekapo.
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Free Lake George walk in Tekapo - South Island - New Zealand - View looking over Lake George from the road in Tekapo

Lake George Scott Loop Walk

3 km return or 10 km Loop • 1-2 hours • Medium • Lake George Scott Loop walk is a lesser used road circuit but ...
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Lake Tekapo Peninsula walk

Lake Tekapo Peninsula Walk

5.6 km • 1.5 hours • Easy • Enjoy unique views along the Lake Tekapo Peninsula walk. This walk is closed mid-Oct to mid-Dec due ...
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Lake Tekapo town to Tekapo hot springs

Lake Tekapo Walkway

2.8 km one way • 1 hour • Very easy • Flat gravelled walk from Tekapo town to the hot springs with lovely views of ...
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Mt John Summit Circle Track in Tekapo

Mt John Summit Circle Track

3 km • 1.5 hours • Medium • Starting at Tekapo Hot Springs it's up hill all the way to the top of Mt John. ...
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Mt John via Lakeshore Walk Lake Tekapo

Mt John via Lakeshore Walk

8.5 km from Tekapo Hot Springs or 13 km from Tekapo town • 3 hours + 20mins if from town • Medium • It's a ...
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Pines Beach Walk and Church of the Good Shepherd

Pines Beach Walk and Church of the Good Shepherd

5.3 km • 1 hour • Easy & flat walking • The Pines Beach walk past the Church of the Good Shepherd offers stunning views ...
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Richmond Trail Walk

Richmond Trail

13 km one way • 4-5 hours • Medium • Walk or bike the Richmond Trail clockwise as it's mostly downhill. You'll need to be ...
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See more of my walks in Southland

Hiking in Lake Tekapo as a solo traveller

Since I sometimes venture out on solo adventures, I always make sure to keep someone informed about my whereabouts. It’s a simple step, really. I just shoot a quick text saying something like, “Heading off to conquer the Mt John Summit track!” Then, once I’m back safe and sound, another text goes out saying, “Made it back home now.” This little routine gives me peace of mind knowing that if anything were to happen, someone would have a clue about where I should be.

When I’m out and about, I also like to check in with the local information centres to see if any spots might not be the safest for solo hiker. Luckily, the hikes I’ve taken around Lake Tekapo have been considered very safe.

When it comes to hiking in general, here are a few tips I always swear by:

Make sure you’ve got the basics covered:

  • A first aid kit
  • Plenty of water
  • Layers of clothing. New Zealand weather can be quite unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared for anything.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be ready to adjust your plans accordingly.
  • Have a map handy, or better yet, use a map app on your phone that works offline. Personally, I’ve been using for years. It’s super handy because it can even show you the elevations of your route, expected walking times, and where you are on the map. Just remember to download the region you’re heading to before you set off, as it can use up quite a bit of data otherwise.
Lake Tekapo foreshore (1)

I can’t say enough about how cool exploring the hiking trails around Lake Tekapo is.

I see many people breeze through Tekapo, snap a quick pic of the iconic church, and zoom off to their next stop. But let me tell you, this awesome little town is bursting with hidden gems.

From biking to hiking, and indulging in spa treatments to delicious meals at cozy cafes, bars, and restaurants, Lake Tekapo has something for everyone. 

Trust me on this: stay longer. Not only will you get to marvel at the breathtaking night sky, but you’ll also uncover even more of Tekapo’s great walks.

Church of The Good Shepherd.

Ok, so the Church of The Good Shepherd (pictured above) is worth stopping for, but go for a walk too while you’re in Lake Tekapo!