Mount John

South Island NZ
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This track rises steadily up through exotic forest and then open tussock hill slopes to a viewing area with a 360° panorama of the surrounding mountains of the Southern Alps, various lakes and the Mackenzie Basin flats, before heading across the mountain below the Observatory and down the far side and back along the shoreline of Lake Tekapo.

Picnic Facilities
No Dogs Permitted
Cycling Permitted
Maximum Elevation
Total Climb

Getting there:

Whilst in Lake Tekapo, head west, just past the village centre on State Highway 8, turn right onto Lakeside Drive and follow this to the end, where there is a car park below Tekapo Springs & Day Spa.


Lake Tekapo Town Walking Tracks

Route/Trail notes:

The signposted walk starts just to the left of Tekapo Springs and heads steeply up through the larch forest. Once clear of the forest, the track leads up through the tussock grass, where, towards the top, you take a right to the 'Southern Summit' and the viewing area atop the rocks.

From here, continue on the track to the right and below the Observatory across the mountainside before crossing a style and heading right downhill towards the lake. The track then heads right back along the bottom of the mountain 20m above the shoreline back to the start.



Other References/Comments:

The Mt John Observatory and cafe at the top are an optional visit.

As with most South Island towns, there are always numerous tracks in and around the area. In this case most notably are Cowan's Hill and Sawdon Station Walk.


So here we are in idyllic Lake Tekapo, camped on the lakeside, with its wonderful views up the lake. But we have to get out there and climb the 'hills', so the first is Mount John on the western side of the lake up to the observatory and beyond and then back along the lakeside. Fantastic.

F.A.B. on 15 Mar, 2020


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