Scenes from Mt John Walkway, Tekapo

One of my favourite walks is the Mt John Walkway, an eight kilometre marked circuit affording 360° views of surrounding mountains, lakes and the Mackenzie Basin flats.  The images here were taken over three separate trips, all in spring and early summer.  The walk takes a leisurely three hours, however fit trail runners can run it in an hour.  Total elevation gained is 280 metres.


GPS-tracked route in yellow (click to enlarge)

The track entry is near Tekapo Springs (hot pools) on the outskirts of Tekapo township. If walked in a clockwise direction, the graded track wends it way upwards through larch forest for about 45 minutes before it opens out to  grass and tussocklands.  After ascending a set of steps, there  is a signpost directing a short distance to either the south summit viewpoint or to the main summit where the observatory and cafe are situated.  The cafe and observatory can also be accessed by car from Godley Peaks Road.  ( Link to a  video of track route is at end of post.)


Lake Tekapo from the south summit viewpoint


Head of Lake Tekapo and Tekapo township


Looking back to Tekapo township, Tekapo River and the broader Mackenzie Basin


Looking south across the Mackenzie Basin, Tekapo airstrip on right


Tawny tussocklands with Mt Sefton (right), 60km distant.  The Hermitage Mt Cook lies directly below Mt Sefton.


Lake Tekapo and Two Thumb Range from the summit/cafe


Lake Alexandrina, known for trout and salmon fishing


Looking west across the hidden Lake Pukaki to the Ben Ohau Range, 40km away


Lake Alexandrina looking northwest, Gamack Range behind


Merino wethers sharing the track

The track descends through tussock farmland, with  views to Motuariki Island in Lake Tekapo, the Two Thumb Range on the left and Richmond Range on the right.


Descending closer to Motuariki Island


Motuariki Island and Richmond Range


Lakeside track back to Tekapo township

Click here for a video of the track route, best viewed in large.




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