We recommend to stay 2-3 days in the Mackenzie Region as there is so much to do and our recommendations for the most brilliant activities are:
1. Dark Sky Project
At Dark Sky Project, formerly Earth & Sky, we experience the opportunity to connect visitors to the night skies, igniting a lifelong passion for dark sky preservation and what lies above. Dark Sky project are regarded as leaders in astro-tourism and stargazing experiences.
2. Church of the Good Shephard
One of the region’s most famous and photographed icons is the Church Of The Good Shepherd on the stunning lakefront of Lake Tekapo.This charming church holds a special place in the hearts of locals. It was built in memory of the pioneers of the Mackenzie, from local stone gathered from within 5 miles of the site, with the aim to simply be part of the landscape. It is a treasured heritage building and is also a place of worship
3. Astro Café
The Astro Café is located at the Summit of Ōtehīwai Mount John, and as Lonely Planet put it, ‘quite possibly one of the best locations for a café!’ The Astro Café serves a range of drinks, including delicious barista-made coffees. You can take in the sights from the observation deck, or enjoy stretching your legs on the 30-45 minutes scenic walk around the Summit.
4. Mackenzie Helicopters
Mackenzie Helicopters takes pride in curating a range of experiences that showcase the very best of the South Island. Their mission is to connect with each client and create a flight to surpass their greatest expectations. With Mackenzie Helicopters, there are no standard flight packages and cookie-cutter itineraries. They know each client is unique, and they work with you to develop your ideal bespoke flight experience
5. Mount Cook National Park
Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park is home of the highest mountains and the longest glaciers. It is alpine in the purest sense – with skyscraping peaks, glaciers and permanent snow fields, all set under a star-studded sky.
6. Lake Tekapo Hot Pools
At Tekapo Springs you are guaranteed to lift your spirits by immersing in the ultimate in relaxation and recreation amongst the natural beauty of a pristine, alpine environment.
Located within the walking distance from the Lake Tekapo township the award-winning complex offers the perfect combination of exciting and relaxing activities, 364 days per year. From our prime location at the base of Mount John, we have supreme views of iconic Lake Tekapo and the mountain ranges beyond.
7. Mackenzie Alpine Horses
Enjoy a horse trek through the spectacular scenery of Lake Tekapo with Mackenzie Alpine Horses. Mackenzie Alpine Horses is owned and operated by Sarah Simpson. Sarah lives on Balmoral Station, a 10,000-hectare high country Merino, deer, and cattle station run by her husband Sam. This is where the Horse trekking is fortunate enough to be based. She adores showing off this spectacular landscape and it’s breath-taking views to those who visit.
8. Glacier Explorers
Glacier Explorers is the only tour of its kind in New Zealand, and it’s based right here, in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.
Cruise around the Tasman Glacial Lake in one of our boats and experience the enormity of NZ’s largest glacier as you weave in and out of floating icebergs. It’s a surreal and mesmerising experience in a totally unique environment. No two days are the same on the Tasman Lake with a constant shifting of conditions, which simply adds to the magic of this very special place.
9. Glentanner High Country Heli Hike
The tour is designed to give customers a unique view of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding peaks of the Southern Alps, the Tasman River delta and Lake Pukaki, to show off New Zealand’s native flora and fauna and give the customers an insight into an iconic working merino sheep station and its history.
10. Fairlie Bakehouse
Head to the family owned and operated Fairlie Bakehouse any day of the week, and you will soon understand what all the hype is about. Behind the bakery and café is a buzzing factory where internationally trained chef and founder, Franz Lieber and his tight knit team create an amazing array of gourmet pies that are all ‘made with love’.
Fairlie Bakehouse believes fresh is best and make all baked goods fresh onsite daily. They take pride in using quality, locally sourced produce wherever possible. Now delivering these award-winning pies, not only to the onsite café but transporting them throughout New Zealand.