Add dates

Things to do in
Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki: Our most recommended tours and activities

Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

1. Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

Experience dramatic glacier lakes, snow-capped mountains, and beautiful alpine walks on a small-group day trip from Christchurch. After pick-up from your hotel, journey to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, located a 4 hours' drive through spectacular and breathtaking landscapes. Visit the historic town of Geraldine. Then discover the heart of Mackenzie Country, the captivatingly turquoise Lake Tekapo, the iconic Church of Good Shepherd, and the well-recognized statue of Sheepdog. Travel through Lake Pukaki and admire stunning views of Mt. Cook from a distance. Enjoy a short scenic hike in the National Park to view the 23.5kms long Tasman Glacier which is the longest glacier in New Zealand before returning to Christchurch.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

2. From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

Visit breathtaking locations in Queenstown as you make your way to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Travel with a reliable tour guide who will share stories and rich background knowledge on Queenstown and the Mount Cook area. Start your tour in the stunning city of Queenstown. Drive through the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and marvel at the scenery the Kawarau Gorge has to offer. Stop at the Roaring Meg Lookout to take photos of your stunning view. Then, enter the region of Cromwell, famous for fruits and wine and where you can see huge fields of vines. Next, traverse the majestic Lindis Pass which lies between two valleys against a backdrop of a bright blue sky. This stretch of highway is one of the only three Alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps. After taking photos at the top of the pass, drive through the Mackenzie District and visit the township of Omarama. Turning west, you'll enter Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, and Lake Pukaki will emerge in front of you. Proceed to the start of the Hooker Valley Track and depart on a 3-hour self-guided hike with amazing views of Hooker Lake, Hooker Glacier, and Mount Cook. Finish your tour by visiting High Country Salmon as you make your way back to Queenstown.

From Christchurch: Mt Cook Day Tour via Lake Tekapo w/ Lunch

3. From Christchurch: Mt Cook Day Tour via Lake Tekapo w/ Lunch

Itinerary Christchurch - We start by leaving Garden City/Christchurch and heading south towards our destination, while our knowledgeable driver points out some of the Garden City’s highlights. Canterbury Plains - Wrapped around Christchurch are the Canterbury Plains filled with farmland as far as the eye can see. Most types of farming you can think of will be found on the plains such as crops, vineyards, dairy and livestock production. Fairlie Bakehouse (10mins) - A Classic New Zealand farming town hidden away in Mackenzie. Fairlie goes through some stunning colour changes especially come Autum, this is truly one of the best locations to sit and relax with one of their world-famous meat Pies from the Bakehouse. And this stop is also where we will pick up your lunch to keep you full of energy for the rest of the day. Lake Tekapo/ Church of the Good Shepherd (15mins) – An alpine lake region like no other in the heart of Mackenzie. At the right time of year, you will find clusters of wild lupins along the lake edge. Once we arrive in Tekapo we head towards the most popular photo spots in the country The Church of The Good Shepard for those social media worthy pictures. Lake Pukaki (10mins) - This glacier fed lake is unique compared to its alpine partners. The colours can change from ice blue to a dark deep blue depending on the weather conditions. On a clear day enjoy undisturbed views right up to Mt Cook which appears to extend out of the head of the lake. Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park (2.5hrs) – AND HERE WE ARE! Named after the famous explorer James Cook, Aoraki/Mt Cook is New Zealand’s highest peak. Once here you will have the choice to embark on either The Hooker Valley or The Tasman Glacier walk. If a flight overlooking the mountains is more your thing, we are happy to arrange Helicopter rides for you and the family to enjoy instead. • Hooker Valley (2.5-3hrs) The Hooker valley track is one of the highest rated day walks in New Zealand. It’s not hard to see why as you walk alongside an ice-covered cliff face (Listen carefully you may hear it moving) all the way to an ice filled lake with Mt Cook at its end. • Tasman Glacier (2.5 – 3hrs) This track leads through the glacier’s old terminal moraines, and there you will find amazing views of the glacier, river, and lake. • Mt Cook Information Centre (DOC) – You are more than welcome to take it all in by spending the day in the information centre with a coffee. Learn the history of the national park, ask questions and just be in moment. At 2:30 our driver will collect you from your chosen destinations for the day to head back home. Lake Tekapo (10mins) -We stop briefly in Lake Tekapo for one last time to take those last minute late evening photos of the Church and the Lake. Christchurch – After what has been a simply beautiful day, we will head back to the Garden City. Its bittersweet as you’ll be exhausted but filled with new memories.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook Small Group Adventure

4. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Small Group Adventure

At 3724m, Aoraki/Mt Cook is by no means among the world’s tallest but with the nearby Mt Cook village just 750m above sea-level, the mountain can be viewed without any acclimatization whatsoever, and so this tour is perfect for people of all levels of fitness. The guided tour begins with pickups in Queenstown and Frankton, before you then travel through the stunning Kawarau gorge to Cromwell. After making a comfort stop in the quaint township of Omarama (where you have the option to taste one of the best creamy chicken pies in New Zealand), you climb your way through Lindis Pass, one of only 3 alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps. As you exit the Pass, you may catch glimpses of the mighty mountain itself; but before arriving there is much more to see, including what many consider one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Lake Pukaki is one of the bluest lakes you will ever see, and is framed by the backdrop of Aoraki and its brothers in the Southern Alps. The location of several scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Lake Pukaki is a destination in and of itself. You soon pass the delta where the mountain’s various rivers, creeks and streams converge to form the lake, and the mountain continues to grow steadily in stature and grandeur until the shear scale of the view makes you feel powerless. Arriving at the alpine village of Mt Cook and the Hermitage - home of the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre - you now have the freedom to explore in whatever way suits your energy levels and budget. Please select the activity you would like to include during the booking process, which are at an additional charge.

Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour

5. Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour

The day begins with early morning pickup from your accommodation in Queenstown and heads through the heart of the South Island towards New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook. Along the way, soak up unforgettable scenic views and stop at the Cromwell Fruit Bowl, Lindis Pass, Omarama, and Lake Pukaki. As you travel, listen to your guide’s fascinating commentary about the local scenery, history, and culture. Arrive at Mount Cook Village and spend 3.5 hours exploring. Choose to take a walk on the famous Hooker Valley Track, or experience the incredible activities on offer at Mount Cook including Tasman Glacier Heli Hikes, scenic flights, or the Glacier Explorer boat tour. Included in this tour is complimentary access to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. That afternoon rejoin your guide and van to commence the return journey to Queenstown. Sit back, relax, and take in the views. This day tour spans approximately 12 hours, and our smaller vehicles and attentive guide ensure your comfort and entertainment throughout the journey.

From Tekapo: Mt Cook day tour via Pukaki, Tasman Glacier

6. From Tekapo: Mt Cook day tour via Pukaki, Tasman Glacier

-Itinerary- Meeting point 8:00 AM Our meeting point for the tour is the car park at Four Square Supermarket. Peter’s lookout 9:00 AM One of the best views of Lake Pukaki and Aoraki(Mt Cook),and the surrounding Southern Alps is absolutely stunning, making it a must-visit spot. Hermitage Hotel 9:30 AM If you prefer not to participate in the hiking activity, you can choose to disembark at the hotel and reassemble at 3 PM. Tasman Glacier 9:40 AM For a memorable experience, consider exploring a brief walking track boasting magnificent views of the Tasman Glacier (New Zealand’s longest glacier) and Terminal Lake. Please note that this track is relatively short but does involve ascending approximately 300 steps. Hooker Valley track 10:45 AM You are free to walk at your own pace on this self-guided walk. We will pick you up whenever it suits you, and take you to the Hermitage Hotel. Enjoy your free time in the village until the return time. If you are not very keen on long day hiking, alternative short walking tracks are available around Mount Cook village. Hermitage Hotel 3:00 PM Please gather in front of the hotel at 3 pm to return to Lake Tekapo. If you are engaged in another activity or require pickup from a different location, please inform the driver on the day of the tour. Lake Pukaki 3:50 PM A brief stop is scheduled at Lake Pukaki, allowing time for taking photos and visiting the Alpine Salmon Shop. Lake Tekapo 4:30-5:00 PM The group returns to the village before 5:00pm. Please ask our driver if you require a drop-off at your accommodation.

From Christchurch: Guided Day Trip to Queenstown Via Mt Cook

7. From Christchurch: Guided Day Trip to Queenstown Via Mt Cook

Embark on a road trip from Christchurch and Queenstown, driving past blue lakes, rolling countryside, and pretty towns, all with the majestic Southern Alps in the background. Stop in Mt Cook, the perfect base to explore the natural wonders of Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Leave Christchurch and head south towards your destination, as your driver points out some of the Garden City’s highlights. Make your first stop of the day in Fairlie. Grab a coffee and try one of the best pies in New Zealand. After refueling for the next part of our journey, leave Fairle and head toward Lake Tekapo. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd on the stunning lakefront to take photos. Then, turn west and enter the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, with Lake Pukaki revealing all its beauty before your eyes. At the National Park, enjoy 2.5 hours of free time to indulge in local activities. Go on a hike or book optional extras such as a scenic flight. After leaving Mt Cook, stop at High Country Salmon – a local salmon farm where you can feed the fish and taste some of the freshest salmon in New Zealand. Finally, be driven to your final destination of Queenstown.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook Heli-Hike and Tour Combo

8. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Heli-Hike and Tour Combo

Discover everything the beautiful Mount Cook and Tasman Glacier area has to offer on a guided small-group full-day trip from Queenstown. Meet your small group early in the morning and hop on the minivan which will take you to the Tasman Glacier, stopping at some of the area's most iconic sights along the way. Make your way through the Kawarau Gorge, passing the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and of course the famous Roaring Meg Lookout. Drive past sights such as the beautiful Lake Dunstan, Lindis Pass, and the Cromwell wine region, stopping for photos along the way, before arriving in Omarama. Here, spot Merino sheep and sample New Zealand's creamiest chicken pie before continuing to Lake Pukaki, where you can spot several Lord of the Rings filming locations. Next, get ready for the adventure of a lifetime with a Tasman Glacier Heli Hike. Combine the excitement of walking on New Zealand’s biggest glacier with the stunning scenic helicopter fly-bys of New Zealand’s largest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. After flying to a remote part of the glacier, follow your guide as they cut steps in the glacier, using skills handed down from New Zealand's mountain pioneers. Finish your hike with another spectacular scenic flight back to the base. After your flight, stop for a quick photo stop in Mount Cook village before continuing to High Country Salmon, a local salmon farm, where you can feed the fish and taste some of the freshest salmon in New Zealand. Stop at Jacksons Orchard to try or buy some delicious local fruit or real fruit ice cream before returning to Queenstown with your group.

From Christchurch: 1-Way Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Tour

9. From Christchurch: 1-Way Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Tour

Christchurch to Mt Cook via Lake Tekapo Small Group Tour (1 way). This small group, fully-guided day transfer allows you to travel in style to Mt Cook while seeing all the key highlights along the way. Led by our famously passionate tour guides, notorious for bringing your journey to life by sharing their stories and rich background knowledge, and run in modern, comfortable minibusses packed with extras ensuring your comfort and safety. Highlights: Lake Tekapo Mt Cook & Aoraki National Park Lake Pukaki While the destinations you will visit are truly spectacular, we believe our small groups, our guides, the journey, and the little details set our tours ails set our tours well apart. Secret stops, wildlife viewings, specially designed vehicles, and many other pleasant surprises ensure our tours are an experience to remember.

Queenstown: Return Scenic Flight to Mount Cook

10. Queenstown: Return Scenic Flight to Mount Cook

Embark on a breathtaking scenic flight from Queenstown landing at Mount Cook where you can choose how you'd like to spend your day. Start with pickup from selected pickup points in Queenstown. Board the plane at the airfield and enjoy uninterrupted views from your window seat of a fixed-wing aircraft as you fly around the summit ridge of Mount Cook; New Zealand's highest mountain standing at 3,724 meters in height. Marvel at the remarkable Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers on the west coast and the Tasman Glacier within Aoraki Mount Cook National Park; the largest glacier in New Zealand. Fly up the spine of the South Island, enjoying panoramic views of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea on one side and Lake Pukaki, arguably New Zealand’s most beautiful lake, on the other. After landing at Aoraki/Mount Cook Airport on the outskirts of Mount Cook village, you will have up to 5 hours on the ground to explore. Enjoy lunch at The Hermitage Hotel, check out the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre, or walk the Hooker Valley Track. After your time exploring the wonderful surroundings, hop back on the plane for another scenic flight back to Queenstown, with drop-off back at your accommodation.

All activities

28 activities found
Sort by:

Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Pukaki

Want to discover all there is to do in Lake Pukaki? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lake Pukaki

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 150 reviews

The two drivers were very courteous (easy going). It's a shame not to have understood everything from their descriptions of what we saw or the history because of the language. However, they were able to explain to us by answering our questions in a simple way for the important points.

Our tour driver Willem was terrific. He was informative, got our fellow travellers engaged, kept us on schedule and safe. It’s a long day however worth it to see Lake Tekapo, the Church of the Good Shepherd and of course Mt Cook.

Diana was excellent and Hooker Valley and the lakes were incredible. The meal was also good. The van is small when full and more time at the hike and church is needed. Maybe skip the secondary stops to allow this.

Willam was a great guide lots of information but not too overwhelming. Also got everyone involved to get to know each other as must were solo travellers! Timings were very clear as well. All round great day

A fantastic experience, we could not have asked for more. Really knowledgeable and professional guide/driver. Also dietary requirements were not only taken into account but were extremely tasty. Thank you!