Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner

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Mt John - Lake Tekapo Loop

Tekapo, Canterbury

Submitted by Jo ONeill

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Open

Grunt Factor: 11

Gnarl Factor: 17

8.2km

380m

380m

1013m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe

Loop

Undulating, some big hills

Lakeside

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup

30%
70%

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -11.5%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

2:00

Slow

1:15

Moderate

0:45

Fast

Stunning lakeside start then climb up onto Mt John with amazing views of Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook! Astro Cafe is at the Summit if you wish to take a break! Very steep back down to Tekapo Springs for a lovely Hot Pool to finish with!

Walk along Lakeside up to Mt John Observatory/Astro Cafe - Views amazing

Plenty of safe parking

3 km

5 minutes

Unknown

No

Easy.

Start at the Tekapo Springs Carpark walk along the 4WD track beside the lake around the hillside, then follow signs Mt John walkway, then follow signs to Summit, then head downhill down the stairs into trees to Tekapo Springs

Perfect throughout.

Long-sleeved thermal top, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

Take your own if required

Can get windy so take extra layer, but can also be very very hot and dry with no winds so carry water on extreme hot days

Rabbit holes!

Tekapo Springs, Astro Cafe
Tekapo

Trail Legend

Ben  Brown

Ben Brown

has completed Mt John - Lake Tekapo Loop 6 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Done this one loads of times. Classic way to break you the chch to wanaka trip. The big along the lake is cool runnable track with a couple short step bits. Once you come round the back and start the ascent the first bit is steep but then eases off as you work your way up to the observatory. Great views from the top on a clear day then head down via the forest for some super fun downhill! Then hopefully you've got a Fairlie pie waiting for you when you finish!

Gregory Bassam

September 17

Done this one loads of times. Classic way to break you the chch to wanaka trip. The big along the lake is cool runnable track with a couple short step bits. Once you come round the back and start the ascent the first bit is steep but then eases off as you work your way up to the observatory. Great views from the top on a clear day then head down via the forest for some super fun downhill! Then hopefully you've got a Fairlie pie waiting for you when you finish!

Gregory Bassam

September 17

It doesn’t get much better than this! 5 stars in every sense. I went in reverse as suggested and absolutely loved the downhill - so runnable, so much fun, and those views - wow!

Joe Benbow

January 17, 2023

Definitely a 5 star trail. Great running surface, views and easily navigated.
An earlier review mentions the cafe at the observatory is closed due covid. It has reopened again and hours can be found with a quick google.
Definitely worth taking some extra water on this run.

Garry Walker

January 11, 2022

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