Mount John Walkway
Oct 30, 2022
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After failing earlier in the day at climbing Peak Hill, Elena and I drove to Lake Tekpō to spend the night. She was reeling from her Covid Infection and, despite my lack of symptoms, I felt like I should still avoid being around other people just in case. My first sight of Lake Tekapō was striking. It glows an unreal blue color and sits just below New Zealand’s Southern Alps. The scene reminded me of Diablo Lake back in the US but felt much more enjoyable since it was new and exciting.

historic church near lake tekapō
historic church near lake tekapō
Elena and waterboy at lake tekapō
elena and waterboy
lake tekapō from the parking area
lake tekapō from parking area

Elena had spent a huge chunk of the day sleeping in the car while I hiked and drove around for us. So, once we had gotten her to an actual bed for some rest I looked around the area for an easy hike to make up for the earlier failure in the day. The Mount John Walkway was a short jaunt from our cabin and most reviews I could find rated it as easy.

Mount John Walkway starts off next to some commercialized hot pools right on the edge of Lake Tekapō. The first section is a boring road but the sight of the lake behind makes it easy to distract yourself.

mount john walkway road walk
road walk to the forest trail
commercial hot pools and lake tekapō
commercial hot pools

After a brief section of uphill, there is a trail that heads up through the woods toward the summit. I think this section was my least favorite part of the short hike. The woods cut off the lake views, and while I was happy to be in the trees, the lake was what I had come here for.

The wooded section is brief though and once out of the trees you can see far off into the distance.

forest section along the walkway
forest section
first view after exiting the trees
first view after the forested section

There were people of all ages up here walking about and enjoying the views so if you want to take the family it should be a viable walk for most ages. There is also the Astro Cafè on top if you arrive early enough and want to enjoy the views with a bite or some coffee. Next time I am in the area I will use the Mount John Walkway as a morning trail run and end it with some breakfast.

lake tekapō town from the south summit of mount john
lake tekapō resort town from summit
lake tekapo from mount john south summit
lake tekapo from south summit

The Mount John Walkway isn’t much as far as a hiking trail goes but the views it offers as your circle around the summit are worth every bit of effort. New Zealand’s Southern Alps rise high into the air and Lake Tekapō glistens down below.

There are options for a few side trips so you can turn this into anything from a short day hike to a few-hour Trek along the shores of Lake Tekapō. However long you choose to spend the view will be hard to beat

southern alps from mount john walkway
southern alps from mount john walkway
view north of lake tekapō from mount john
view north over lake tekapō
lake alexandrina from the summit circle track
lake alexandrina
view from restraunt while I ate local lamb and enjoyed lake tekapō
view from restaurant at dinner

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