Backpacking in New Zealand

Guide | Mt John – South Summit Walk

Tekapo is a small town located in the inland South Island in New Zealand. One of the must dos when in Tekapo is hiking the South Summit of Mt John. The walk starts off at the hot springs and makes its way through the lush green forest, till the Summit and then to the Cafe at the observatory.

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Guide | Mt John - South Summit Walk
Guide | Mt John - South Summit Walk

Undoubtedly the views along the way are spectacular. But the views at the Summit are breathtaking. The path provides the view of the turquoise blue waters of Lake Tekapo and it is definitely something to die for.

At the summit, Lake Tekapo and Lake McGregor are visible next to each other. It’s splendid!

Guide | Mt John - South Summit Walk
Guide | Mt John - South Summit Walk


  • Total time: 1.5 to 2 hours (return)
  • Total distance: approximately 6 kilometres
  • Grade: Moderate (it is quite steep in some sections)
  • Cost: FREE

Note: Ensure you wear good hiking boots as in winters there could be ice and it can be very slippery.

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