Lake Tekapo sits right in the center of New Zealand's South Island, 140 miles (230 km) southwest of Christchurch. Lake Tekapo can be reached by road from Christchurch.

By Private Car

Duration: 3 hours

Many travelers to New Zealand like the freedom of having their own wheels. When driving to Lake Tekapo from Christchurch, take State Highway (SH) 1 south-west and keep going until you see signs for Geraldine/Aoraki/Mount Cook. Then, turn onto SH 79. The first part of the journey across the Canterbury Plains is flat, but then gets more hilly, and the views more attractive, after Geraldine.  

By Bus

Duration: 3.5 hours

If you'd rather not drive yourself, there's a direct bus between Christchurch and Lake Tekapo. It follows the same route as mentioned above. It's a bit slower than traveling by private car, but you'll get to enjoy the views. Buses are reasonably comfortable and spacious, and make toilet and meal stops reasonably frequently.


Map of How to Get from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo
Map of How to Get from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo