Tekapo, New Zealand
Mount John Tekapo Reviews
Walking up Mount John Apr 22, 2011
When in New Zealand, walking or trekking is one thing you have to do. There are many routes to take, but if you are like me, a novice walker, not very physically fit, you can try walking up Mount John.
You can get a handy map of Tekapo town in your accommodation, in my case, I got it at Tailormade hostel. There are 2 routes to walk to the summit, one takes about an hour including return, the other takes about 3 hours.
If you want to walk with Lake Tekapo in sight, and also want surprise views with every turn you make, then I would recomment taking the long route. The start of the route is marked by a sign, and it will indicate the time needed to complete the trek.
The longer trek takes you along the perimeter of Mount John. You see Lake Tekapo and the town on your right. Not all the paths are boarded or pebbled though. Horses also trek using the same path, so at least for the initial stage of your trek, keep a look out for "gold" on the floor.
Say "Hi" to fellow walkers as you enjoy the scenic walk up. There are also many flora and fauna to enjoy and your goal should be the Observatory, which you can enjoy a glass of cool smoothie at the end of the trek. Along the way, you can also see the magnificent Mackenzie plains.
If you have the energy and time, you can take the same route back. Or you can also take the shorter 1 hour route back.
The shorter route takes a zig-zag pattern through the forest. It is more cooling as you are sheltered from the sun. Scenes are not as dramatic compared to the longer route, but definitely a great short cut if you have "enough" of the longer distance.
If you are not planning a night trip at the Observatory at Mt John, then you should climb Mt John to awe at the magnificence of the Mackenzie plains and Lake Tekapo. The trek is relatively easy, though there are some slopes. And get enough fluid for the entire journey!
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