The photogenic Lake Tekapō. © Mackenzie District

Marvel at the magnificent lakes of the Mackenzie District


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Canterbury’s Mackenzie District is home to some of New Zealand’s most famous and photogenic lakes. 

The neon blue hue of the lakes is caused by sunlight refracting off fine particles of rock in the water, ground by the surrounding glaciers and, in the summer months, the shores are abloom with colourful lupins. 

Lake Tekapō is possibly the most popular, with Tekapō Village at its southern end and adjacent you’ll find little Lake McGregor.

The shores of Lake Pūkaki, the region’s largest, provide famous vistas of Mount Cook, and nearby Lakes Ruataniwha and Ōhau are equally gorgeous. 

While not quite so blue, don’t skip the deep, spring-fed Lake Alexandrina which is a perfect fishing spot, laden with trout and salmon.

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