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Driving from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

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Malaysia
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Driving from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

I'm planning to make a trip to South Island this coming Nov and I'm wondering whether it would take a long time to drive from Mt Cook area to Lake tekapo? Consulting Mr google it says that it would take almost 4 hours?! Is there another road that is not shown in google which would take less time?

Thanks in advance

Ballarat, Australia
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1. Re: Driving from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

It's about an hour and a half. I have no idea where they're getting four hours from!

Malaysia
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2. Re: Driving from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

that's great to know! Thanks!

Christchurch, New...
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3. Re: Driving from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

Google is really unreliable for NZ. i always recommend www.aamaps.co.nz/ directions

Ther eis only one main road you can take - returning to SH 8 via the Mt Cook Rd, turn left and Tekapoa is about 30-45 minutes further north. Howeverif the weather is clear and not windy, there is a very scenic alternative route you can take.

About 5 Km after you rejoin SH8, and while you still have Lake Pukaki on your left there is a side road signposted to thr Mt Cook Salmon Farm. Turn left so you are now on the other side of Lake Pukaki. After a few KM you will see the penstocks of the power station and a road going steeply uphill on your right. Take this road (still heading to the Salmon Farm). Stop at the top for a fabulous view of Mt Cook then continue along this private road. If you like salmon it is worth stopping at the farm, for the freshest sashimi you wiill ever eat!

Eventually this road rejoins SH 8 just south of Tekapo Village. It doesn't add any more Km toyour journey, but may be a little slower.

Western Victoria
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4. Re: Driving from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

Is this on the roads which appear to follow the irrigation channels??

Western Victoria
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5. Re: Driving from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

The original question reminds me of a tip to remember when looking for accommodation.

Searching for Mt Cook my query came up with plenty of options, as well as on the mountain it showed Twizel & surprise!!!! Plenty of options in Franz Josef & Fox!!

The computer has them in the 80km radius and doesnt care about the ?? 300km ?? drive.

Christchurch, New...
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6. Re: Driving from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

Jeff, it is not an irrigation channel (not needed in this part of NZ) but a major part of the Waitaki Hydro Scheme. The water from Lake Tekapo is diverted through to Lake Pukaki (producing some hydro electricity at the Pukaki penstocks) and then the boosted water from Pukaki joins the Waitaki River to increase the generation all the way down that system.

Western Victoria
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7. Re: Driving from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

Over here we need the irrigation water and they look the same as the main channels.

I've seen the roads on maps and wondered if they were worth the diversion.

Christchurch, New...
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8. Re: Driving from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

IMO, definitely worth the diversion on a fine day. These are actually private roads and have no ARMO barriers so on days of high winds they are closed. Otherwise the scenery is stunning (I prefer the view heading South towards Mt Cook). The canals are popular with trout fishermen as the trout hang around the salmon farms, eating wasted fish food no doubt. I always enjoy picking up some fresh salmon too.

Overall the roads are in excellent condition and because they follow the canal, dead sraight. AFAIK they don't add any distance to the trip between Tekapo & Pukaki.

Ballarat, Australia
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9. Re: Driving from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

Definitely worth the diversion. My Mum lives near Mt Cook, and when we stay with her we often go to Tekapo for a picnic, then drive back that way to pick up salmon for dinner. Yum!

los angeles
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10. Re: Driving from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

Where would you stay to see the area and hike and drive / overnight after driving from Christchurch all day?