We are visiting Lake Tekapo and Mt. Cook in early March. We arrive midday in Christchurch then will drive to Lake Tekapo and plan visit Church of the Good Shepherd, Mt John Observatory (day for view and night for tour). Do we need to book the Mt. John night tour in advance or can we book on arrival? We'd rather wait as we will likely pass if it is not clear weather. Also, do you have any suggestions for scenic walks or runs in the area (nothing too rocky or uneven but uphill ok)? I usually run from 4-12 miles.
The next day we will travel to Mt. Cook Village where we will stay the night. We hope to fit in a flight, some walks/runs, and maybe even a trip to see the glaciers (might opt for viewing from shoreline but want to get feedback on the tour on the water.
We are considering a flight over Mt. Cook/Fox/Franz glaciers (not necessarily with glacier walk unless that is a must-do). We were considering Air Safaris out of Lake Tekapo or Mt. Cook Ski Planes or Helicopter Line out of Mt. Cook. Do you have recommendations on which is best and safest? I somehow feel the planes are safer but not sure. Would we need to book this in advance? Is a morning flight or afternoon flight best? How accurate are forecast for clear weather in that area?
Also, is the Hooker Valley walk something that I could run? Or is it best done in hiking boots (for someone with weak ankles)? Other areas for scenic runs in the Village?
We will leave the next morning after an overnight in the Village for Lake Wanaka, so might possible have another chance for clear weather that morning.
Thanks for your thoughts on our plans and advice!